In a recent development, the Australian government has clarified that the Business Innovation &
Investment Programme (BIIP), often referred to as the ‘golden visa’ scheme, remains active and has not
been closed, contrary to previous media reports. This reassuring announcement comes amidst
concerns and widespread panic triggered by misleading information circulating in the media.
Migration agents across Australia have expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency and
communication regarding the future of the programme since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
assumed office in 2022. They have highlighted the absence of direct information from the government
and unexpected changes in visa allocation, which have caused confusion among visa holders,
applicants, and agents.
While acknowledging that there is room for improvement, migration agents have criticised how local
media reports have portrayed the programme, insinuating that applicants could instantly gain
residency solely based on their financial capacity. “It is extremely concerning that the media would
publish an article like this without checking the facts,” Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) chief
executive Helen Duncan said last week, adding that it was an example of media sensationalism. In
reality, individuals need to invest their funds in specific investments for a minimum of four years,
fulfilling all conditions before being granted residency.
Contrary to earlier claims of the programme being quietly axed, a representative from Australia’s
Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that the BIIP, including the Significant Investor Visa (SIV),
had not been closed. However, to align with the government’s new migration strategy, a new Talent &
Innovation visa is being designed to replace the BIIP. This indicates that business & investor type visas
will continue, albeit under a different structure and with modified requirements.
The Department of Home Affairs has clarified that it is currently focused on designing the new visa
programme and, therefore, has not provided allocations for new visa applications. However, all valid
BIIP visa applications received are being processed in accordance with the annual allocations set under
the Migration Programme planning levels and processing priorities. The government’s current
migration strategy prioritises skilled workers and aims to enhance economic outcomes for Australia.
The Australian government’s commitment to the continuity of business and investor visas, along with
the introduction of a new Talent and Innovation visa, signals its ongoing support for attracting
innovative investments and entrepreneurship in sectors of national importance. These endeavours aim
to bolster the Australian economy and provide opportunities for individuals seeking to contribute to
the country’s growth.
Source: Su-Lin Tan, South China Morning Post (SCMP)