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The Global Talent Employer Sponsored (GTES) Program attracts highly skilled and talented people from across the world who do not meet the traditional requirements for the Subclass 482 visa or other employer-sponsored programs. The program allows employers to sponsor overseas citizens for highly skilled niche roles that cannot be filled by Australian workers or through other standard visa programs. Therefore, if you are a business owner and have been unable to fill roles within your business via the standard visa pathways, the Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program may be an option if you meet certain criteria. Before becoming eligible, the Australian business must submit a Labour Agreement (GTES Labour Agreement) and put forward a business case explaining why they should qualify for this program. 

The main features of the Program are: 

  • you are not restricted to occupation lists for the temporary skills shortage visas;
  • the earning threshold for applicants is higher than under the standard TSS streams;
  • visas are valid for up to 4 years and allow access to a permanent residence pathway;
  • you have access to priority processing of GTES agreements; and
  • you do not have to pay a SAF levy.

This article will explore the visa streams available to employers under the program and discuss the eligibility criteria of each. 

Established Business Stream

Eligible accredited sponsors can elect the Established Business Stream and nominate up to 20 workers/positions with niche skills to help innovate and grow their businesses.  

Employer Criteria

There are several criteria that employers must be able to satisfy to access this stream:

  • demonstrate that access to the Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program will support job opportunities and skills transfer for Australians;
  • provide labour market testing evidence for the specific positions as part of requesting a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement;
  • be in good standing with relevant regulatory authorities, including compliance with immigration and workplace laws;
  • be publicly listed OR have an annual turnover of AUD $4M for each of the past two years; and
  • have endorsement as a TSS accredited sponsor.

Applicant and Position Criteria

In addition to employers meeting the above criteria, each position advertised, and the applicant themselves, must also meet a number of criteria. For example, the applicant must have:

  • met health, character and security requirements;
  • no familial relationships with directors or shareholders of the employer;
  • qualifications commensurate with the highly skilled role;
  • at least three years of work experience directly relevant to the position; and
  • the capacity to pass on skills and develop Australian colleagues.

In addition, the position must have minimum annual earnings equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold. For the 2020/2021 financial year, this threshold is AUD $153,600. 

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Startup Stream

The Startup Stream lets employers sponsor workers with cutting-edge skills to contribute to Australia’s developing startup ecosystem. Above all, the startup stream aims to bring new ideas, jobs, skills, and technology into Australia. Therefore, to sponsor an employee under this stream, the employer must be operating in a tech-based or STEM field and endorsed by the independent Global Talent Employer Sponsored startup advisory panel. Then, employers can access up to five positions per year, subject to each applicant satisfying applicant and position criteria on each occasion. 

Employer Criteria

The criteria for employers wishing to sponsor an employee under the GTES Startup Stream are similar to the criteria for the Established Business Stream. For example, employers must:

  • demonstrate that access to the GTES will support job opportunities and skills transfer for Australians;
  • provide labour market testing for the specific positions as part of requesting a GTES agreement;
  • be in good standing with relevant regulatory agencies, including compliance with immigration and workplace laws;
  • operate in a technology-based or STEM-related field; and
  • be endorsed as a viable and genuine startup by the independent startup advisory panel.

Applicant and Position Criteria

Applicants must also meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply for the GTES. For example, applicants must have:

  • met health, character and security requirements;
  • no familial relationships with directors or shareholders of the employer;
  • qualifications commensurate with the highly skilled role;
  • at least three years of work experience directly relevant to the position; and
  • the capacity to pass on skills and develop Australian colleagues.

Additionally, the position must have minimum annual earnings at the market salary rate, but not less than AUD $80,000. 

Application Process

An employer wishing to sponsor an applicant via the Global Talent Employer Sponsored must be able to demonstrate that the position cannot be filled by Australian workers or through other standard visa programs. 

Step 1: Conduct labour market testing to prove that you cannot fill the position with an Australian worker or through existing skilled visa programs.

Step 2: Then, indicate your interest to the Department of Home Affairs.

  • Established Business Stream – lodge an online GTES labour agreement request via your ImmiAccount
  • Startup Stream – email globaltalentscheme@homeaffairs.gov.au with the following information:
    • business name & ABN;
    • description of position/s and evidence of why you cannot access them through standard visa pathways; and
    • evidence of an investment of at least $50k from an investment fund or receipt of an accelerating commercialization grant.

Step 3: Home Affairs will assess your application. Then, if your business meets the criteria to enter into a GTES agreement, you will receive an agreement for signature.

Step 4: Home Affairs will provide you with a unique permission request ID which you can then use to lodge nomination applications for overseas workers. Subsequently, nominated workers can then apply for a visa under the criteria established under the GTES agreement. 

Key Takeaways

The Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program aims to attract highly skilled workers to the Australian labour market. Under the GTES, employers can then sponsor workers in niche roles that other visa pathways cannot fill by entering into negotiated labour agreements with the Department of Home Affairs. If you are an established business with an annual turnover of at least AUD $4M or a startup operating in a tech-based or STEM field and think you may be eligible to apply for the Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program, get in touch with LegalVision’s expert immigration lawyers today. Contact us on 1300 544 755 or complete the contact form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the GTES program?

The GTES program provides opportunities for businesses to fill gaps with foreign workers that they cannot fill through standard pathways. For example, an employer might use the GTES to fill a niche position.

I have a startup. Can I use the GTES program?

There is a startup stream available under the GTES. However, strict criteria apply. For example, your startup must be in a tech-based or STEM field.

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