(Image source from: Telugustop.com)
Australia has made the decision to end its "golden visa" program, which allowed wealthy foreign investors to live in the country. The government cited poor economic results as the reason for scrapping the program, and it will be replaced with a visa that focuses on skills. The significant investor visas (SIV) were originally implemented to attract investment and promote innovation in Australia. To qualify for the visa, candidates were required to invest 5 million Australian dollars in the country. However, the program faced criticism for contributing to corruption and allowing foreign nationals to bring illegal funds into Australia. Notably, the majority of successful applicants were from China, with 85% of the SIVs granted to Chinese investors. "It has been clear for a long time that this visa does not meet the needs of our country and economy," stated Clare O'Neil, the Minister of Home Affairs.
Australia, following in the footsteps of countries like the United Kingdom, has decided to join the list of European nations that have banned similar investment-based residency programs. This decision was made due to concerns about the potential influx of illegal money into the country. The UK, for example, ended its own investment-driven residency program in 2022 out of fear that money launderers from Russia were taking advantage of the program to reside in the UK. Clancy Moore, the CEO of Transparency International Australia, expressed his satisfaction with this development. He had been leading a movement against these so-called "golden visa" programs, citing their alleged flaws and vulnerabilities. According to Moore, corrupt officials and kleptocrats have long used these programs as a means to park their illicit funds in Australia and potentially conceal the proceeds of their criminal activities.