The government has proposed that as much as half of the $5 million invested via the significant investor visa (SIV) program be directed towards venture capital and small-cap stocks.
Under the proposed changes, offshore investors will be required to allocate a minimum of $1 million of their $5 million investment into the venture capital asset class and at least $1 million into micro-cap companies.
The proposed changes to the SIV scheme are part of the government’s “broader competitiveness agenda”, said a statement issued by the minister for trade and investment Andrew Robb.
The reformed program will better direct foreign investment into the Australian economy while still encouraging relocation, the statement said.
In addition, a premium investment visa (PIV) will be introduced for those meeting a $15 million threshold, offering a 12-month pathway to permanent residency.
Australian Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL) chief executive Yasser El-Ansary said, “Over the coming years, our economy has to take decisive action to reposition itself to better support high-growth potential Australian businesses."
“By doing that, we will stand a much better chance of keeping our best and brightest entrepreneurs and their innovative businesses here – instead of losing them to other countries with deeper pools of available capital and tax incentives encouraging them to relocate,” said Mr El-Ansary.
The new rules are set to come into effect from 1 July 2015.
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