By Karen Bao
The Abbott Government has brought in a new immigration category aimed squarely at luring wealthy immigrants.
This new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) offers a faster, one year pathway to permanent residency for those who invest at least $15 million in Australia.
“A lot of people find that the previous Significant Investor Visa is more restrictive. People who have more money want more flexibility,” said Mr. Joven Lee, an Immigration lawyer in Perth.
Mr. Joven says the visa allows investors to freely invest in Australia without residency requirements and the sole nominating entity will be the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).
“There are some basic necessities in the Public Interest Criterion 4020 that the applicants have to fulfill to be eligible for this visa,” said Mr. Joven.
“All the money invested must be ‘clean’,” he added.
This visa is designed to be a jump starter for the local economy.
“With $15 million and the management experience that comes with it, investors can start a lot of projects and create more job opportunities to the local community,” Mr. Joven said.
But not everyone is happy with this new visa scheme.
“We have to go through a lot of assessments to earn points to get permanent residency in Australia, but because those people have loads of money they can get the visa easily without going through all these assessments,” said Chiquitita Carmensita, a Permanent Resident applicant from Indonesia.
The introduction of the new visa has also sparked concerns in the Australian property industry that as property prices might rise.
Mr. Joven says the Premium Investor Visa will take effect on July 1, 2015.
“I don’t think it is common for people to apply for this visa, because $15 million is not a small amount, you have to be really rich to invest such an amount of money in Australia,” said Mr. Joven.
“For other visa applicants, their fear about ‘money buying visas’ is not legit as PIV applicants have their own assessment they need to work through to successfully get their permanent residency.”
For more information about PIV, visit www.immi.gov.au
Hear the full interview here with Perth Immigration lawyer, Mr. Joven Lee.