Australia is a popular destination for high net worth individuals seeking residency through investment. Australia offers a high standard of living often ranked at or close to the highest in the world. It has high ratings for the safety of women and children. Australia is an excellent base from which to do business in Southeast Asia, and the Australian economy has performed exceptionally well with over 25 years of continuous growth without recession.
The visa process in Australia to obtain residency through investment is very structured and based on laws, regulations, policy and legislative instruments. It is administered by the Department of Home Affairs. While there are multiple paths (or “streams”) to obtain residency through investment in Australia, the “Investor stream” visa (Business Innovation and Investment visa subclass 188) offers the path with the lowest investment – AUD 1.5 million.
There are a range of benefits that come with obtaining residency in Australia under the “Investor stream” visa, including:
- You can live in Australia and enjoy unlimited travel to and from Australia.
- You can have access to the health care entitlement run by the government called Medicare. Under Medicare, you can receive free medical treatment at a public hospital and subsidized medicine.
- You can enjoy the same work benefits under the industrial laws as citizens. You can join a trade union and can claim worker’s compensation.
- You can have freedom to pursue the course of education that you prefer. You can have access to certain education loans.
- After 2 years, you can receive social security benefits like sickness, unemployment and student benefits that are offered by Australia’s Social Security Department.
- You can sponsor your relatives to acquire residence.
- Your children who are born in Australia can be deemed Australian citizens by birth.
- You also can be granted the right to travel to New Zealand and apply for a New Zealand visa.
- You can apply for Australian consular assistance overseas.
Besides the investment of AUD 1.5 million, you have to meet certain conditions under the “Investor stream” visa, including:
- You must submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect and be nominated by an Australian state or territory government (the “Nominating Jurisdiction”).
- You must have a genuine intention to live for at least 2 years in the Nominating Jurisdiction.
- You generally must be under the age of 55 (although this requirement can be waived).
- For at least 1 of the 5 immediately preceding fiscal years, you must have directly managed either (i) a qualifying business in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had at least a 10 percent ownership interest, or (ii) eligible investments owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined of at least AUD 1.5 million.
- During the 2 immediately preceding fiscal years, you must have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD 2.25 million (which must be available for legal transfer to Australia within 2 years of the visa being granted).
- You must have at least 3 years of experience managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments, have a successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity, and have a genuine and realistic commitment to your business or investment activity in Australia after the original investment.
- You must score at least 65 on an “immigration points” test (you are awarded points based on such factors as your age, English language ability, qualifications, business experience, net personal and business assets, business turnover, innovation, and special endorsement).
- You must satisfy certain health, character and “Australian values” criteria.
- You must have at least functional English or you will be required to pay an additional fee.
- You must have no debt to the Australian government.
The initial “Investor stream” visa is temporary, but after 4 years, it can be transitioned to a permanent visa (Business Innovation and Investment visa subclass 888), if you have lived in Australia for at least 2 of the 4 years.
The investment of AUD 1.5 million must be made in government securities of the Nominating Jurisdiction. The investment must be maintained for at least 4 years after it is issued. The investment must use unencumbered funds from qualifying businesses or eligible investments. Income that you earn from your investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.
There are other residency through investment “streams” under Australian law that require a higher amount of investment, although with reduced other conditions. The “Significant Investor stream” visa is based on an investment of AUD 5 million (to be allocated at least AUD 500,000 in certain venture capital and growth private equity funds, at least AUD 1.5 million in approved “managed funds” investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and a “balancing” investment of at least AUD 3 million in “managed funds”), but you only must live in the Nominating Jurisdiction for at least 40 days per year (or your spouse for at least 180 days per year), and you do not have to meet the prior business and investment activity and experience conditions of the “Investor stream” visa. The “Premium Investor stream” visa is based on an investment of AUD 15 million (to be in certain complying investments), but can be transitioned to a permanent visa after only 1 year.
Make Malta your second home
GDP nominal (per capita)
GDP (purchasing power parity)
(UTC+8 to +10.5)
Australian dollar (AUD)
manufacturing, finance, ship building, information and technology, agricultural
- Good quality public and private healthcare system
- High quality education
- Plenty of job opportunities