For many Australian businesses and startups, the most common working visa, the 482 scheme, provides limited options when attracting talented individuals to fill highly specialised positions. For highly specialised workers, few people may have heard of their profession, let alone included them on government skills lists. As a solution to this problem, the Australian government launched a pilot program: the Global Talent Scheme. This article will discuss the requirements of the Global Talent Scheme program so you can determine whether your business will qualify.

What is the Global Talent Scheme?

The Global Talent Scheme is a pilot program that runs from 1 July 2018 to 1 July 2019. It aims to allow employers to recruit and hire workers for highly skilled positions within their business. These positions are so specific that applicants from the domestic labour market or existing visa programs cannot fill them. A Global Talent Scheme visa is a four-year temporary visa. However, it offers a pathway to permanent residency after only three years of employment in Australia.

There are two streams of the Global Talent Scheme, one for established businesses and one for startups.

Key Requirements

Established Business

If you wish to use the Global Talent Scheme to hire within an established business, there are a number of requirements that you must meet.

Firstly, the established business must be of good standing and have an ongoing commitment to recruiting Australian workers. The Department of Home Affairs will examine this commitment by considering the percentage of your company’s current employees that are Australian. Furthermore, your business must demonstrate that it has conducted labour market testing for the specific position and that they were not able to recruit a qualified Australian citizen.

In addition, your business must be publicly listed. Or, it must have an annual turnover of at least $4 million for the past two years.

Startups

When using the Global Talent Scheme to hire for startups, you must also meet a number of requirements.

The startup must be a technology or STEM-related business of good standing. It must also have an ongoing commitment to recruiting Australian workers. You must demonstrate this through labour market testing.

A ‘start-up advisory panel’, appointed by the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, must endorse your business.

There is no specific financial threshold that startups need to meet. Instead, the Department will consider your business’ current working capital or investment of at least $50,000 from a registered Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership or from an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant. This will be considered on a case by case basis.

Applicants

When applying for a position under the Global Talent Scheme, the applicant must also meet a number of requirements.

Firstly, the applicant must be a highly skilled individual, with at least three years experience directly relevant to the position. They cannot have a family relationship with any of the directors or shareholders of your company. Furthermore, the applicant must meet the health, character and security requirements present in all visa applications.

If the applicant is going to work in an established business, they must be paid at least $180,000.

If the applicant is to work in a startup, the minimum annual earnings must be at the market rate. The salary can include equity in the company as a component, but the cash portion of the salary must not be any less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (currently $53,000).

How Do I Apply for the Global Talent Scheme?

If you think that your business meets the requirements above, the first step will be to register your interest in the Global Talent Scheme with the Department of Home Affairs.

After completing and submitting a self-assessment that addresses all the criteria, the Department will further consider the proposal. Grants or rejections of access to the Global Talent Scheme are discretionary and cannot be appealed.

What Are the Key Features of Gaining Access?

The features of gaining access to the Global Talent Scheme will vary depending on whether your business is a startup or an established company. However, there are some key features that both categories share.

If you are an established business, the business will be able to access up to 20 positions per year on the Global Talent Scheme. This is as long as the applicants, and the positions, meet the eligibility requirements. If your business is a startup, it can access up to five positions per year.

Furthermore, once your business has an approved Global Talent Scheme agreement, visa applications for candidates will be simpler and processed faster. If the position ceases, the visa holder will have 60 days to either:

  • find a new sponsor;
  • apply for a new visa; or
  • leave Australia.

Key Takeaways

Although the Global Talent Scheme has been highly publicised, the number of applications processed and approved is low. Your business or startup must meet strict standards, and the applicant themselves must be performing work that is so highly specialised that the talent pool in Australia cannot fill the position. If you have any questions on whether your business qualifies for the Global Talent Scheme, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Blythe Dingwall
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