On 4th January 2021, the Victorian State Government re-opened the State’s nomination for eligible applicants under Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP), including Subclasses 188, 888, and 132. Several changes were made to the Victoria’s BIIP nomination criteria. The new criteria strengthens the State’s ability to attract the world’s best businesspeople and investors who will:
- Create new jobs for Victorians;
- Boost innovation strategic sectors, including:
- Digital technologies
- Advanced manufacturing
- Health and life sciences
- New energy and emissions reduction
- Circular economy
- Priority precincts
- Generate forward-looking businesses utilising their qualifications in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) fields.
The Victorian ‘International Investment Strategy’ further highlights their four-year strategy to drive new investment into the key sectors, attracting talents businesspeople who can bring innovation, lift productivity, and grow emerging tech-driven industries to create new local jobs. This strategy clearly moves away from attracting the cohort of investors who only want to make passive business investments, and prioritises those who can enhance Victorian capabilities to support technological innovation and development.
Does this sound familiar? It should. This new focus seems to bear similarities to the Federal Government’s Global Talent attraction strategy; to secure highly skilled, and highly talented, individuals who can support Australia’s economic recovery in post-Covid19 environment by developing key industry sectors.
Similarly, Victoria wants to attract business investment migrants who make productive investments in key tech sectors and contribute to valuable economic productivity, high levels of digital capabilities, product and process innovation, and – most importantly – create a flow effect to the Victorian economy through job creation.
In addition to this, we wonder whether Victoria will provide special considerations and concessions for exceptionally good candidates. For instance, will high calibre businesspeople with high levels of digital capabilities, who can invest, say, upwards of AU$20 million in target sectors and potentially create, say, 50 jobs, be afforded some flexibility in securing government support and nomination approvals? Will Victoria echo the strategies of the Global Business Talent Attraction Taskforce in providing some form of government support or concession to High-Net-Worth individuals who are looking to invest substantially in the state? For the Federal Government’s GBTA Taskforce, the “trade-off” for securing talented businesspeople, who are making huge capital investments in Australia’s key sectors, is faster visa processing to facilitate a faster, smoother, migration pathway for high-value investors and their visas for key staff members (like the Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visa options for key managerial and support staff), as well as a whole plethora of government support to assist investors in setting up their businesses.
This “trial” of Victoria’s updated BIIP nomination requirements will be ongoing until 30 June 2021. The State has been allocated a quota of 1750 for this financial year. Whether or not the State government can attract such high calibre clients under the new arrangements for BIIP State nomination, remains to be seen. Should this trial prove to be difficult in attracting the desired types of applicants, it is likely the government will need to adapt their criteria, even lower the threshold, for State nomination again if they are to continue attracting business investment.
The alignment of Victoria’s BIIP nomination criteria with the Federal Government’s Global Talent migration program is a strategic move to ensure that they can secure the high skilled, High-Net-Worth individuals who can bring their investment, and their innovative ideas, to developing the Victorian economy.
If you are a highly skilled businessperson, wishing to migrate to Victoria through the BIIP program, and want to invest in any of the above sectors, please get in touch.