A unique opportunity to invest in innovation and migrate to Australia
The Migrant Innovation Northern Territory (MINT) program is an initiative owned and managed by the Paspalis Group.
The MINT program assists overseas nationals who have demonstrated their commitment to supporting the NT’s innovation ecosystem by investing in the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund No 2 (“PIIF 2”) that invests in to venture capital projects which provide an economic benefit to the Northern Territory innovation ecosystem.
The program is supported by the NTG. Click Here.
The first MINT program was successfully completed in 2019, resulting in the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund No 1 (“PIIF 1”) being opened and raising $26m establishing the first venture capital fund in the Northern Territory. PIIF 1 is a member fund of the Australian Investment Council.
The 2020/21 MINT program is currently open.
The MINT program seeks to:
- Raise start-up capital for the Northern Territory innovation ecosystem providing support for growth companies at the Darwin Innovation Hub
- Leverage visa programs managed by the Northern Territory Government
- Maintain the integrity of the Northern Territory Government Nomination programs.
- Support Nominations of those genuine applicants that will not only benefit the Northern Territory through the introduction of venture capital, but also through a population increase, filling skills shortages and undertaking business activities of benefit to the Northern Territory.
- Ensure that local Northern Territorians are not disadvantaged through the Nomination of skilled migrants.
To be eligible for Northern Territory Government nomination MINT program participants must meet the following criteria:
- demonstrate they will live in the Northern Territory (i.e. will reside in the Northern Territory) and meet the standard genuine intention criteria put in place for all applicants;
- demonstrate they have a clear understanding of what the criteria are and what their obligations are;
- have sufficient funds of their own for settlement;
- provide fulsome and accurate applications;
- must disclose all relevant information;
- not have Links to Other Regions of Australia, unless they also have Strong Links to the Northern Territory;
- if they do not have Strong Links to the Northern Territory they may only be eligible for a provisional visa.
- meet Australian Government threshold criteria; and
- submit Nomination applications though the relevant application process within 2 months of signing an agreement with Paspalis Group.
Skilled migration specific criteria
- meet Australian Government threshold criteria for the relevant visa;
- be nominated for an occupation on the relevant Northern Territory skilled occupation list AND on the relevant Australian Government occupation list; and
- must not be an International Student, unless they have Strong Links to the Northern Territory
How to access MINT
If you’re interested in accessing the MINT program follow these steps:
- Contact Paspalis directly or an approved migration professional (see panel agents below). Panel agents have strict obligations under the MINT Program including the requirement to comply with the MARA code of conduct and to charge reasonable fees.
- Applicant enters into placement agreement with Paspalis and pays placement fee. MINT placement fees are $33,000 including GST payable directly to Paspalis.
- Applicant’s agent lodges online application to MigrationNT (must be within 60 days from signing placement agreement).
- Applicant receives provisional approval for visa nomination from MigrationNT.
- Applicant makes application to invest in PIIF 2 and pays $515,000 to PIIF 2 Trustee (must be within 30 days of receiving provisional approval). Information Memorandum is available on request. (Download PIIF 2 Brochure)
- PIIF 2 Trustee perform AML/KYC on funds transfer and completes PIIF 2 application process.
- Once application to PIIF 2 is successful, Paspalis informs MigrationNT.
- MigrationNT grants State nomination.
- Visa application forwarded to Federal Department of Home Affairs.
Following the conclusion of the MINT Program, applicants will be contacted by Paspalis to provide answers to a detailed survey concerning the MINT Program and their current status and activities in Australia for the purposes of reviewing the success of the MINT Program.
MINT PROGRAM APPLICATIONS MUST BE MADE EITHER TO PASPALIS OR THROUGH AN APPROVED MIGRATION PANEL AGENT. SEE APPROVED LIST BELOW
Panel Agents and Lawyers
Mr. (Boris) Hongbo Shao
Australian United Consultancy
Mob + 61 452 180 521
Offices in Sydney and Darwin
How to become a Panel Agent / Lawyer
For information on how to become an approved migration agent/lawyer for the MINT Program, please contact the MINT Program Manager.
MINT Program Manager
Our MINT Program Manager is available at +618 8943 0600 or email@example.com to facilitate further questions about the program.
One of the key nomination criteria for the GSM / BIIP program to be met at the time of application and nomination include – must not have Strong Links to Other Regions of Australia, unless they have also have Strong Links to the Northern Territory. What do you mean by that?
Strong Links to Other Regions of Australia means an Applicant meets one or more of the below:
- has spent a significant amount of time in Other Regions of Australia, being more than 12 months in the last 5 years;
- has had Immediate Family living in Other Regions of Australia in the last 5 years;
- has engaged in work in Other Regions of Australia;
- holds Assets (except residential property) in excess of AUD$100,000 in Other Regions of Australia; or
- holds residential property in Other Regions of Australia, and does not hold residential property in the Northern Territory; or
- has applied for Nomination in Other Regions of Australia.
Strong Links to the Northern Territory means an Applicant meets one or more of the below:
- has spent a significant amount of time in the Northern Territory (more than 12 months in the last 5 years);
- has or has had Immediate Family in the Northern Territory; or
- has worked for a minimum period of 6 months in the Northern Territory; or
- has completed a minimum of 2 years full time study through a university higher education program or vocational education and training program, based in the Northern Territory.
Can I use my own migration agent who is not an approved panel agent?
No. All applicants are required to use an approved panel agent for both their Northern Territory and Federal applications. All panel agents are appointed according to strict selection criteria and have undertaken specific training for the MINT Program provided by the Northern Territory Government and Paspalis. Applications made by agents who are not on the panel will not be accepted by the Paspalis or the Northern Territory Government.
What are the costs of the MINT Program for applicants?
Applicants costs of applying for the MINT Program are limited to:
- Placement fees of $33,000 including GST
- Migration agent professional fees which must be reasonable and in accordance with the MINT Program
How much do I need to invest in the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund No. 2?
Applicants are required to invest $515,000 in the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund No. 2. Application forms and a copy of the Information Memorandum is available on request.
How much is my migration agent paid by Paspalis?
Upon successful visa nomination and investment in PIIF 2, Paspalis will pay panel agents $15,000 plus GST per applicant. This fee is in addition to professional fees charged to you by your migration agent.
Who owns the MINT Program?
The MINT program is owned and managed by the Darwin Innovation Hub and Paspalis Asset Management. The Northern Territory Government supports the program but does not own and manage it.
What is the placement fee charged by Paspalis used for?
The placement fee supports a range of services performed by Paspalis in running the MINT program including processing, marketing, monitoring and reporting, and contributes to the costs of operating the Darwin Innovation Hub.
The Northern Territory Government receives no financial benefit from either the MINT program or Paspalis Asset Management. The Northern Territory Government supports the program because of the benefits it brings to the Northern Territory Innovation ecosystem.
Who approves visa decisions?
The Northern Territory nominates Applicants who meet the Australian Federal Government threshold criteria relevant at the time of Nomination application (outlined in the law and related Australian Government policy) and NT Government specific criteria.
The Northern Territory government approves the nomination but does not approve visas.
The Australian Federal Government (Department of Home Affairs) is the authority who decides whether or not to issue a visa.
Paspalis and approved Panel agents do not approve nominations or visa and are not able to influence NT Government and Australian Government decisions.
What is the main objective of MINT program/why does the Northern Territory Government support the MINT program?
MINT aims to raise start-up capital for the Northern Territory innovation ecosystem through nominations of genuine applicants who will not only contribute to the Northern Territory via investment, but also through a population increase, filling skills shortages and undertaking business activities that benefit the Northern Territory without disadvantaging local Northern Territorians.
Under the Skilled migration specific criteria, which occupation list should my occupation come from?
Applicants must have occupations on both the relevant Northern Territory skilled occupation list and on the relevant Australian government occupation list. This is to ensure that local Northern Territorians are not disadvantaged through the nomination of skilled migrants in areas where there are already sufficient local workers.
Are there any exemptions for overseas applicants joining the MINT program?
There are no exemptions to Australian Government criteria for any applicants. There are however concessions to NT Government criteria for MINT applicants.
MINT applicants who are seeking nomination through the General Skilled Migration pathways:
- Will need to demonstrate they can fill skills shortages in the NT, but will not need to obtain an offer of employment by an NT employer in their nominated occupation or a closely related occupation.
- Where the nominated occupation specifically states that a higher English level than Dept of Home Affairs mandated minimum level (e.g IELTS 7.0 overall or equivalent), applicants will need to demonstrate the higher level of English. For example – In the case of the occupation of Management Consultant, applicants must meet the English requirement of IELTS 7.0 overall or equivalent.
The purpose of this setting is that these higher English levels are what industry (NT employers) have indicated is the necessary level they are searching for. If applicants in those occupations do not have that level of English, they won’t be able to fill skills shortages determined by the Program.
How can I find out more about the investment?
Please email Paspalis and refer to information sheet above which provides a summary of the new investment fund.
What professional standards must the panel agents meet?
Panel agents are selected based on a history of performing against high quality standards. All are Registered Migration Agents and must adhere to the Migration Agents Code of Conduct. If you have concerns a panel agent is not acting in accordance with the code of conduct we encourage you to report it to Paspalis.
Is the investment guaranteed by the NT Government?
The investment (capital and returns) are not guaranteed by the NT Government. The Northern Territory is not involved in deciding which investments the Paspalis Innovation and Investment Fund makes. The NT Government suggests that MINT participants seek independent financial advice from suitably qualified financial advisors on the investment.
Are Panel Agents endorsed by the NT Government?
Panel agents are selected by Paspalis against selection criteria which have been agreed to with the NT Government. They are not endorsed by the NT Government.
Will I be able to apply for the new 491 visa under the MINT program now that the Federal Government has changed the policies under the 489 visa category to 491?
Yes, the MINT program will permit applicants in the 491 visa category under which new guidelines have been provided by the Department of Home Affairs.
What is the difference between the former 489 and 491 visa category?
Under the new 491 visa category rules, MINT applicants will be required to have a genuine intention to live in the Northern Territory for a minimum period of 3 years in order to qualify for permanent residency. The period of the visa will be 5 years instead of 4 years.
What fees will panel agents charge for my application?
All panel agents are registered with the Migration Agents Registry Authority (MARA) and must comply with the MARA Code of Conduct. The Office of MARA website contains information about using an agent, including about agents fees. It states:
Under the Code of Conduct for registered migration agents, the amount your agent charges (fees) must be fair and reasonable. Your agent will set their fee based on your circumstances.
Agent fees vary and depend on:
- your visa application type
- the amount of time it will take to prepare your application. Some visa applications take longer to prepare than others
- the level of service you need
- if you need extra help or have complex circumstances. For example your agent might charge more if you have dependants on your application (such as children).
- the experience and qualifications of your agent. If your agent is a lawyer or has many years of experience, their fees might be higher. If your agent’s fees seem too high, discuss this with them before signing a contract.
To ensure you are charged fairly, it is recommended that you talk to three different agents about their services and fees, before you choose one and sign a written contract with them.
Further details about agents fees can be found on the MARA website. The website also contains helpful information concerning fee disputes and what do to if you have a complaint about your agent.
This web page and downloadable flyers are provided to you for information purposes only. It does not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe for interests in the Fund. Any financial product advice given is of a general nature only. The information has been provided without taking into account the investment objective, financial situation or needs of any particular investor. Therefore, before acting on the information contained in this flyer you should seek professional advice and consider whether the information is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs. There is no guarantee of the performance of the Fund, the repayment of any capital or any rate of return. Any statements of intent and opinion and forward looking statements are subject to a range of factors and may or may not be realised or be accurate. Investing in any financial product is subject to investment risk including possible loss. The information on this web page is based on information provided that may not have been verified. We believe that the information is reliable but do not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. This information is only intended for the persons to whom it is given and who qualify as ‘wholesale clients’ under section 761G(7) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Paspalis Asset Management Pty Ltd ACN 086 738 301 authorised representative of One Investment Administration Ltd ACN 072 899 060 AFSL No. 225064. The trustee of the Fund is One Funds Management Limited ACN 117 797 403 AFSL No. 300337.