November 15

The Importance of Financial Advice for Investor Visa Applicants

SIV & Investor Visa Update: Oct 2021

Ever since the Ord Minnett Investor Visa Service commenced back in 2012, we have broadcast the consistent message that all investor visa applicants should seek independent financial advice.

Our recent newsletters have highlighted the OMARA’s message from ASIC to all Registered Migration Agents recommending that migration professionals encourage their clients to seek independent financial advice.

ASIC has advised that investor visa applicants have been victims of serious financial fraud in Australia. Therefore, it is pleasing that both ASIC and OMARA have taken the initiative of actively promoting the need for independent financial advice and, warning of the dangers of a direct referral of investor visa clients to managed fund products.

The nominating states, territories and Austrade are also aware that applicants should seek and receive professional financial and investment advice.

Business Victoria has updated their website and recommends that all investment visa applicants:

  • Use the government’s (ASIC) Moneysmart Financial Advisers Register to check that their adviser is suitably registered.
  • Do not rely on migration agents or fund managers for financial advice.
  • Fund managers can give product advice on their own financial services and products; however, this is not unbiased financial advice.
  • ASIC Registered Financial Advisers do not receive product commissions and are prevented from doing so under the Corporations Act 2001.
Valuable information and a really great initiative by the Victorian Government. Something the other states and territories are sure to follow in order to protect the integrity and ongoing success of the BIIP.

Now more than ever it is important to ensure your clients receive investment advice from an ASIC licenced Financial Adviser who specialises in the Investment Visa (IV & SIV) space.

Working together we can help protect the integrity of the BIIP program by helping to make sure visa applicants get the best possible investment advice.

The important point for Migration professionals to remember is that fund managers are not financial advisers. Don’t take the risk of accidently arranging an investment product for your clients and breaching the financial services provisions of the Corporations Act 2001.

It makes good sense and is best practice to refer your investor visa clients to ASIC registered financial advisers like the Ord Minnett Investor Visa Service.

SIV 188c or IV 188b

Many potential visa applicants are confused as to which investor visa stream suits them best?

Both the 188b and 188c subclasses of the 188 visas offer many advantages to aspiring business skilled migration applicants. Despite the higher investment thresholds, these streams exempt applicants from many of the criteria applicable to the Business Innovation stream.

Importantly, the approval of subsequent permanent residency under these investor visa 188b and 188c streams is not contingent on the ability of the visa applicant to establish a business in Australia.

The SIV has additional advantages and flexibility over the IV in that it:

  1. Has no age limit. Unlike the IV there is no upper age limit.
  2. Unlike the IV and other visas it has no points test.
  3. No English language requirements. English capability is preferred for the IV 188b and English capabilities count towards the required 65 points.
  4. No academic Qualification requirements, Some states including NSW insist upon a bachelor's degree, recognised as equivalent to the Australian standard for the IV 188b. Similarly, the Global Talent Visa only considers PhD graduates or the equivalent high standard in addition to an exceptional track record of professional achievement. The SIV has no Academic Qualification requirements.
  5. No Business management skills or Fund Management Experience requirements.
  6. You can apply from either inside or outside Australia. Many Australian visas are for offshore applicants only. If you are already in Australia on a temporary visa then the SIV is a good option.
  7. Flexible residential requirements. Many visa categories including the IV 188b require you to remain in Australia for the majority of the visa period. The SIV 188c allows you to leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you like provided either:
  • You reside in Australia for 40 days of each year (160 over 4 years), or;
  • Your spouse resides in Australia for 180 days of each year.

This makes the SIV the perfect visa for the applicant looking to move their family to Australia but still needing to run their business in the country of origin.

Choosing to apply for an SIV or an IV, which state to be nominated by and assessing the various investment options is more than a lifestyle choice. Please contact us at [email protected] and help your clients make an informed decision.

During these times of COVID lockdown, we continue to enjoy a lot of success by having an email introduction made as early as possible. The new normal continues to be for initial consultations and follow up meetings to be conducted efficiently via Zoom or WhatsApp conferencing.

Thank you all for the positive feedback regarding last month’s newsletter. Thank you to all of you who have reached out and contacted Michelle Zhao. Ord Minnett investor visa clients and migration professionals are already benefiting from Michelle’s investment experience and are making good use of Michelle’s Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese language skills.

Once again, thank you for all of your continuing support. We look forward to working with you to help your clients obtain their Australian Investor Visa (IV) or Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and also have a great Australian Investment experience.

“Ord Minnett is where Investor Visa applicants belong.
When you get the right advice, it makes all the difference."

Brett Waller Ord Minnett Director SIV Investment Service

Brett Waller


After a career spanning over 25 years of Private Banking and Trade Finance, Brett moved to Asia joining ipac Singapre as a Senior Vice President in 2005. Joined Ord Minnett in 2012, and established the SIV Ord Minnett Investment Service.

[email protected]

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Investor Visa, SIV

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