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The Migration Innovation Northern Territory (MINT) program is an initiative owned and managed by the Paspalis Group. Click Here.

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 venture capital projects which provide an economic benefit to the Northern Territory innovation ecosystem.

The program is supported by the Northern Territory Government. Click Here.

Objectives of MINT Program

 

The objectives of the Program are to:

 

  1. Complement other activities targeted at raising start-up capital for the Northern Territory innovation ecosystem, by providing a short term solution through the leveraging of ability of the NT Government to nominate in select visa categories.

  2. Maintain the integrity of the NT Government Nomination programs.

  3. 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.

  4. Ensure that local Northern Territorians are not disadvantaged through the Nomination of skilled migrants.

 

Nomination Criteria

 

Common Nomination Criteria to be met at time of application and at time of nomination to be met by all Applicants include:

 

  1. Demonstrate they will live in the Northern Territory (i.e. will reside in the NT) and meet the standard genuine intention criteria put in place for all Applicants;

  2. Demonstrate they have a clear understanding of what the criteria are and what their obligations are;

  3. Have sufficient funds of their own for settlement;

  4. Provide fulsome and accurate applications;

  5. Meet Australian Government threshold criteria; and

  6. Submit Nomination applications through the relevant application process within 2 months of signing an agreement with Paspalis.

 

Nomination Criteria for the GSM Program to be met at time of application and at time of Nomination by Applicants include:

 

  1. Must not have Strong Links to Other Regions of Australia, unless they also have Strong Links to the Northern Territory;

  2. Must meet Australian Government threshold criteria for the relevant visa;

  3. Must be nominated for an occupation on the Northern Territory Skilled Occupation Priority List (NT SOPL) AND on the relevant Australian Government occupation list; and

  4. Must not, in the 5 years immediately prior to entering into a Placement Services Agreement, have been an International Student or Graduate visa holder, unless they 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.

 

Nomination Criteria for the BIIP program to be met at time of application and at time of Nomination by Applicants include:

 

  1. Must not have Strong Links to Other Regions of Australia, unless they also have Strong Links to the Northern Territory;

  2. Must meet Australian Government threshold criteria for the relevant visa;

  3. Must not in the 5 years immediately prior to entering into a Placement Services Agreement, have been an International Student or Graduate visa holder, unless they have Strong Links to the Northern Territory;

  4. Must propose and commit to undertaking a business/investment activity in the NT which is in-line with the visa stream they are applying for, including if necessary being a Qualifying Business, and which meets ‘Benefit to the NT’ criteria; and

  5. Have undertaken their own business research.

 

Information to be taken into account in the assessment process. The Territory is able to take into account information from any and all sources in consideration of whether an Applicant is eligible. This includes, though is not limited to, information from Paspalis and open source information.

 

The criteria to be met by Applicants participating in the MINT Program will remain the same until the Cease Date. However, in line with the accepted practices for the wider NT program, other state/territory nominating departments and the Australian government, changes in how the criteria are assessed or are evidenced may occur where there are a Significant Number of Unsuccessful Applications due to integrity issues.

 

Additional defined terms:

 

Immediate Family in relation to a person means that person's:

  • Spouse; and

  • parents, siblings, children and grandchildren, by birth or by adoption that is recognised in Australia.

 

International Student means an Applicant who is or was the holder of a student visa granted under the Migration Act.

 

Other Regions of Australia refers to all other areas of Australia other than the Northern Territory.

 

Qualifying Business has the meaning determined in the Migration Legislation.

 

Spouse means a person (of any sex) who:

  • the other person is in a relationship with, that is registered under a prescribed State or Territory law; or

  • although not legally married to the other person, lives with the other person on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.

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;

  • 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 that 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;

  • 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.

 

Process

 

If you’re interested in accessing the MINT program follow these steps:

  1. Contact NPS. NPS is an authorised panel agent who has strict obligations under the MINT Program including the requirement to comply with the MARA code of conduct and to charge reasonable fees.

  2. Applicant enters into placement agreement with Paspalis and pays placement fee.  MINT placement fees are $30,000 + GST payable directly to Paspalis. (If the current quota is used up, the Applicant can join the waitlist by depositing $5,000 + GST payable directly to Paspalis. This amount is non-refundable, and is a part of the total placement fees.)

  3. Applicant’s agent lodges online application to MigrationNT (must be within 60 days from signing placement agreement).

  4. Applicant receives provisional approval for visa nomination from MigrationNT.

  5. 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)

  6. PIIF 2 Trustee perform AML/KYC on funds transfer and completes PIIF 2 application process.

  7. Once application to PIIF 2 is successful, Paspalis informs MigrationNT.

  8. MigrationNT grants State nomination.

  9. 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.

FAQ

 

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 $30,000 plus GST

  • Migration agent professional fees of $10,000 plus GST.

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.

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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