Upcoming Australia Immigration Changes 2021- Business and Investment Visas

Business Innovation and Investment Program changes announced

The Morrison Government is reforming business and investor visas to maximise the economic benefits for Australia.

The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) will be simplified from nine to four streams and there will be changes to eligibility requirements.  The number of places available in the BIIP has almost doubled from 6862 in 2019-20 to 13,500 places for 2020-2021.

The new program will be reduced to the below four streams:

  • Business Innovation
  • Entrepreneur
  • Investor
  • Significant Investor
Changes to these streams include:
  • Provisional visa holders in all four streams will be able to apply for permanent residence if they meet the requirements after 3 years, but the provisional visa will now be valid for 5 years (currently 4 years), meaning they have additional time to meet the requirements.
  • There will be a clear path to permanent residency or each category.
  • The Government will also be consulting widely with industry to inform any further changes to the Complying Investment Framework. Any changes to the framework will be announced in the early half of next year, with sufficient time for businesses and investors to adjust.

Business Innovation visas

  • Business Innovation and Significant Investor visa holders will also continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe.
  • Business Innovation provisional visa holders can apply for a two-year extension provided they demonstrate a realistic commitment to continuing to manage a business that has been actively operating in Australia for the previous two years.
  • The requirements for Business Innovation visa holders will be increased to ensure the program is attracting migrants with proven business skills. Business Innovation visa holders will be required to hold business and personal assets of $1.25 million (up from $800,000) and have an annual turnover of $750,000 (up from $500,000) to prove their business acumen.

Significant Investor visas

  • Significant Investor visa holders will also continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe.
  • Significant Investor provisional visa holders can apply for two, two-year extensions (2×2) provided they continue to maintain their complying significant investment.

Entrepreneur Visas

  • The $200,000 funding threshold required for Entrepreneur visa applicants will be scrapped.
  • Applicants will need to be endorsed by a State or Territory government. This follows the successful Supporting Innovation in South Australia pilot program and will give states and territories an additional way to attract international entrepreneurs.
Streams closing 1 July 2021

The following BIIP streams will be closed for new applications from 1 July 2021 are (Applications already lodged for these visas will still be processed):

  • Premium Investor
  • Significant Business History
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur

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