The SIV program in Australia provides full residency to foreigners who invest a minimum of $5m ($3.4m) into Australian start-up businesses. Recently the treasury department of one state, New South Wales, has circulated a letter to notify migration agents of a “significant increase in applications” from Hong Kong, with actual numbers remaining modest.
Sydney based partner at Baker & McKenzie law firm Bill Fuggle stated there is a noticeable rise in applications for the $5m SIV program.
“What I am hearing from my clients is there definitely has been an uptick in the number of SIV applications from Hong Kong,” Fuggle told Reuters. Adding “Anybody who can make an alternate plan is trying to do so.”
Prior to this, the SIV program usually received the majority of applications from mainland China. It is reported that 87% of the SIV visas granted between November 2012 and June 2018 have gone to Chinese residents with Hong Kong making up roughly 3.2% (65 individuals).
Fuggle later went on to say “Money is also moving out but Australia is probably not your first choice to park wealth…it’s a high tax jurisdiction. I suspect we’ll get more people than money here,”
In the letter, the department stated their intentions of committing to providing appropriate support in helping clients discuss migration options.