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How to get an investor visa to Australia?

Ieva Miltina Ieva Miltina 24 September 2021
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Australia is one of the most desired locations to live in. Breathtaking landscapes, high standard of living, and friendly people - these are just a few of the reasons one might take into consideration when thinking about moving there. Another option would be if you are already well-established and think about making an investment or doing business in Australia. More doors are open if you happen to be in this particular group of aspiring residents in this country. Nonetheless, whoever you might be - some formalities have to be carried out to ensure your move. Surely, you have thought about this already because you are now looking for more information about investor visa to Australia.

Well, you are in the right place. My goal here is to help you to understand how to get investor visa in Australia. I will note some general information to make sure you have a good impression on the main aspects to keep an eye on. For example, what types of visas should you look out for, or what are the Australia investor visa requirements? Then, of course, there are many technical details, like how much an Australia investor visa cost and the Australia investor visa age limit. Shall we get onto it?

What is an investor visa to Australia?

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I will give a short introduction to the investor or Golden visa concept in general. Lately, more and more countries are eager to attract finances and innovation potential to their economy. One of the ways to do it is by opening the borders for foreigners that are willing to contribute to that in exchange for a long-term visa or residency permit. Australia has developed a similar scheme, too.

Generally, the Australian visa policy is quite intricate and complicated as it offers many options for potential immigrants with similar intentions. If you are considering an investment, at least five different visa streams or schemes might consider. I will try to clarify the main differences among them to help you understand your options. Under each of those, I will try to mention the distinctive Australia investor visa requirements that will separate one from the others and give a shortlist of the main requirements and Australia investor visa documents to be submitted. After all, knowing such details is the major part of understanding how to get investor visa in Australia! Let’s start.

Provisional visas

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All visas for motivated investors can be divided into two main categories. The provisional, or, let’s say - long-stay visas and the permanent residency options. First, let’s talk about the former group. Most of these fall under the 188 subclass, called Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa. Then if you look deeper into it, you will find several options. The ones that you might be interested in, are the Australia Premium Investor visa, the Significant Investor Stream, as well as Investor Stream visa Australia.

The main differences among these three are the amount of investment you are required to make. Namely, if you are nominated by Austrade and nominated to apply for an Australia Premium Investor visa*, then you will be required to invest at least 15 million AUD to qualify. This amount might as well be invested in philanthropic contributions by meeting particular requirements. The Significant Investor Stream is similar, but you can be nominated by a State or Territory government agency and should have a plan to invest at least 5 million AUD. However, if you are a high net-worth individual (have a net business, investment, and personal assets in the total amount of a minimum of 2.5 million AUD) then you are potentially eligible for an Investor Stream visa Australia.

One requirement that will be relevant across all visa options is the willingness to maintain the investment throughout the whole duration of the intended visa. What does it mean for you? You should be willing to keep the investment for a longer period, not withdraw it right after receiving your visa. And the officers will ask for some proof to see your intentions in the long run. It will be an important part of your application and might sway them in one or another direction. There is some difference among these three in the allowed length of stay. The latter two permits apply for up to 5 years, but the Premium Investor visa is limited to 4 and 3 months.

One more requirement to look out for is the Australia Investor visa age limit. For the investor stream, it is 55 years of age. That means you should not be older than this. For the Significant investor stream, there is no age limit, though.

Possibilities for Australia investor visa extension

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Nonetheless, if you decide to stay longer than the time mentioned above, there are two possible ways to obtain an Australia investor visa extension. You might apply for another visa of the same kind or go for a permanent residency within a similar category.

If you get the same visa as you have, then the steps should be clear for you already. However, also the permanent residency options have a simple division among them. Namely, depending on the visa you already hold and want to extend, you can go for one of the subclass 888 residency permits. That means you will have to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa Premium, Significant, or just Investor stream. Since the article is about visas, not residency permits, let’s focus on the three options I already mentioned in the previous paragraphs.

How to get investor visa in Australia?

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This must be the most important question you have been dying to find out. And let me relieve the suspense, as it is rather simple. First, get acquainted with the requirements and make sure that you are eligible. Then you will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) or get a nomination by a State or Territory government agency or Austrade (depending on the desired visa type). An important part of this is also getting an invitation from the same institution that nominated you.

Then it’s time to gather all the necessary documents and submit the application online through an ImmiAccount. Make sure to follow the instructions, because it will save you time and effort significantly! At this point, you will have to submit also all the necessary information and formalities about all the other family members you wish to bring with you to live in Australia. Other required Australia Investor visa documents include information about your identity, previous activities as well as the intended investment.

After submitting everything, you will wait for the result (status updates will be available online). You might be asked for additional information, and in case of a positive decision, you will have to invest in several instalments before heading to your new residence in Australia.

How much does an Australia investor visa cost?

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The prices of processing this rather intricate application range from 6 085 AUD (about 4 450 USD) for an Investor visa to 9 455 AUD (about 6 910 USD) for a Premium Investor visa, but this is just the visa fee. Be ready for some significant expenses to provide and arrange all the necessary Australia Investor visa documents. That is legal advice, translations, and other technicalities that will ensure the legitimacy of your application.

How long is the processing time of an investor visa to Australia?

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This is very dependent on many variables. Nonetheless, the Australian immigration service website estimates mention a substantial amount of time that you should be ready to wait to get your desired visa. For a Significant Investor visa, you will have to wait from 15 to 24 months, but it is a whopping 24 to 33 months for the Investor visa. Arm yourself with patience and be ready that this will take time. Then again, such an amount of investment should not be handled carelessly, and the processing times sound reasonable if you look at it this way.

As you see, getting an investor visa to Australia is not as easy as it would be for some other smaller and less developed countries. However, aiming high is the way to get your ambition fulfilled, isn’t it? Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand the basic notions and aspects around these Australian visa streams. However, if you would like to find out more, it is always smart to contact the Australian Department of Home Affairs for more information and a definite game plan that will move you towards the goal. Or, just check their website for starters and read some more because knowing what you are getting yourself into is a smart move! Good luck with everything!

* Currently, the Australia premium investor visa applications are closed, but you will still find all the information about it online. Make sure to focus on other streams for the time being.

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Ieva Miltina
Ieva Miltina Activist and entrepreneur

Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday. 

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