Australia Investor Visa Program Review
Australia remains an especially appealing destination to high net worth foreign investors hailing from Asia, the Middle East and Africa who are looking for a democratic country with a climate similar to that of their own to make a new life in. The Australian Investor Visa Program offers wealthy foreign businesspeople the opportunity to purchase and run a business in Australia in return for its residency, and eventually its citizenship and passport, but just how good is this program? Passport Reviewer found out.
Australia In A Nutshell
Australia, (officially known as The Commonwealth of Australia) is the largest country of the Pacific continent that is also named of Australia, which is the smallest of the world’s six continents, and the least populated. The country of Australia is the world’s sixth largest in terms of land mass, and comprises its mainland plus a multitude of smaller islands, the largest of which is Tasmania.
Australia was originally colonized by Great Britain in the 1700s, and it was granted independence on January 1 1901. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed soon after, and the country soon established itself, although its geographical location and huge distance from Europe meant that it never experienced the initial early 20th century mass migration that the USA benefited from.
Subsequent tight restrictions on migration have maintained a relatively small population of 24 million and ensured the migrant population is highly skilled and extremely productive. The result is a well-developed country that ranks highly globally for education, healthcare and living standards. Australia is a member of the British Commonwealth, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, G20, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Pacific Islands Forum, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.
Australia is the 12th largest economy in the world, and one of the globe’s largest mixed-market economies. A massive 58% of Australia’s economy is powered by its services industry (tourism, finance, media, education, logistics), followed by construction, mining and manufacturing.
Australia’s tourism industry generates an estimated $36 billion annually – the equivalent of $100 million a day – for the economy, with key foreign visitor markets being China, the UK, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.
- Official Languages: English
- Capital City: Canberra
- Largest City: Sydney (Pop: 4.92 million)
- Surface Area: 7,692,024 km2
- Religion: Christian
- Population: 24.33 million
- Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
- Legal system: Based on English common law
- Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
- GDP per capita: $51,642
- Climate: Varies across the continent, in general warm to very hot summers, cool to cold winters,
Australian Investor Visa
Australia gives foreign high net worth investors the opportunity to reside in the country via the Investor Visa program. However, unlike the US EB-5 program, or Germany and Belgium’s investor programs that also require the purchase of a business, the Australian Investor Visa program only allows foreign investors four years of temporary residency.
After the completion of those initial four years, the visa holder may apply for other visa types including an extension of their current program, or can apply for permanent Australian residency, which is the precursor to Australian citizenship.
To qualify for the Australian Investment Visa program an applicant must be prepared to make one of the following investments:
- Invest AUD $1.5 million into a new Australian business of the investors own making
- Invest AUD $1.5 million into an Australian company or business in which they have an ownership stake (at least 51%)
In addition an applicant must fulfil the following criteria:
- The investors must be 45-years of age or younger
- The investor must have access to net assets of AUD $2.25 million
- The investor must speak the English language fluently
- The investor must have three years or more of proven and documented business management experience
- The investor must have a proven and documented positive business record
- The investor must have authorized proof of a clean criminal record
- The investor must have authorized proof as to their good character
- The investor must have authorized proof as to their good health
Benefits of the Australia Investor Visa Program
If an investor is happy to remain an Australian resident or focused on gaining Australian citizenship, the Investor Visa has many benefits.
- The opportunity to establish and run a business in Australia
- The Australian investor visa can be renewed after four years
- After four years, investors can apply for permanent Australian residency
- After one year of permanent residency, an investor can apply for Australian citizenship
- Australian citizenship is highly desirable, with millions attempting and failing annually to emigrate to Australia
- The Australian passport is the 8th most powerful in the world, with visa-free access to 169 countries. Areas where an Australian passport holder can visit without the need of a visa include North America, Central America and the Caribbean, much of Latin America, parts of Africa, Western Europe and much of Asia
Pros and Cons of living in Australia
Property throughout Australia is plentiful and of excellent quality. The minimum wage is high which is reflected in the country’s high living standards. The climate is beautiful, and Australians are friendly outgoing people. It’s an ideal country to raise a family, with lots of outdoor activities, sports, water sports etc. Healthcare and education both private and public are of a very high standard.
Property can be expensive, especially in the big cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Away from the big cities the pace of life can be somewhat slow and uneventful. Private healthcare and education is extremely expensive.
Passport Reviewer Ranking: B
This program is purely for an individual whose long term goal is to live, work and raise a family in Australia. Australia is similar to the US in that many people see it as their dream location and set their hearts on living there, and are prepared to do whatever it takes, no matter how long the process.
If that is you, and you have the necessary funds, you will have no qualms about spending AUD $2.25 and four years of your life building up a business in Australia, and you will have confidence that your visa will be renewed, and you will eventually become an Australian citizen, which is certainly attainable via this program.