Australia to offer permanent residency to venture capitalists

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The Australian government has announced plans to offer permanent residency to foreigners who invest a minimum of $5m in domestic venture capital funds.

The scheme, known as the Business Innovation and Investment programme, will also help entrepreneurs who have sourced venture capital financing in Australia to obtain permanent residency.

The programme is likely to attract the majority of interest from Asia, especially China, and investors of more than $5m in local businesses or government bonds will obtain a so-called ‘Significant Investor Visa’, which comes into effect in July.

“The Significant Investor Visa will provide a boost to our economy and help Australia to compete effectively for high net worth individuals seeking investment immigration,” Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen said in a statement.

“This new visa will make it easier for investors by offering some concessions on visa requirements – such as not having to meet a points test and reduced residence requirements.”

The move will help attract investment for capital-starved entrepreneurs in the country, a problem the Australian authorities have attempted to solve in the past through a variety of programmes to encourage research and innovation.

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