The Australian Government is currently working on a number of reforms for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) scheme, flagged in October 2013 by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, The Honourable Scott Morrison MP, in a speech to the Migration Institute of Australia National Conference.

The SIV, otherwise known as an 888 visa, is a special subclass of business migration visas introduced under the Gillard government in November of 2012, available to high net worth individuals willing to invest $5 million into Australia. To date the scheme is said to have attracted a pipeline of 400 potential applicants worth approximately $2 billion to the Australian economy.

In his speech to gathered migration agents, the Minister announced a commitment by his department to ‘rebooting’ the program with focus areas to include a re-evaluation of the investment criteria and the adoption of a more flexible approach, as well as work around the turnaround times for such visa applications.

“Effectively what I’m saying is the programme needs to be rebooted. We need to get it back and ensure the processes are right and the criteria is as it should be and that is the work we are going through at the moment. We will say more once we are in a position to implement those things, not at the outset,” said The Hon. Mr Morrison MP.

“We recognise there are significant implementation issues that are currently holding up the progress of this programme but we don’t want to sit and talk, we want to get it done. We will send a clear message that we are open for business on this visa. We will put in place the assessment capacity to back that up once we have the system rebooted and remodelled. We will look to review the investment criteria for this programme, with a view to having a more flexible approach that could see more of the investment capital attracted under that programme being available to more small and medium sized businesses including entrepreneurial start-ups.”

The Hon. Mr Morrison MP went on to say it was important that the value of the program not be looked at from a short-term point of view of a $5 million investment, but rather appreciated for its long-term economic benefits.

“(The) people we’re seeking to attract to Australia have demonstrated enormous entrepreneurial success. They are wealth generators and in Australia we welcome and we celebrate wealth generators in this country because they generate wealth that is pumped into our economy and provides benefits right across the economy for all Australians,” said The Hon. Mr Morrison.

“We think people who create business, people who risk their capital, people who go out there every day and create jobs off their own effort and off their own enterprise is what we need to see more of in this country and certainly within our immigration programme.”

The immigration lawyers of Alliance International Migration Services (AIMS) certainly welcome the Minister’s commitment to improving and furthering the effective implementation of the SIV scheme.

For those wanting to know more about SIVs or other business visa classes are invited to contact AIMS today for a no-obligation chat on +61 3 9078 6819 or Alternatively, click here for more information, including details of our range of immigration services, fixed price offering and free online assessment option.