General Information

Australian officials confirm visas for wealthy investors are under review

by Ray Clancy on May 4, 2017

in General Information

Wealthy people looking to invest in Australia are set to be the next target of a wave of immigration reviews being announced by the Australian Government.

Officials have already revealed a number of visa and other changes that will affect people looking to move to Australia, including the abolition of the 457 visa programme, a tougher citizenship process and increased fees for university students.

Now officials have confirmed that visa rules for wealthy would be migrants are being reviewed. As with the Temporary Skilled Shortage visa stream that will replace the 457 programme, those applying for entrepreneur and investor visas are expected to face tougher English language requirements.

The majority of wealthy business people applying for significant investor visas are from China and there are concerns that their English needs to be of a high standard if they are to run businesses. The Australian citizenship test also now requires a higher level of English.

An applicant for a significant investor visa needs to provide investment of A$5 million to be eligible for Australian residency and officials also believe that their level of English needs to be high.

‘The expectation from the Australian community is that migrants have competent English. I don’t think that is unfair. The programme has to be designed to meet the Australian economy’s needs,’ said Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

He told a Chinese in Australia seminar in Sydney that a review is underway and asked them to get involved in giving feedback to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Many wealthy Chinese people seek to move to Australia for a better lifestyle, although some may also seek to avoid a sweeping corruption crackdown in China that is prompting many wealthy Chinese to move their money abroad and immigration officials are concerned about money laundering.

Overseas investors can no longer invest in property and the visa rules were made stricter in 2015 requiring applicants to invest in small cap and venture capital funds but Hawke said that Chinese investors are welcome in Australia.

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