Tensions are rising once again in Hong Kong with China imposing a tough national security law on the territory without consultation with the Legislative Council or the public. The issues began about a year ago, when the Chinese government proposed changes to the extradition laws. These laws pose a threat to Hong Kong’s judicial independence and the rights and freedom of its citizens.
In response to these issues, Scott Morrison has indicated that he and the Australian government are considering stepping in and providing assistance to the residents of Hong Kong by potentially offering Hong Kongers temporary protection visas. While these protection visas may be an option for some, are there other options available to Hong Kong residents wishing to flee their country?
Ordinarily, skilled migration would provide an avenue for anyone coming to Australia. Unfortunately, skilled migration may not be a viable option in this instance. The current situation with Covid-19 has put the skilled migration program on hold and given Hong Kong has an aging population, many Hong Kong residents are unlikely to qualify as many may not meet the eligibility criteria of skilled migration visas.
Another pathway that may be most effective is the Business and Investment streams. Given, a high number of Hong Kong residents are considered wealthy, these visas may offer the opportunity for Hong Kongers to migrate to Australia.
What Business and Investment Visas are available?
There are five visas available in the Business and Investor Stream category, each with their own set of eligibility criteria and available to those with means. These are:
1. The Business Innovation Scheme
Available to those with business skills and allows them to operate a new or existing business in Australia.
2. The Investor Stream
Available to those able to invest AUD1.5 million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
3. The Significant Investor Stream
This visa is available to those willing to invest at least AUD5 million in Australian investments and maintain investment activity in Australia.
4. The Significant Business History Stream
This visa is for experienced business owners enabling them to operate a new or existing business in Australia.
5. The Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream
This visa is for people who have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Venture capital Association Limited.
All of these visas require nomination by an Australian state or territory government before applicants can apply.
While the Business Talent Stream and the Venture Capital Entrepreneur Schemes are the only visas to offer permanent residency, holders of the other visas will be granted permanent residency provided that during the term of the visa they meet all requirements and achieve what they set out to do when the visa was initially granted.
It remains to be seen how the ever-evolving situation in Hong Kong affects migration in Australia and what visa avenues the residents of Hong Kong choose to take.
For more information on Business and Investment visas visit https://www.visasolutions.com.au/news-blog/posts/wealth-and-business-skills-a-pathway-to-permanent-residency-in-australia or contact the Visa Solutions team on 1800 828 008.