Settlement Guide

Global Talent visa: the fastest way to permanent residency in Australia

Source: Getty Images/AzmanL

If you have cutting-edge skills in the government's target sectors, you may be able to obtain Australian permanent residency within just a few months. Reserved for the ‘best and brightest', the Global Talent Independent program one of Australia's most sought-after visa programs.

Launched in November 2019, the Global Talent Independent Program (GTI) is designed to attract highly specialised experts in ground-breaking fields to help grow Australian innovation and tech economies.


Key Points:

  • The Department of Home Affairs has recently made some changes, narrowing down the criteria for the GTI visa.
  • Masters by Coursework, Masters by Research and Bachelor with Honours graduates are no longer eligible based on their education alone. 
  • The highest processing priority is accorded to applicants who are identified as highly desirable by the Government.

What is Australia's Global Talent visa?
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To promote the program and attract highly-skilled applicants, the Department of Home Affairs has stationed Global Talent Officers in cities worldwide, such as London, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington DC.

The target sectors

The future-focused sectors in which the Australian government is seeking to attract people with highly specialised skills are:

  • Resources
  • Agri-food and AgTech
  • Energy
  • Health Industries
  • Defence
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Space
  • Circular Economy
  • DigiTech
  • Infrastructure and Tourism
  • Financial Services and FinTech
  • Education

Finding a nominator

Chris Johnston is a Founder and Principal Immigration Lawyer at Work Visa Lawyers.

Besides an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievements, he says an applicant must also have a nominator who will vouch for their integrity and achievements.

The nominator must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident nationally reputed in the same field as the applicant. An Australian organisation can also nominate a visa applicant for the global talent visa.  

A shot of a group of scientists working on research outdoors, they are standing next to water containers and using a laptop to look at their findings in Perth, Australia.
Offshore candidates can seek a nominator within an Australian organisation with a national reputation in their field.
Getty Images/ Solstock

Senior Manager at a Big 4 Consulting firm and GTI visa holder Subhodeep Brahma advises those without Australian professional connections to seek a nominator at reputable Australian organisations.

For example, offshore candidates from digital and aligned fields can ask the Australian Computer Society to be a nominator.

The Global Talent Visa started with 5000 visa places in November 2019 and now has 15,000 positions in the 2020-21 permanent migration program.

But immigration lawyer Chris Johnston points out that the Department of Home Affairs has recently made some changes, narrowing down the eligibility criteria.

From 20 January 2021, Masters by Coursework, Masters by Research and Bachelor with Honours graduates are no longer eligible based on their education alone.

This policy change affects those who submitted their expression of interest but didn’t receive an invitation to apply for this visa before 20 January 2021.

Agricultural Scientist working in farm
Candidates who can't meet the salary criterion should prove the ability to attract a salary at or above the Fair Work high-income threshold.
Getty Images/ sinology

High-income threshold

As part of the grant criteria, the Department of Home Affairs also considers whether a prospective applicant earns a salary that meets the high-income threshold, which is set at $153,600 per year for this financial year.

Subhodeep Brahma says he didn’t meet the income criterion but submitted evidence of his potential to earn above the high-income threshold.  

My salary was a little under the threshold, but my experience, credentials and earning potential made the difference.

Under the law, global talent officers can give the highest priority to applicants identified as highly desirable by Government, Chris Johnston says.

The focus is on those who meet the Fair Work high income threshold.

The program is also open for PhD graduates. Mr Johnston says fresh graduates who don’t earn an annual salary of $153,600 should include in their application everything that can help them demonstrate that they have the potential to earn this amount after the visa grant.

You need to show there is demand for your skills with market surveys, and indications of other jobs that could earn that sort of salary.

The Global Talent Visa Independent Program is not a points-tested visa, and you will not be required to undertake an English-proficiency test and formal skill assessment.

Subhodeep Brahma received his permanent residency in just over two months.

He says he was surprised at the quick pace of the process under this program.

From an experience perspective it couldn’t have been better than this, and it’s definitely a prestigious pathway.

Researchers working in rainforest
Under the law, global talent officers can give the highest priority to applicants identified as highly desirable by Government.
Getty Images/Colin Anderson Productions

From 1 July 2020 until 8 January 2021, based on The Migration Agency's information through a Freedom of Information request, the Department has received a total of 7,469 expressions of interest for the Global Talent Initiative Program.

During the same period, Iranian nationals received the most invitations with a total of 277, followed by citizens of India (174), Bangladesh (166), China (133) and the United Kingdom (103).

From 1 July 2020 until 24 February 2021, out of 1,477 applicants that have received an invitation to the Global Talent Initiative Program, 974 met the Fair Work high-income threshold.

To find out how to apply for a visa under the Global Talent Independent Program, visit the Department of Home Affairs website

 

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