According to a recent Sydney Morning Herald article, Australia has brought in billions of dollars in investment by attracting millionaires through its Significant Investor visa (SIV) programme.
When looking at applicants who applied for the Business Innovation and Investment visa from 2012-2018, the report found that Chinese nationals accounted for 86.5% of all citizens buying into the programme.
By comparison Hong Kong residents made up 3.2%, Malaysia 1.4%, South Africa 1.3%, and Vietnam 0.9% over the same time period.
According to data supplied to BusinessTech by Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), these investments equated to around AUD$9.870 billion over this 1 July 2017 – 31 March 2018 period.
Looking at South Africa specifically, Australia’s DOHA estimated that South Africans made up around 26 of the 1,974 SIV visas granted.
While no data is available on exactly how much these South Africans invested, one of the key requirements of the SIV, is that holders are required to invest AUD$5 million (R49.9 million) into complying significant investments for a minimum of four years before being eligible to apply for a permanent visa.
South Africans leaving
While Australia’s SIV is one of the more expensive ways of leaving the country, data provided to BusinessTech shows that a much higher amount of South Africans are emigrating to Australia through other visa options.
The data focuses on the ‘permanent additions’ to Australia’s resident population in the 2016-2017 financial year.
This includes the number of people who have obtained a permanent visa onshore, the number of settler arrivals during a given time period, and the number of people who have been granted a permanent protection visa onshore.
Combined this added to a total of 5,397 South Africans over this time period. The ‘skill stream‘ is by far the most popular way for South Africans to move to the country, with a total of 4,419 South African applicants on this visa type.
By comparison a total of 672 applicants were on the ‘family stream‘ and 288 on ‘non-programme migration’.