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.
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.