The Australian government has launched a major initiative to attract FinTech related businesses and highly skilled professionals who are actively involved in FinTech businesses/projects to Australia. Its vision is to make Australia the preeminent FinTech hub in the southern hemisphere.
Australia is embracing innovative FinTech products and services such as Neobanking, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and cryptocurrency exchanges. These activities are capable of being included in an Australian Financial Services License (‘AFSL’), where required.
An AFSL may be required if an Australian company provides financial products (i.e a cryptocurrency exchange) or services (i.e advising clients about cryptocurrency-related matters). AFSL applications can cost between $1500-$11,500AUD depending on the corporate structure of the company and the complexity of the proposed financial product/s or services.
A draft AFSL can usually be obtained in 6-8 months. This is essentially a conditional license. Unconditional licenses can then be obtained around 120 days after the draft AFSL is issued.
Please note that these fees and time frames are subject to change, as they are solely determined by the Australian Investment and Securities Commission (‘ASIC’), the government authority that regulates financial activities involving Australian entities and individuals.
To help attract foreign entrepreneurs and highly skilled professionals who have experience in the FinTech space to relocate to Australia, the Australian government has created the Global Talent Independent (‘GTI’) Program. This program provides a fast-tracked pathway to Australian permanent residency, with some applications taking as little as 4 months from start to finish.
To be eligible for the GTI program, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Being actively involved in the Financial Services and FinTech sectors.
- Being capable of earning at least $158,500AUD per annum (i.e a salary, directors/consultancy fees, income received from a business).
- Having an exceptional record of achievements in the Financial Services and FinTech sectors.
- Creating economic, social, and/or cultural benefits for Australia.
- Being nominated by an Australian organisation (i.e Peak Body or Professional Association), citizen, or permanent resident that has a high standing in the Financial Services/FinTech industry. A nomination is essentially an endorsement from the nominator that the visa applicant is a good candidate for the GTI program.
- Be in good health and have good character.
If you would like to find out more about undertaking FinTech activities in Australia, contact us for an obligation-free consultation.
Our partner, Lucidian Law is a specialist immigration and commercial law practice that services business owners, entrepreneurs, high net worth investors, and highly skilled professionals seeking Australian permanent residency. Lucidian Law also provides a range of corporate advisory services.
We leverage on government and industry networks to provide a concierge-style service for our clients which enable them to achieve their migration goals.
Through our strategic partnership program, we are here to support you both before and after your visa is granted so that your new life as an Australian resident is as prosperous as possible.
To find out more, visit our Strategic Partnership page here.
Please note that this article does not constitute express or implied legal advice, whether in whole or in part. If you require legal advice, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.