The Government recently announced a new three-part complying investment framework for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) programme.

These visas offer pathways to permanent residency, subject to significant, complying investments being made in Australia by the applicants.

From 1 July 2015, new SIV applicants will be required to invest at least $5 million in complying investments, which must now include:

  •  at least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. The Government expects to increase this to $1 million for new applications within two years as the market responds;
  • at least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and
  • a ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to a 10% limit on residential real estate).

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said the previous SIV framework set the bar too low, with investment largely directed into passive investments such as government bonds and residential real estate schemes, which already attract large capital flows.

The Government also intends to introduce a new PIV from 1 July 2015 targeting talented entrepreneurs and innovators with a minimum $15 million to invest. It will be available at the invitation of the Australian Government only.

The changes to SIV and the introduction of a PIV are part of a suite of Government policy initiatives under the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, which aims to promote investment, innovation and commercialisation of Australian ideas, research and development which are critical to our economic future.