Australian Residency by Investment: This is how you qualify
Here’s the first thing to know about Australian residency by investment – you need to have at least AUD2.5 million to invest. For that investment, you’ll get a provisional visa that offers a pathway to permanent residence.
Let’s get some basic questions out of the way before delving into how to get residency by investment:
Can I get PR if I buy property in Australia?
No, buying a property in Australia does not secure someone Permanent Residency. You must invest at least AUD2.5 million. Even when doing so, you’ll only get a provisional visa, i.e. temporary residence. You will, however, be eligible to apply for PR after three years. To do so, you’ll have to meet the permanent residence requirements of the Investor stream.
How much do I need to invest in Australia to get PR?
You must invest at least AUD2.5 million. As explained above, however, you don’t automatically get permanent residence when investing in Australia.
Can you buy Australian citizenship?
No, you cannot. You’ll first apply for a provisional visa and then permanent residency. Only once you have permanent residency you’ll be able to apply for Australian citizenship, provided you meet the criteria.
What is the Australian Investor visa?
When talking about the Australian Investor visa, we’re commonly referring to a visa under the Investor stream. This visa stream falls under Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment program.
To be eligible to apply, you must invest at least AUD2.5 million in Australia. This investment will put you on the path to residency and enable you to maintain business or investment activity in Australia.
What are the basic requirements?
To meet the basic requirements of the Investor stream, you must:
- Be under the age of 55
- Score at least 65 points in the innovations points test
- Be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency before being invited to apply for your visa
- Have a genuine intention to live for at least two years in the State or Territory in which you have made the investment application
- Meet the English language, health, and character requirements
What are the business and financial requirements?
The Australian Department of Home Affairs has specific and strict criteria that everyone intending on applying for a visa under the Investor stream must meet:
1. You must have managed a qualifying business or investments to the value of at least AUD2.5 million
For at least one of the five fiscal years immediately before getting an invitation to apply, you must have directly managed one of the following:
- A qualifying business, where you (and/or your spouse or de facto partner, if applicable) owned at least 10% of the business’s total value
- Eligible investments owned by you (and/or your spouse or de facto partner, if applicable) totaling at least AUD2.5 million
2. You must have assets equaling at least AUD2.5 million
For the two financial years immediately before you are invited to apply for a visa, you (and/or your spouse or de facto partner, if applicable) must have had business and personal assets with a net value of at least AUD2.5 million.
These assets must have been legally acquired and must be available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the date that your visa is granted.
3. You must make a complying investment in Australia
You must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD2.5 million, and you must hold these complying significant investments continuously for the duration of your provisional visa.
Your investment must be invested in the following proportions:
- At least AUD500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
- At least AUD750,000 in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
- A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD1.25 million in managed funds
The managed funds can invest in a range of assets, including:
- companies listed on the Australian stock exchange,
- Australian corporate bonds or notes,
- and commercial real estate.
The Department of Home Affairs prohibits direct investment in residential real estate and strictly limits indirect investment in residential property through managed funds.
You can find more detailed information about complying significant investments in Austrade’s Guide to Investing.
4. You must have the right business experience
The Department of Home Affairs wants to see the following with regards to your business experience:
- You must have at least 3 years’ experience in the management of one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
- You must have a successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity, and you must have demonstrated a high level of management skills in relation to these investments or business activity
Furthermore, you (and your spouse/de facto partner, if applicable) must have had no involvement in unacceptable business or investment activities.
Here’s how the application process works…
Step 1 – Getting assessed
You must start by getting your eligibility assessed to apply for a visa under the Investor stream.
During an assessment, a licensed advisor will review your personal circumstances, as well as the details of your investments and/or business activities, to establish whether or not you are likely to meet the relevant requirements.
Step 2 – Expression of Interest
If your eligibility assessment shows that you meet the requirements to apply for a visa under the Investor stream, you can lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI). Your Expression of Interest sets out how you meet the relevant requirements.
You’ll also indicate in your Expression of Interest which Australian State or Territory you wish to nominate your visa application. Alternatively, you can choose to be available for nomination by any State or Territory.
Step 3 – Nomination by a State or Territory
Once your EOI has been lodged, the government agency of the State or Territory that you have chosen will review your EOI to determine whether you meet their criteria for nomination.
If your supporting evidence is deemed acceptable, the State or Territory government agency will then nominate you for the visa.
Step 4 – Visa application
Once you have successfully obtained a State or Territory nomination, and the Department of Home Affairs has invited you to apply for a visa, you’ll be able to submit your visa application.
When the Department of Home Affairs is ready to approve your visa application, you’ll get an invite to make your designated investment in Australia. You’ll have to invest at least AUD2.5 million in an approved investment as described above.
Once you’ve made your investment and your visa application has been approved, you’ll be granted a provisional visa that’s valid for five years. You may be either in Australia or overseas when your visa is granted.
Your family can join you too
You can include members of your immediate family unit in your visa application. Any family members that you include must also meet Australia’s health and character requirements.
You can apply for Permanent Residence after three years
Once you’ve held your provisional visa for at least three years, you’ll be able to apply for permanent residence under the subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment visa if you meet the requirements.
Are there any other Residency by Investment options?
Yes, you may also choose to get Australian Residency by Investment through the Significant Investor stream. The Significant Investor stream requires an investment of at least AUD5 million instead but there are no age restrictions and you don’t have to do a points test.
Find out more about the Significant Investor stream.
Find out if you qualify to apply for Australian Residency by Investment
Want to know if you quality for apply for Australian Residency by Investment?
Simply book a consultation call with us. You’ll speak directly with a licensed advisor who will assess your eligibility, advise on your visa options for Australia, and explain the immigration process to you.
You’ll walk away from the call knowing exactly how to proceed with your immigration!