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Australia Scraps ‘Golden Visa’ Scheme For The Super Rich, To Be Replaced With…

The Australian government has found that its visa program is not delivering the desired economic outcomes.

Australia has decided to scrap its massive visa program that gave wealthy overseas investors the right to live in the country.according to BBC, the scheme, known as the 'Golden Visa', was discontinued after the Australian government found that the visa program was not delivering the desired economic outcomes. Introduced in 2012, the 'Golden Visa' provided high net worth individuals (HNIs) with a means to obtain permanent residence in Australia.

“It has been clear for years that this visa is not delivering what our country and our economy need,” Home Secretary Claire O'Neill said in a statement on Monday.

After scrapping the program, the Australian government will instead focus on increasing visas for skilled workers “who can make a significant contribution to Australia”.

What is the golden visa system?

Street News.com.au, this visa allowed foreigners to stay in Australia for up to five years if they invested at least $5 million in approved investments. Up to 60% of this can be invested in non-residential real estate, corporate bonds and stocks. This program was designed to attract more foreign companies and investors to the country.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, more than 100,000 overseas migrants have used the BIIP system to obtain Australian residency since 2012. Of these, 85% are Chinese billionaires. Unlike other visa systems, the Golden Visa did not require English speaking and had no age restrictions.

Criticism of the golden visa system

Critics argued that the system only allowed wealthy foreigners to station illegal funds in Australia. A 2016 review found the policy had “potential for money laundering and other fraudulent activities”.

An investigation by the Australian government found that the “golden visa” program was not only being abused but also allowing people with “less business acumen” to stay.

Transparency International Australia CEO Clancy Moore said: BBC, “For too long, corrupt officials and thieves have used golden visas as a means to keep illicit funds in Australia and hide the proceeds of crime.”

Similar investment visa schemes were abolished in Canada, the UK and Singapore following allegations that they were being abused by wealthy individuals and were not in the countries' own interests.

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