Rule change hits demand for Australian investor visas
Demand for Australian investor visas has slowed to a trickle following a government decision to follow Canada and the UK in tightening rules on fast-track residency in return for investment. The changes were introduced in July following a surge in applications from wealthy Chinese and suspension of a scheme Canberra argued was not generating enough return as investments flowed mainly into non-productive assets. Esther Yong, director of ACproperty.com.au, an Australian Chinese-language property portal, said changes to the scheme could scare off Chinese who want a visa in a foreign country but do not have a particular preference as to where. ÒThe US and European Union countriesÕ visas are more affordable and have less requirements,Ó she added.