Australia is set to consider a passport for those investing at least AU$5 million ($3.4 million) in the country, with the Home Secretary saying she sees little reason to keep the scheme, which has been criticized for providing a fast track for China’s rich.
Significantly Investor The visa is designed to attract capital into the country, with visa holders required to maintain their investment for the duration of the visa, which can be up to five years.
Australian Minister of Home Affairs Clare O’Neill told Sky News Australia on Sunday that there was not much benefit to continuing the programme.
“In fact, we pay an average price per person, because these are people who usually arrive at a fairly late stage in life, usually at the end of a business career and come to Australia, basically to settle down and retire,” she said in an interview. “I can’t see much of a reason to keep it.”
The Grattan Institutean Australian public policy think tank, has called for Business Investment and Innovation passport program under which Substantial Investor is removed, says it results in funded projects often not getting the green light and owners providing relatively little tax income to the government.
They tend to be over the age of 45, with limited English skills and public service costs AU$120,000 more than they would have paid in taxes over their lifetime, the institute said in a statement. a report last year, citing calculations from the Australian Department of Finance.
Bill Browder — founder of hedge fund Hermitage Capital LLP and architect of Magnitsky Act—Also criticized it, saying Australian show and others like it globally, should be shut down. “If people are legal immigrants, they should get a normal work permit like everyone else,” Browder was quoted as saying on September 8.
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