Investor visa cash now tops $10b

According to a new report from Deloitte Access Economics, the total inward investment flows from Australia’s Significant Investor Visa program since it was launched in 2012 has now topped $10 billion,

Julia Gillard’s Labour Government launched the SIV program with the goal of bringing more overseas high net-worth individual investors into Australia. Experts believe the program has delivered much greater value than the $10 billion these visa holders have invested in the local economy.

The report, Impact of the Significant Investor Visa Program – a long-term proposition for Australia, will be launched in Canberra this week in conjunction with the Australia China Business Council.

The report found that while the Significant Investor Visa program accounts for just 0.1 per cent of all visas issued annually, its positive impacts across business and the economy are far wider.

Nearly 2,100 Significant Investor Visas have been issued since 2012.

The qualifying investments from SIV holders are divided a several predetermined categories, with a requirement that a minimum $500,000 be invested in startups and growth funds through venture, private capital and other investment options.

The remaining $4.5 million can be split between ASX-listed companies, government bonds and a limited amount on property investment.

Mainland Chinese nationals make up the lion’s share of SIV recipients, making up about 76 per cent of the total visas issued. This percentage is down from about 87 per cent in recent months.

The SIV program, which is considered a premium path to permanent residency, has been running at an annualised rate of about 235 visas per year – or about $1.175 billion in new capital.

Although some have noted the program’s lack of oversight into the origins of the invested funds, particularly through the criticism levied by a 2016 Productivity Commission report, the program has been widely praised within the investment community and business sector for its boost to funding and available capital.

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