On 22 January 2023, an Australian newspaper, The Australian, published an article entitled, “Quiet chop for ‘golden visa’ scheme”.
The Australian article by Stephen Rice contains inaccuracies. This is article aims to set out the facts and correct the misinformation contained in The Australian article.
Has the Labor Government axed the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visa?
No, the Australian Government has not axed the BIIP visas.
Migration Review and Migration Strategy
A review of the Australian migration system was conducted in 2022-2023, and the Migration Report (the ‘Report’) was released on 21 March 2023.
One of the possible reform directions arrived at by the reviewers is “Better target permanent skilled visas to maximise economic outcomes and remain internationally competitive”. One of the measures identified to support the possible reform directions is to:
Revisit the allocation of places across the permanent skilled program. In particular, reconsider the size and role of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP), noting more positive outcomes from the Significant Investor Visa. Consider how to manage the allocation of places to state and territory nominated and regional visas, including possible consolidation of these programs. 
During her address to the National Press Club on 27 April 2023, the Minister for Home Affairs, The Hon Clare O’Neil MP, was asked whether the business investment visa subclass 188 A, B, C be removed in the future. The Hon Minister replied that, “We haven’t said that we will abolish those programs. What we have said is that they need a radical restructure as part of the work that we’re doing and I think this needs to be folded into the broader conversation about highly skilled people who we see as creating the future jobs for Australians and now how we manage them in. It’s not just about what’s called BIV and SIV. This is just the world of acronyms that I live in! It is not just about BIV and SIV. It is about the whole question of that, really quite – drivers of economic growth and how we should think about bringing those people into our country.” 
The Migration Review flagged the opportunity to draw on the relative strength of the Significant Investor stream to design a visa product more sharply targeted to select migrants who can drive innovative investments in sectors of national importance or play a valuable role in the venture capital industry.
The Migration Strategy further mentions as an area for future reform:
A new Talent and Innovation visa could create a single, streamlined pathway to attract relatively small numbers of highly talented migrants to Australia, such as high performing entrepreneurs, major investors and global researchers.
As a result of the review, or the current financial year (2023-2024), the Australian government has reduced the allocations for the BIIP program (see Figure 1) and has not allocated these places to any Australian state or territory in order to process the applications on hand.
There has been no ‘axing’ just a pause while the review of the program is being conducted. All indicators point to the fact that the Government will be continue offering visa to highly talented migrants to Australia, such as high performing entrepreneurs, major investors.
Does the business visa program make up a quarter of Australia’s migration allocations?
The first sentence of the article states that “[a] business visa program which makes up a quarter of all the nation’s migration allocations has been quietly axed by Labor ….” The truth is that in 2022-2023, the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) was allocated 5,000 places out of 195,000, or 2.56% and for this financial year, 1,900 places out of 190,000 places or 1%. Hardly “a quarter”.