The Department of Industry in New South Wales has reported a significant increase in applications for new investor and business visas over the last few months. The number has only increased since the beginning of the current unrest in Hong Kong.
In an email, the government is shown to be reaching out to Chinese immigration agents to help them with the increased application load.
“It is no surprise that New South Wales puts a high value on potential business and investment immigrants from Hong Kong. The individuals who can qualify for these visas tend to be experienced business people with good English language skills and capital that can be readily invested in New South Wales.” Juwai.com Executive Chairman Georg Chmiel says.
"New South Wales already received the majority of investment or 'golden' visa applications. While these visas are officially processed by the federal government, they need to be linked to a particular state government.”
“While there has been some increase in demand for Sydney property by Hong Kong buyers since the unrest began, purchasing real estate is not the first step in coming to this country. [It is] more important to obtain legal residency. Expect to see wealthy Hong Kongers first renting in Sydney or at least waiting until they have obtained their visa before they purchase. That way, they can avoid the foreign buyer tax. Over the next two to five years, there could be a substantial impact on the property market as these individuals look to settle down and purchase, but for now, it is too early for that.”
Hong Kong buyers are starting to prefer closer and less expensive locations to visit. Malaysia is a clear leader due to its close proximity and more accommodating visa program, according to Juwai. Wealthy Hong Kongers rank Australia after Singapore and just before Canada as a destination.
Georg has no doubt that if “Australian stamp duties to disappear tomorrow, Hong Kong buyer activity would surge.”