Last week, in a rare display of public protest, a group of mostly Chinese immigrant investors held rallies in both Sydney and Melbourne demanding the federal government speed up their permanent residency applications, the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) and Reuters reported. The protesters expressed concerns that the new Australian Labor government was looking to scale back or end the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). The BIIP visas, which require an investment in Australia of at least $5 million, are also known as “Golden Ticket.”

Australia’s BIIP was introduced in 2012 with the aim of attracting wealthy business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs to boost the economy by bringing in capital and driving innovation. However, Australia’s Labor government, which came to power just over a year ago, conducted a review concluding the BIIP does not significantly contribute to the country’s economy. As a result, the government plans to significantly curtail the BIIP allocation from 5,000 visas in FY2022 to just 1,900 this year. Asked by ABC about the Golden Ticket visa, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs emailed a statement saying that a new immigration policy would be forthcoming that would involve “radically reshaping” the BIIP.

Australia is not alone. Similar investor visas targeting high-net-worth immigrants have been recently paused or eliminated in Canada, Britain, Portugal, and Singapore, alternatives to America’s immigrant investor program known as EB-5.

Conversely, the EB-5 visa program is going strong after passage of the Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) last year and reauthorization of the program for five years. This long-term reauthorization gave participants predictability and set out an expedited processing for investors in rural projects. As a result, the demand for rural investments in the United States has been strong, especially among investors from Vietnam, India, and China.

To learn more about EB-5, contact [email protected]