The Business Innovation and Investment Programme (BIIP) was created to attract high quality investors and entrepreneurs to Australia. It currently includes the Investor visa, the Business Innovation visa, and the Significant Investor visa (SIV). From 1 July 2015 it will also include the Premium Investor visa (PIV).
On 15 May 2015, the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP and Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Honourable Michaelia Cash announced the new complying investment framework for the SIV and PIV. In order to be granted a SIV or a PIV, an applicant will need to make an investment that complies with the complying investment framework.
The framework is designed to encourage investment in innovative Australian ideas and emerging companies. You can view the media release here and details on the new framework here.
Along with the new complying investment framework, the government intends to make a number of changes to the BIIP from 1 July 2015.
New flexible residency arrangements will be introduced for the SIV. From 1 July 2015, eligibility for the permanent SIV will require either the primary applicant to reside in Australia for 40 days per year OR the secondary applicant (spouse or de facto partner) to reside in Australia for 180 days per year. This residency requirement will be per year and will be calculated cumulatively over the period of the provisional visa. For example, 160 days over four years for a primary applicant or 720 days over four years for the secondary applicant (spouse or de facto partner).
Also from 1 July 2015, Austrade will become an eligible nominator for the SIV, in addition to State and Territory governments. Austrade will also be the sole nominator for the PIV.
Aside from changes to the SIV and the PIV, there are two changes that apply only to the Investor and Business Innovation streams. These are:
The reintroduction of role swapping, which will allow a secondary applicant to apply to fulfil the primary criteria for the permanent visa on behalf of the primary applicant
The reduction of the pass mark for the points test from 65 to 50 points.