Re-open SIV applications to support start-ups

Re-opening stalled Significant Investor Visa (SIV) applications could inject up to $100 million into ailing start-up firms.

According to investment management firm Atlas Advisors, around 40-50 applications had been left pending since travel restrictions were imposed around COVID-19.

Introduced in 2015, SIVs offered a four-year pathway to permanent residency for entrepreneurial and high net worth individuals who were willing to make complying investments in areas of the Australian economy that drive innovation.

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Atlas Advisors executive chairman, Guy Hedley, said: “Fast-tracking approval for the applications could release up to $100 million in desperately needed funds for these innovative tax and employment generating companies.

“Without it many will be forced to close their doors leaving a gaping hole in Australia’s future economy.”

He suggested a way around the problem could be permitting applicants to undertake their investment commitments without needing to travel to Australia.

He said research had already found ineffective policy settings led to a 50% drop in the volume of seed stage investments over the past two years from 320 in 2017 to 138 in 2019.

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