What is the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)?
The BIIP allows compliant investors, entrepreneurs and business owners to gain permanent residency as long as certain business and/or investment activities are maintained. With the migration program for 2021-22 focused on prioritising job creators and highly talent individuals who will invest in Australia’s economy, the BIIP has become an attractive option for those with the right skills and investment capital.
From 1 July 2021, key changes to the BIIP and the Complying Investment Framework (CIF) were implemented. The focus of the changes are on better supporting Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery.
Key changes include:
Reducing the number of streams from 9 to just 4: Business Innovation, Entrepreneur, Investor, and Significant Investor.
Removal of the permanent Subclass 132 visa and provisional Subclass 188 (Premium Investor) visa
The visa period for all visas in the BIIP will be increased from 4 to 5 years, while the wait time to apply for permanent residency will reduce from 4 to 3 years, once requirements are met.
A shift of investment focus more towards venture capital and private growth equity
Notably, requirements for Business Innovation visa holders were increased – they will be required to hold business assets of $1.25 million (up from $800,000) and have an annual turnover of $750,000 (up from $500,000) to prove their business acumen.
How do these changes benefit potential applicants?
The changes are generally positive for business owners and investors. There are now faster pathways to permanent residency, and more potential for increased returns on investment. The increased provisional visa validity period of five years means visa holders will have more time to meet the requirements for a permanent visa.
Business Innovation and Significant Investor visa holders will also continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe, provided they can demonstrate a realistic commitment to continuing managing a business (for the Business Innovation visa) or maintaining their complying investment (for the Significant Investor visa).
Tips for applying to the BIIP
An important key to maximising the chances of a successful application is to submit ‘decision-ready’ applications, ie. applications with all the required documentation and evidence included. In a recent newsletter, the DHA cited ‘incomplete BIIP visa applications’ as a reason for delayed processing. However, it is not only omitting evidence that can result in delays – including irrelevant information can also slow down the process and possibly result in a failed application.
Potential applicants should also keep an eye on further announcements – and our Newsflashes! – to stay informed about the CIF. The government has said that further changes (if any) to the framework will be announced in the early half of next year, allowing businesses and investors to adjust accordingly.
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