SYDNEY (dpa) – The past year has seen a five-fold increase in the number of visas Australia grants to wealthy foreign investors, a Melbourne-based newspaper reported Saturday.
Chinese nationals make up about 89 per cent of the 651 Significant Investor Visa recipients since the scheme came into effect in 2012, The Age said.
It has so far pumped 3.2 billion Australian dollars (2.5 billion US dollars) into the economy.
The visa is available to foreigners who invest a minimum of 5 million Australian dollars for a minimum of four years. They become eligible for permanent residence afterwards.
The state of Victoria has attracted the most investment, with New South Wales second, The Age said.
So-called “golden ticket” visa holders are exempt from rules that prevent foreigners from acquiring personal property, but such purchases are not included in the basic investment under the scheme.