“Golden Ticket” Visas Losing Their Shine

14:21' 09-05-2018
Applications are at their lowest levels for significant investor visas (SIV), according to a report in The Guardian. Also known as “golden ticket” visas, SIVs are aimed at overseas investors who invest $5m in certain “complying investments” in Australia.

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    Photo: visareporter.com

    The SIV is a four-year visa that can be converted to permanent residency. The program is open to all nationalities, but is targeted towards Chinese investors, with even the visa number, 888, designed to attract Chinese interest. About 87% of SIVs granted since the scheme was launched in 2012 have been to Chinese nationals.

    Up to 2015 nearly 900 SIVs were granted, at a rate of about 28 a month. Concerns over the type of investments being made, and the source of the money being invested, led the Abbott government to introduce a number of restrictions.

    Over the next financial year, the number of visas approved rose to an average of 46 a month, then slowed the following year to about 34 a month. In the first half of the current financial year, the average number of visas granted was only 13 a month.

    A Productivity Commission report in 2016 said the program should be scrapped, suggesting it brought little benefit to Australia and was prone to fraud, with benefits mainly to visa holders and fund managers. The Commission also found that because there were no English requirements or an upper age limit for visa holders, the benefit to Australia would be less than for other immigrants.

    A spokesman for the Department of Home Affairs said the program was under review, but all SIV applications had to meet Australian security's identity and character requirements, and robust checks are made on the source of funds invested.

    Liu W

     

     

     

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Keywords: australiapermanent residencysignificant investor visas

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