Investing in Australia: FAQ

Investing In Australia

Investors’ visa or business visas are one the common visas that allow investors to legally enter and operate in Australia. In most cases, these visas also pave a pathway for permanent residency in Australia. If you are someone who is looking to invest in Australia, this article contains all the information that you should know before investing.

How to invest in Australia?

There are a variety of ways that you can invest in Australia.

  • You can make a foreign direct investment that is productive. In fact, given how foreign direct investment has helped the Australian economy grow and prosper in the last couple of decades, it is highly welcomed by the Australian Government.
  • You can also invest through acquiring Australian shares and assets. In that case, every acquisition will be reviewed by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to ensure that the Australian interest is upheld.

Generally, the majority of the investment proposals succeed in getting approval. After the approval, foreign investors share the same rights and protections as that of the domestic investors under the Australian laws.

What are the different government levels in Australia?

Australia has a representative parliamentary democracy with a multi-layer governance system. There are three levels of government with distinct and defined law-making powers:

  • Federal Government: The Federal government makes decisions through the Federal Parliament in Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
  • State/ Territory: Australia has six federated states and two federal territories with their individual self-governing parliaments.
  • Local Councils: There are 560 local councils (also called shires or municipalities).

As a foreign investors it’s crucial to have a good understanding of this multi-layer governance system, as each layer tends to affect a number of sectors and industries that you may intend to invest in.

What is Foreign investment framework?

The foreign investment review framework is set by the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Impositions Act 2015 (the Fees Imposition Act). The Australian Government expects both foreign and domestic investors to operate within the framework, ensuring high standards of conduct at all times.

According to the Act, the foreign investors are required to notify the treasurer of any proposed foreign investments that meet the requirements criteria. The Treasurer holds the power to review these investment proposals and ensure they uphold national interest. Most of the proposed investments are approved. While notifying the Treasurer of the proposed investments, the foreign investors are also required to pay a fee according to the Fees Imposition Act.

What are the new Foreign investment reforms?

To better accommodate the latest changes in the world and Australian economy, new reforms have been introduced in Australia’s foreign investment framework from 1st January 2021.

The reforms update the framework in a range of areas, including in relation to national security, compliance monitoring and enforcement, and streamlining certain investments. A simpler and fairer fees framework is also introduced.

Importantly, the reforms preserve the underlying principles of the framework: that Australia welcomes foreign investment for the significant benefits it provides but also ensures that investments are not contrary to the national interest. Australia’s foreign investment framework remains non-discriminatory and applications will continue to be assessed on a case‑by‑case basis.

What are Investor obligations?

As mentioned above, we further stress that all the investors are expected to understand Australia’s regulatory environment and abide by all the relevant requirements to maintain the highest standards of corporate behaviour.

For more information on obligations of which foreign investors, please check the Fact sheets by FIRB.

How to Obtain Approval?

You need to lodge an application in advance of any transaction. You can submit the application electronically on the Foreign Investment Review Board (the FIRB) web portal.

All Applications must have a cover letter. The cover letter must include the following information.

  •  A clear detailed statement about the proposed transaction. With information on commercial rationale behind the transaction including any information regarding the size and significance of the target.
  • The extent to which the transaction may affect Australia’s ability to protect its strategic and security interests and any steps (proposed or taken) to mitigate potential risk.
  • Any impact of transaction on other government policies including taxation, environmental impacts and native title.
  • The impact of the investment on the economy and community, including changes in employment, investment in the local area, and the entity’s future plans for the target and timing.
  • Any information regarding domestic or international investigations
  • For entities and businesses you must provide structure diagrams including holding entities (both direct and indirect) of the entity, target and target group both (1) pre-implementation and (2) post-implementation. Pre and post implementation structure diagrams are required for all applications with interest details (ie: per cent holdings) outlined up to the ultimate owner.
  • Entities and businesses also need to include copies of last financial year’s audited financial statements or, if unavailable, latest financial records or unaudited financial statements are needed to be added.
  • At the time of application, a fee is payable.
  • After submitting your application, the Treasurer has 30 days to consider an application and make a decision. In certain circumstances, the Treasurer may extend this period by up to a further 90 days. The applicant will be notified about this extension through a written notice.

How to come to Australia?

After the approval of your application, you can apply for a business visa that best suits your needs and requirements. Since the Australian Migration Law is always changing it’s hard to provide a fixed guidance or recommendation. Therefore, it’s always best to verse yourself with the latest information prior to applying.

However, as per the new changes from July 2021, the following business visas are available for application.

The eligibility requirement of each of the visa varies, therefore, before applying you need to see for which category you meet the requirement.

What can Path Migration do for you? 

Path Migration has a team of immigration lawyers who are experts in Migration Law. We have an in house network that can help you both set up your business in Australia and provide you with all the resources you need to operate your business in Australia.

To ensure that all the documents are correctly added to all your applications, we also have in house accountants, therefore, you don’t have to worry about any financial document you may lack. We take pride in consulting our clients throughout the process to ensure that we are submitting the best application and are successful.

We have already helped establish businesses in the education and IT sector in Australia. Our clients come from all over the world, but in recent times we have helped many clients from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong to help set up their business in Australia. In addition to that, we have helped them to settle down in Australia with their families.

If you sound like someone who is interested to begin their next journey in establishing a successful business then do not hesitate to Contact Us or send us an email to Why wait when you can book a consultation right now and get started!

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