Australia has a migration program titled BIIP (Business Innovation and Investment Program).
So far, it’s been performing well. It’s been doing so well that it has hit its limit on yearly applications within just 7 months. As a result, Queensland’s government has announced that BIIP applications will be discontinued until the next fiscal year.
Wait – How Does BIIP Work?
The program isn’t exclusive to the state of Queensland. It’s actually a nationwide program by the Australian government.
What the national government does is that it sets a certain amount of visa spots per year, and per state/territory.
Once each state hits its quota, it nominates its allocated applicants for those visas to the national government. The national government then decides who is accepted, and who isn’t.
So far around 6,600 applications have been allocated nationwide, and they’re divided as follows:
- New South Wales – 33%
- Victoria – 26%
- Queensland – 18%
- South Australia – 15%
- Other – 8%
Obviously, the application received by a state means that the applicant wants to reside in said state (until they get permanent residency status).
Going back to Queensland, this allows that state to nominate up to 1200 applicants, which it has done within just 7 months!
How is the National Government Reacting?
Currently, there have been reports that Australia’s Minister of Immigration plans to double the amount of BIIP visas for the next fiscal year.
The goal is to push them up to 13,500, with that value representing an economic growth plan that counteracts the current pandemic.
Speeding Up the Process.
Another reason for the increase in visa issuances is that the Australian government wants to clear its backlog.
That is, Australian BIIP applications are notorious for slow processing times.
This isn’t strange, considering that by October 2020, the total amount of applications had risen to just short of 24,000. And with the new increase in allowed visa issuances, processing times may see a decrease of 4 to 6 months (where normally, they would require 2-3 years).
Regardless, the Australian government does have an eye for extremely contributive projects.
Those are provided a “Significant Investor Visa,” which is a premium category of the BIIP. In normal circumstances, those investors may see a processing time of less than a year.
Who Are the Main Applicants?
Data shows that an overwhelming majority of visas are going to Chinese applicants and their dependents. Next in-line are Vietnamese investors, followed by Iranian and Malaysian applicants.
What’s also noticeable is the significant decrease in applications from the UK and South Africa, both previously having favored the Australian program in the early 2010s.
But is it All Good News for Investors?
Not necessarily. While more visa issuances are to be offered, the BIIP did narrow its allowed investment categories.
Just December last year, a reduction in categories was announced, going from 9 to 4 effective streams.
Plus, the net worth and turnover requirements have also increased, thus closing the gates on lower net worth investors.