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Is opening the border the key to investment funds?

  • March 26 2020
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Invest

Is opening the border the key to investment funds?

By Cameron Micallef
March 26 2020

Australia could potentially support its start-up businesses by letting in 40-50 wealthier foreigners under the significant investor visa program, according to an industry expert. 

opening the border the key to investment funds

Is opening the border the key to investment funds?

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  • March 26 2020
  • Share

Australia could potentially support its start-up businesses by letting in 40-50 wealthier foreigners under the significant investor visa program, according to an industry expert. 

opening the border the key to investment funds

Potentially $100 million could be immediately unlocked to support start-ups, entrepreneurs and emerging companies that are being crippled by the COVID-19 crisis if applications under the significant investor visa (SIV) program were reopened, according to executive chairman of Atlas Advisors Australia Guy Hedley.

Mr Hedley believes if Australia wants to help support entrepreneurs, they should immediately open up its borders under the SIV program. 

The call follows the Australian government moving to stage two lockdown in a bid to help stem the flow of the coronavirus outbreak.

To date, Australia has 1 million workers that are temporarily out of work due to the virus, with 2,423 cases leading to 11 deaths. 

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Mr Hedley said there were probably around 40-50 final stage applications under the SIV program that had been stalled since travel restrictions were imposed.

“This could provide up to $100 million in urgently needed funds, which could save many start-ups and emerging companies from closure,” Mr Hedley said.

Since travel restrictions were imposed, no visa approvals have been granted, enabling these investors to fulfill their complying investment obligations under the SIV program.

Applicants should be permitted to execute their investment obligations while delaying their physical stay in Australia until travel restrictions are lifted.

“An unintended consequence of this is that start-ups do not have access to money that would otherwise have been available,” Mr Hedley said.

“As a result, the financial health and wellbeing of many Australian start-ups is at stake and unnecessary failures of great entrepreneurial and employment-generating companies could result.”

University-backed investment fund Uniseed and venture capital fund Follow[the]Seed have united with Atlas Advisors Australia, a top SIV fund manager, to call for measures to help start-ups.

“Reopening approvals under the SIV program would fulfill the program’s original intent to support thin capital markets,” Mr Hedley said.

The COVID-19 crisis follows a serious drop in early stage venture capital investment in recent years.

Is opening the border the key to investment funds?
opening the border the key to investment funds
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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