Australia's government is revamping the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to fuel its economy. The changes are wide-range and slash the existing nine categories to just four programs, as part of the Morrison Government's latest visa reforms. The changes aimed at boosting foreign investment in Australia, as the country counter-effect the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
After consulting with public and private stakeholders, Australia's government announced increasing the minimum investment requirements and simplifying and streamlining the BIIP for the prospective investors. The changes will also boost Australia immigration by foreign business investors.
The current Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the changes would bolster investment activities in some key industries and generate employment for Australians.
He further added that "Almost $1.3 billion dollars was invested through the Business Innovation and Investment Program last year, an investment that is critical to our COVID-19 economic recovery,""Our Migration Program for 2020-21 is clearly focussed on job creators, those with key skills, and migrants who are going to invest in Australia's future."
The changes will come into effect from July 1, 2021.
Key Changes to the Program:
- The program will cut the existing nine streams to only four visa categories- Business Innovation, Entrepreneur, Investor, and Significant Investor stream.
- The eligibility requirements for the Business Innovation visa, which allows business applicants to set up a new or buy an existing business in Australia- have been increased, making it more challenging for the new applicants to show their business skills.
- As per the latest updates, the innovation visa holders must possess $1.25 million business assets, up from $800,000, and need to have an annual turnover of $750,000 up from $500,000.
- The Premium Investor Stream, Significant Business History Investor, Venture Capital Entrepreneur visas will be closed from 1 July 2021.
- Provisional visa holders in all four streams can apply for permanent residence after three years, after meeting the eligibility requirements. A provisional visa will be valid for five years, so the investors now have additional time to fulfill the residency requirements.
- Business Innovation and Significant Investor visa holders can also extend their provisional visas if they fail to meet the business and residence thresholds within a timeframe.
- The holders of Business Innovation and Provisional visa can extend their visas for two years, provided they must show dedication and genuine commitment towards the business.
- Significant Investor Provisional Visa holder can apply for two, two-year extension, provided they must maintain their complying investment status.
- The changes are introduced with the motive of attracting foreign investors with strong business management skills.
- The government has removed the requirement of obtaining AUD 200 000 funding. A state or a territory government will now endorse applicants. It will give the states the power to garner investor's attention.
- The government will consult with industries in case of any further changes to the Complying Investment Framework. The government will announce the upcoming changes in the early half of 2021.
Australia's government considers the investments coming through these investment programs are essential to Australia's economic recovery post the pandemic. The changes will also play a key role in Australia immigration while creating more jobs for Australians and boosting the economy.