As published on international-adviser.com, Wednesday August 28, 2019.
The New South Wales state migration department has seen a rise in visa applications from wealthy individuals in Hong Kong, newswire Reuters has reported.
The increase in applications has coincided with the pro-democracy protests that have taken over Hong Kong for the last few months.
The state department sent a letter to migration agents reporting a significant increase, although actual numbers remain low.
The scheme, also known as Significant Investor Visa (SIV), is for millionaires only as it requires A$5m (£2.7m, $3.3m, €3m) to qualify.
It offers full residency to those who put at least that sum into Australian start-ups.
The visa scheme was first rolled out in 2012 and proved to be incredibly popular among Chinese investors.
Between November 2012 and June 2018, around 87% of the 2,022 SIVs were granted to Chinese residents, with Hong Kong only at 3.2%, professional association The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners reported.
But SIV rules have been changed recently to prohibit direct investment in property, and require at least 40% of the A$5m to go towards small businesses and venture capital funds.
Australia has not been the only country targeted by wealthy individuals in the special administrative region.
Many have also started looking at Portugal to get overseas residency as a protective measure, as has the UK.