Australia is not an easy country for expats to retire to. You can’t simply get off the plane Down Under, unpack your suitcases and stay there in total bliss for the rest of your life just because you don’t have to go to work back home.
First of all, you have to find ways to secure your residency in Australia. It has become a little bit trickier since the Investor Retirement Visa was abolished in 2018.
However, if there is a will, there is a way. So for those with families in Australia or for whom the lure of the nation appeals very strongly, there are ways to make the move possible.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to retire to Australia for those who are exploring all their options of an overseas retirement.
Table of Contents
Retiring to Australia with a Family Sponsorship
The main ways to be able to gain at least temporary residence to retire to Australia are by being sponsored by your child or children who are permanent residents in Australia or by applying under the Investor Visa category. We will now explore each option more closely.
Your children can sponsor you to retire to Australia
If you are a parent of a child who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen and your child has been settled in Australia for at least 2 years and can sponsor you, then you can apply under either the Parent Category or the Contributory Parent Category.
Bonds are paid and held for either 2 or 10 years, the applicant must pass health and character assessments as well as a balance of family test whereby at least half of their children live in Australia or more children live in Australia than in any other single country overseas.
Your Australian relatives can sponsor you to retire to Australia
If you are of state retirement age and have a relative in Australia who is a child, adopted child, parent, brother or sister, grandchild, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew, (or step relative of the same degree), and you are single due to never having been married, being widowed or divorced, you may be able to apply for an Aged Dependent Relative visa.
Your Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen relative will have to sponsor you and you will have to prove you are dependent on them.
You can retire to Australia if your only close relatives are resident in Australia
Another alternative for those who want to retire to Australia is to apply for a Remaining Relative Visa.
You can apply if your only close relatives are resident in Australia and are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens.
If you have a brother, sister, parent (or step-equivalent) in Australia and you and your spouse have no other brothers, sisters, children, parents (or step-equivalents) than those in Australia you may be eligible.
You can retire to Australia as a carer for your Australian relative
Alternatively, if you could act as a carer to an Australian relative who has a serious medical condition causing them physical, intellectual or sensory impairment then it’s possible you could be eligible to apply to retire to Australia under the terms of the Carer Relative visa category.
Retiring in Australia with Investor Visa
The Australian Retirement Visa programme was stopped by the government in 2018.
The Investor Retirement visa allows those over 55 years to live and work in Australia for up to four years provided they have invested a certain amount of money in Australia and enjoy a certain level of annual income
Don't risk paying more than you need to for your health care abroad.
The visa, first offered in 2005, also encouraged retirees to settle in regional areas where the required investment was $500,000 and the required annual income $50,000.
The government said that “the economic benefits of this visa at the time when it started do not align with Australia’s current economic priorities”.
However, it doesn’t mean that retiring to Australia is impossible now if you don’t have any eligible relatives to sponsor you.
If you wish to retire to Australia and have enough money to do so, there are perfectly viable ways very much in line with Australia’s current economic priorities which are classified as Investor Visa Australia.
Australia Investor Visas Available
The Investor Visa Australia is available to entrepreneurs, investors, high net worth individuals, venture capitalists and those looking to establish a business in Australia.
There are several types of Australia Investor Visa and defining which one is right for you could be crucial for a successful application.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your ultimate goal is permanent residency. As a rule, the more you can offer to invest the easier permanent residency criteria become.
Here is a list of visas available under the Investor Visa category:
1. Australian Business Innovation Visa
For those business people who plan to establish, develop and manage an Australian business. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory.
2. Australian Investor Visa (Business)
For those who can invest at least $1.5million AUD in an Australian state and maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory.
3. Significant Investor Visa
For those able to invest a minimum of $5million AUD into complying investments in Australia. Applicants can be nominated by a State or Austrade(The Australian Trade and Investment Commission) on behalf of the Australian government.
4. Premium Investor Visa
For those who can invest at least $15million AUD into premium investments in Australia.
5. Entrepreneur Visa
For those who can secure at least $200,000 AUD in funding for a project that will lead to the commercialization of a product or service in Australia. Entrepreneur Visa applicants are nominated by an Australian state or territory.
Which visa suits you best?
There are different criteria and various conditions attached to each of these visa types. Some of them won’t be ideal if your aim is retiring in Australia.
Business Innovation Visa, for example, as well as Investor Visa (Business), takes into consideration the age of the applicants (plus, there is a long list of other conditions attached).
Don't risk paying more than you need to for your health care abroad.
The two most convenient ways to retire to Australia are to apply for a Significant Investor or a Premium Investor visa.
First of all, there is no age limit for Significant or Premium Investor Visa applications. Plus, you can apply for this visa either onshore in Australia or from your home country.
Requirements for the Significant Australia Investor Visa
For a successful application, you must invest at least AUD 5 million in a “complying investment” which can be:
- Minimum $1million in venture capital and growth private equity
- Minimum $1.5 million in approved managed funds invested in smaller companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
- A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $2.5 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed entities, bonds and commercial real estate
Premium Australia Investor Visa
This is the smoothest ever way to retire to Australia.
It doesn’t have any age requirements and it takes you just one year of holding a temporary residence under this visa before you can convert it into Permanent Residency.
To apply as a Premium Investor, you must invest a minimum of $15million AUD in qualifying designated investments:
- Australian securities exchange listed assets
- Australian Government debt
- Corporate debt issued by an Australian exchange listed entity
- Australian proprietary limited companies
- Tangible Australian property (excluding residential)
- Deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies
- State or territory approved philanthropic contributions
Both Significant and Premium Investor Visas are quite a lucrative business opportunity for law and investment firms in Australia. Some of them have developed and now offer immigration compliant options in partnership with venture capital partners in Australia. They can also provide full legal representation on your behalf.
Whichever way you decide to use to obtain a permanent residency in Australia, there is no doubt you are going to live in an amazing country. Our guide to Living in Australia can give you invaluable tips on planning your move.
You might find useful:
- The Expat Guide to UK Pensions Abroad – detailed information about your state, workplace and private pensions when you retire abroad; your options, tax implications and opportunities if you transfer your pension pot abroad or leave them in the UK;
- Banking, Saving, & Investments Abroad – a simple guide to your bank accounts and investment options when you become an expat;
- Visit our Australia Country Guides for more information on living in Australia;
- Read more about your immigration options on the Australian government site.