Visa delays stall foreign investment

The significant investor visa gives residence to cashed-up applicants with $5 million or more to invest in Australia – without the usual age, language or residency requirements – and matches similar schemes in Britain, the United States, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand. After four years that residency becomes permanent.
 
More than 350 investors, each pledging at least $5 million, have been nominated by the Victorian, NSW, Queensland and Western Australian governments since the program began in November.
 
An Immigration Department spokeswoman said processing times for applications under the significant investor visa program would be up to nine months as “the department develops organisational expertise for this new visa”.
 
A range of background checks including potential issues about health, character and national security, also affect processing times, the spokeswoman said.
 
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