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Australia reduced the number of visas for business innovators and investors by 88%

September 28, 2022

4 minutes read

Australia reduced the number of visas for business innovators and investors by 88%

The Australian Business Innovation and Investment Program BIIP provides visas for investors and entrepreneurs. It was expected to help reduce the overly long 2.5 year application period. Changing the number of applications each year was supposed to shorten the waiting list, but this goal will be achieved by limiting the number of new applicants.

24,000 cases backlog

On June 30, 2020, at the close of FY 2019-2020, there were 24,963 initial requests pending. According to information from the government, 12,216 new requests were received in fiscal year 2020-2021. 13,260 cases have been processed, with 23,919 remaining as of July 1, 2021.

Many applicants have been waiting more than 30 months for a decision, with the new government publicly promising to eliminate the delays.

BIIP stakeholders track two types of immigration quotas set by the state: the immigration planning level quota (the cap on the number of visas issued) and the permit allocation (the number of new cases states and territories can file in a year).

Last fiscal year, the planning cap on the number of BIIP visas issued was set at 13,500. This almost doubled the regular quota under the plan designed to rebuild the economy after the pandemic. In addition, the then government allocated 6,860 new visa requests that states and territories could nominate.

Australia visa limit for business innovators and investors

In preparing quotas for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, the Liberal government limited the number of BIIP visas to 9,500. Also, the maximum number of new applicants was lowered to 810 (88% lower than last year), thereby reducing the number of pending applications by 8,690.

However, there is a downside for applicants: it will be much harder for them to get new seats in BIIP this year. To better understand this problem, we can look at Queensland as an example: the set limit of 1,400 applications was reached in 7 months, and in the current fiscal year the state has allocated only 235 new seats.

On the likelihood of an upward revision of the quota

The Australian Capital Territory has only allocated 10 new BIIP seats, but the allocation for the year has been accepted temporarily. According to information from the Department of the Interior, the review will be after the first quarters of 2022 and 2023, so do not consider the available allocation as valid for the whole year.

James Hall - managing director of ANZ Migrate (a company specializing in immigration programs in Australia and New Zealand) states that there is a high probability of an increase in the number of allocations at the end of the fiscal year. It is also possible to increase the quota on a quarterly basis. That said, the new Labor government, which has only been in office for 3 months, considers skills-based immigration options more important than investment. Preparations are underway for its own budget in October, and no revision is likely.

Hall believes the problem has arisen because states are not expecting more applicants. He recommends that aspiring applicants apply early, given that it will be a challenging year.

Source: Imidaily

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