News report | | 26-01-2024 | ±3 minutes reading time

The golden visa implemented by Australia in 2012 to attract rich foreign investors has now been scrapped. In fact, the visa was mainly used by corrupt officials for laundering illicit money. It is not the first time a similar visa has been scrapped.

The so-called golden visa disappears

Besides the golden visas, Australia’s entire Business Innovation and Investment Program has been scrapped. The programme allowed applicants to obtain several kinds of visas, as long as they had invested a certain amount of money in the Australian economy. These visas, called golden visas, were implemented more than 10 years ago to attract wealthy foreign investors and thus allow the Australian economy to grow. The original goal was achieved, but the programme also had some notable side effects. For instance, it was used by corrupt officials and criminals to hide and launder illicit funds.

Staying in Australia for up to 5 years on a golden visa

Since 2012, Australia has already granted thousands of golden visas, 85% of them to Chinese passport holders. To be eligible for a golden visa, applicants had to invest at least 5 million Australian dollars (about 2.5 million GBP) at the invitation of the Australian government. Holders of a golden visa could live in Australia for up to 5 years to supervise their investments and other business activities. Direct family members of the investors could also be included in the visa application and thus move to Australia.

Visa associated with corruption

Investigations have proved that the programme and the visas had undesired side effects, so the entire programme was scrapped. In fact, the visa has been misused to transfer money to Australia and launder it. Moreover, the golden visas were generally granted to older and less-educated immigrants who did not contribute much to the economy and who often turned out to be a burden on Australia’s social services. Furthermore, the visa came with tax relief, which reduced the tax revenue for the Australian government and had a negative impact on the population of Australia.

More visas available for educated migrants

Scrapping the golden visa will reduce corruption in Australia, but it will also backfire in terms of investments and immigrants. To fill this gap and attract economically advantageous immigrants, Australia will issue more visas to educated workers who have a lot to offer to the country. Education will be a key factor for obtaining these visas. The Australian government hopes to boost the country’s economy by attracting well-educated migrants. For short stays, tourists and business travellers can apply for the eVisitor visa for Australia.

Golden visas in the UK and Europe

The golden visa is not a new concept. In fact, similar visas have been used and criticised in other countries. Both Ireland and the UK have already abolished their golden visa programmes to prevent corruption, tax evasion and money laundering, but certain countries are still issuing golden visas. For instance, the golden visa implemented by Malta is said to be an easy way to obtain a European nationality. The US has even considered excluding Malta from the American Visa Waiver Program. In fact, the United States believes the Maltese golden visa to be an easy way to obtain a European passport, which makes it possible to apply for the American ESTA

Golden visas in Asia

While most countries have scrapped their golden visa programmes, several states in Asia are still issuing this visa. Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, for example, offer their own version of the golden visa. Since December 2023, it has also been possible to apply for a golden visa for Indonesia. All these countries aim to attract more wealthy foreigners to invest in firms or real estate and boost their economy. is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Australia visa. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (0 AUD per visa, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 0 AUD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 24,95 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Australia visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.