Australia’s Investor Visa
Australia is one of the largest sovereign nations in the world, occupying the whole Australian continent and divided into six states and numerous territories. The major cities of Sydney and Melbourne are two of Australia’s most popular locations and are home to millions of people, making them bustling metropolises. The country of Australia is a highly developed nation that has the world’s fifth highest per capita income and the world’s twelfth largest economy. Additionally, the nation is a highly respected international power and maintains memberships in the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the World Trade Organization, and G20.
Due to the country’s beautiful scenery and topography, its rare indigenous animal species such as dingoes, koalas, and kangaroos, and its unique aboriginal traditions, heritage, and culture, Australia receives millions of tourists every year.
Along with these tourist visitors, Australia also attracts hundreds of thousands of foreign investors who come to the nation to take advantage of the country’s international investment opportunities. The country’s thriving economy is based on its education, tourism, and financial services industries. The nation is also exceptionally rich in natural resources such as gold, iron-ore, wheat, and wool, which Australia exports to many countries on an international scale.
The Australian government has further encouraged foreign investment into its country by offering numerous investment-based visas for global nationals who are interested in relocating to the country. These visas lead to permanent residence and ultimately Australian citizenship.
Australia’s Investment-Based Immigration Process
Australia has established a three-step process for obtaining citizenship. The first step is for the investor to obtain a temporary residence permit. There are many temporary visa options available and many investors take advantage of the 188 Visa. In order to receive the 188 Visa, the investor must qualify under one the three sub-categories of business investment, business innovation, or classification as a significant investor. Additionally, the investor must be younger than 55 years old when the application is submitted, possess a detailed plan to create a business or invest into an existing business in Australia, and receive at least 65 points based upon a variety of factors including the level of the investor’s proficiency in English, the investor’s age, education background, previous innovative business activities, previous investment experience, and whether the investor is able to obtain a special endorsement from the nominating state or territory.
Once investors meet the qualifications for the 188 Visa, they and their families are issued temporary visas that are valid for four years. At the conclusion of the four year period, the investor and family may apply for the permanent Business 888 Visa.
In order to qualify for the Business 888 Visa, the investor must meet one of two criteria. First, the investor may prove that the investor possesses a net value of at least $600,000A, that the investor maintained continuous ownership interest in an Australian business, and that the business employs Australian nationals. Or second, the investor has made a qualifying investment and has sustained that investment for at least four years. If the investor’s application meets these requirements, the investor and family will receive their permanent resident permits.
Once the investor has been a resident of Australia for at least four years (and spent at least one of those years in permanent resident status), the investor can apply for Australian citizenship through a legal process called naturalization. To qualify for citizenship, the investor must possess good moral character (which means having a clean criminal record including no immigration violations), must have not had spent a year outside of Australia in the previous four years, must possess basic speaking and comprehension of the English language, and prove that the investor intends to reside in Australia for the indefinite future.
Benefits of Australian Citizenship
Australian citizenship carries numerous benefits. As soon as the investor’s application is approved, the investor can immediately receive the country’s passport which guarantees its holder to travel – visa-free – to more than 160 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and Germany. Australian citizenship also guarantees the right to vote in elections at all levels of government and gives the right to seek parliamentary positions.
Interested investors are encouraged to contact knowledgeable attorneys to assist them with the Australian citizenship by investment process.