Investment Visas

New Opportunities for Investment Visas

2020 has proved a year we’ve all learned to be flexible, and in the investment visa world, the opportunities continue to grow. In its budget of sixth October, 2020, the Australian government announced that it had nearly doubled the number of investment Visa opportunities available to people who wish to come to Australia or stay in Australia. Being realistic, in the year 2020-21 it’s hard to imagine that many people will come to Australia and obtain an investment visa. Our belief is that the opportunity exists for those who are really already in Australia. There are about 2.1 million people on visas in Australia today.  These visas include study, working and holiday but, regardless, many want to stay.

The people who come to a new country have almost self-selected to work hard and build a new life. 

Made of the right stuff!

The people who come to a new country have almost self-selected to work hard and build a new life

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Interestingly, the people who are attracted to come to Australia or stay in Australia frequently have studied here and therefore have established some relationships and appreciation of Australia’s culture, lifestyle and community expectations. By moving down the path of accepting the opportunity of an investment visa they are demonstrating their willingness to be part of the ongoing story that is Australia, one of the most diverse multicultural societies in the world. The high level of community cohesiveness and acceptance regardless of ethnicity, religion and sexual preference, coupled with the opportunity to grow, makes Australia an outstanding place for people to shine.

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Third, for new business the Australian government has made money available for:

  1. business and personal tax cuts
  2. fostering a technically gifted workforce with strong technical skills
  3. a plan to create 950,000 new jobs
  4. money to subsidise the employment of those undertaking vocational training particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and computing
  5. Cash incentives to recruit staff under 35 years of age and more if they are under 30.
  6. Extended rebates for investment in research and technology.

Fourth, the billions were applied to the preferred sectors:

  • $1 billion for job Trainer fund
  • $1.5 billion for modern manufacturing
  • $1.9 billion for energy technologies
  • $0.8 billion for the digital economy
  • $0.4 billion for the regional Australia
  • $0.3 billion for airfreight subsidy for exports

Fifth, winners were chosen:

  1. AgTech
  2. Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  3. FinTech
  4. Energy and Mining Technology
  5. MedTech
  6. Cyber Security
  7. Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT

Government wants people with “the sight stuff”

One of the interesting statistics that is submerged out of Covid-19 is that immigrants are far more likely to establish businesses than locals. These statistics are common across Canada, Germany and Australia. We suspect that, in part, entrepreneurship is stimulated by need but also, the people who come to a new country have almost self-selected to work hard and build a new life. Globally, governments are looking for people who are made of the right stuff to take the risk and open up new businesses and take advantages of the opportunities that they are offering for people to create businesses which will employ their own nationals.

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What were the Australian Government’s budget signals?

The first signal was that the budget proposed by the government was almost universally accepted and, with support from the opposition, passed through all stages of approval by 9 October – yes four days!

Second, the clear message was Australia welcomes suitable immigrants but there are some requirements. The announcements can be summarised as:

  1. More of the right people but still 160,000 new people per annum.
  2. Innovation and investment visas up from 6,862 to 13,500 (+97%)
  3. Partner visas up from 39,799 to 72,300 (+82%)
  4. Talented from 5,000 to 15,000 (+200%) visas with the aim of attracting talent
  5. Stronger need to speak English
  6. Focus on people with tertiary education – short-term existing foreign student stay and join Australia.
  7. The losers are unskilled going to the regions. The regions need educated people also.
  8. Non-English speakers can come but they need learn English within 4 years – partners are the focus for learning English to be part of Australian society.
 
 
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Australia is a global leader in AgTech, FinTech, Energy & Mining Tech – this is high reward exports – they key to value is what the smarts do.

This is the future.

Can we help? One of the great things about working with projects RH is we have developed a strong set of alliances and because of this, we are able to provide assistance. In the area of investment visas, we work primarily with RC Australia and RiverGold Capital to establish the framework and to recognise that every applicant is an individual with their own strengths and wishes.

Our strategic community includes:

  1. Barry Watkins CEO – Clever Finance Solutions
  2. Richard Carter of Link Business Brokers
  3. Dr Warren Harmer of The Business Planning Company
  4. Jean-Michel Floc’h of Floc’h International, and
  5. Yaritza Salazar of Y&S Accounting & Taxation Services.

The pathways

At Projects RH we recognise there are many pathways for investment visa candidates to come to Australia but we have tried to explain them in four groups:

Group 1: Business Creation

  1. 188A Business Owner Foreign business owner establishing or buying a business and with significant personal assets (AUD 800,000+).
  2. 188E -Entrepreneur – ESVCF committed investment of AUD 200,000+
  3. 132B – needs ESVCF to invest at least AUD 1m.
  4. MINT (Migration Innovation Northern Territory)
  5. SISA (Support Innovation in South Australia)
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Group 2: Overseas Sponsor – Visa 482 – short term to establish local office for Australian market.

Group 3: Small Business Ownership

    1. 491 Regional business owners
      1. Tasmania – must establish a new business
      2. Queensland – Can buy an existing business and invest $100,000

Group 4: South Australia

Pure Investment

  1. 188B – AUD 1.5m to invest (but has AUD 2.25m in assets)
  2. 188C – AUD 5m
  3. 188D – AUD 15m
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Whilst the pure investment visa sub-classes (188B-188D) do require State or Territory nomination and as such need to present a plan for investment plus a contribution to the State or Territory they do not need an investment from an Early Stage Venture Capital Fund (ESVCF).

In the next section we will focus on visas which do need support from an ESVCF. In our practice these are more common and where we are asked more for assistance as we need to prepare their documentation.

Projects RH has an ecosystem of strategic allies dedicated to people who want to Invest & Stay in Australia. We know that very applicant is an individual with their own strengths and wishes.

The Projects

Can you introduce us to “Suitable Projects”? It’s a question which we frequently receive.

Over the last couple months our team has focused on trying to how to answer this question.

What is critical is that the project meets the objectives of the sponsoring state, commonwealth and, importantly, the Early Stage Venture Capital Fund which needs to provide a letter of support for ongoing investment in the project.

 

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Initially, we were of the mistaken view that the candidate for an investment visa needed to be the founder with the genius idea. This is not true and those which postulate this view our wrong.

For a company to nominate a party that person must:

  • own at least 30% of the business;
  • be able to demonstrate that they are making a meaningful contribution to the business
  • achieve State or Territory nomination
  • have an appropriate letter of support from an early stage venture capital fund
  • and receive approval from Homeland Affairs (Migration).

Focusing on projects which can be used to assist people to stay in Australia.

At Projects RH we have been working hard to develop opportunities with partners to offer to the Invest & Stay market, but only based on professional advice from an authorised migration agent or lawyer.

For visa 491 in South Australia, Tasmania plus regional NSW and Queensland, working with Richard Carter Business Sales Specialist with Link Business Brokers, we have identified a number of opportunities.

Working with Graham Kinder of RiverGold, we have identified several business opportunities which can be modified to meet State and Local requirements. Graham is also working with a number of ESVCF to understand what their fund’s mandate requires.

Assisted by Dr Warren Harmer of The Business Planning Company we can prepare business plans to highlight the businesses compliance with the relevant State of Territory’s requirements.  This is a necessary part of securing State or Territory nomination.

In the 188E, 132B, MINT and SISA

  1. Financial services
  2. Online education services
  3. Investment portfolio management
  4. Blockchain
  5. Onshore student services
  6. Mining of big and data sharing
  7. Banking compliance for KYC and AML
  8. International trade services
  9. Food technologies
  10. Plus many others – many others that already have early stage venture capital fund support.

Specifically associated with Sapien Ventures we can offer the following opportunities:

  1. Hash 1668 – AI driven credit analytics engine
  2. Water Ledger – Blockchain based water rights & trading system
  3. LinqCoin – System for settlement of international investments
  4. U-Photo – Blockchain based system for security photos
  5. Carbon Ledger – Blockchain based carbon credits trading system
  6. U-Tracker – Blockchain & IOT tracing of temperature for food exports
  7. NXGEN – Regulated Security Token Offering (STO) Platform
  8. Boost – Student loan platform

If you would like to discuss please call me on +61 418 486 015.

By Paul Raftery – Director, Projects RH
Sydney 29-11-2020

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