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The Global Talent Visa is a very attractive option for many potential candidates. However, is it really a simple, fast-tracked process to Australian permanent residency? It certainly seems to involve a lot less stringent criteria than the other permanent residency options (e.g. subclass 189 or 190). Still, there are many misconceptions surrounding this visa option. It is also an area of constant change. This article lists some of the most frequently asked questions about the global talent visa process.

What Experience, Qualifications and Achievements Are Relevant?

The target sectors were expanded from 17 December 2020. 

Target Sector
Description
Resources
  • Advanced visualisation technologies, e.g. sensors;
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies;
  • Beneficiation technologies (improving the economic value of a resource such as ore.);
  • Expertise in energy-saving technologies for extracting and processing ores, such as ore body mapping, geophysical tools and drilling, mineral refinement, automated trucks and robotic equipment or grinding and processing technologies; and
  • Resource waste management.
Agri-food and Agtech
  • Agricultural big data analytics;
  • Commercialisation experience within the industry;
  • Future proteins for human and animal consumption;
  • Food and beverage technology;
  • Individual technologies or a combination of technologies related to farm equipment, weather, seed optimisation, fertiliser and crop inputs, and irrigation;
  • Precision measurement and/or application of farm inputs such as nitrogen and pesticides, gene editing, nanomaterials and synthetic biology;
  • Predictive technologies around planting times, climatic forecasting and crop cycles; and
  • Wearable technology, including ear-tag trackers for animal management.
Energy
  • Advanced visualisation technology (e.g. sensors);
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies;
  • Automation and robotics (e.g. smart sorting technologies for recycling);
  • Beneficiation technologies (i.e. improving the economic value of ore);
  • Recycling technology (e.g. feedstock recycling or E-waste processing);
  • Traceability technologies, e.g. experience with sophisticated material trading systems that make material sources more transparent to consumers; and
  • Expertise with the following fields in the sector:
    • Hydrogen technology;
    • Clean technologies, renewables and hybrids (including solar and wind power);
    • Battery/energy storage design (specialised, grid-scale and precursors for batteries);
    • Bioenergy and biofuels;
    • Micro-grid design; and
  • Supporting the transition to net zero carbon emissions.
Health Industries
  • Antimicrobial resistance;
  • Biochemistry and cell biology;
  • Biostatistician;
  • Biotechnology;
  • Biomedicine and Bioengineering;
  • Cell and gene therapies – genomics;
  • Clinical trials;
  • Digital health;
  • Health economists;
  • Implantable and wearable devices (e.g. 3D printed custom devices, bionics and prosthetics);
  • Infectious disease;
  • Medical devices;
  • Medical physicist;
  • Microbiology and immunology;
  • Nanotechnology and genomics;
  • Neuroscience and neurology;
  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • Precision medicine;
  • Point of care diagnostics; and

Regenerative medicine.

Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space

Defence

  • Augmented and virtual reality;
  • Cyber Security;
  • Expertise in military equipment acquisition, sustainment and evaluation;
  • Robotics and automation; and
  • Sensors and analytics.

Advanced Manufacturing

  • Advanced materials;
  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing), materials resilience and repair;
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning;
  • Automation & Robotics;
  • Bio-manufacturing and biological integration;
  • Biotechnologies;
  • Digital design and rapid prototyping;
  • Digitisation and automation;
  • Nano-manufacturing and micro-manufacturing;
  • Precision manufacturing; and
  • Sustainable manufacturing and life cycle engineering.

Space

  • Aviation in space
  • Experience that would be of benefit to the National Civil Space Priority Areas:
    • Position, navigation and timing (PNT) infrastructure (global navigation satellite systems);
    • Earth observation technology and services;
    • Communications technologies and services (lasers for data communication, quantum technologies for secure communication, and hybrid radio and optical communications);
    • Space situational awareness and debris monitoring (including space traffic management);
    • Leapfrog R&D, which includes new rocket technology, high-tech materials, space medicine, synthetic biology, quantum communications, in-orbit servicing and optical wireless communication technologies;
    • Robotics and automation on Earth and in space;
    • Access to space, which includes international space missions and launch activity;
  • Engagement with international space and astronomy regulatory bodies.
Circular Economy
  • Artificial Intelligence and digital technologies;
  • Bioenergy generation;
  • Bio-methane production;
  • Commercialisation experience within the industry;
  • Development of sustainable production and supply chain practices that reduce atmospheric land and marine pollution;
  • Energy infrastructure;
  • Recycling and responsible manufacturing to support industries (plastics, paper, glass, tyre components, e-waste and lithium batteries);
  • Reducing emissions and increasing efficient use of natural resources (including energy, water and materials);
  • Waste treatment (management and reuse) and emissions technology; and
  • Waste to Energy (WtE) technology (the ability to generate reliable baseload electricity that is also capable of diverting waste away from landfills and reducing carbon emissions).
Digitech
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning;
  • Automation;
  • Big data;
  • Blockchain technology;
  • Cloud computing;
  • Cyber security detection, prevention and response services;
  • Data and eResearch infrastructure;
  • Data management and analysis;
  • Data science;
  • Disruptive technologies;
  • Front-end development;
  • Internet of Things;
  • IT integrated with control systems for plant and machinery;
  • Machine learning engineering;
  • Network engineer/architect;
  • Quantum information and computing;
  • Robotics;
  • Senior experience in developing and producing digital games and immersive technology;
  • Smart cities;
  • Smart tech;
  • Software and product management/development;
  • Start-ups and Entrepreneurs in the industry;
  • Systems integration; and
  • 3D printing.
Infrastructure and Tourism

Infrastructure


Potential or ability to:

  • drive economic development in regional communities;
  • develop gateways to support Australia’s international competitiveness;
  • improve and expand Australia’s energy infrastructure; and
  • improve water security across Australia.

Tourism


Potential or ability to:

  • increase the economic benefits to Australia from tourism;
  • target high-value travellers in the markets and tourism segments that deliver the greatest returns; and
  • foster a sustainable and innovative tourism industry.
Financial Services and Fintech
  • Automated and predictive financial advice;
  • Blockchain technology;
  • Commercialisation experience within the industry;
  • Digital wallets;
  • Financial advice (e.g. automated and digital);
  • Financial data analytics, compliance and ‘RegTech’;
  • Micro-savings;
  • Next-generation lending, investment and wealth management;
  • Online banking; and
  • Platform banking and payments (e.g. contactless).
Education
  • Cutting edge innovation within the Education sector
  • Research and education infrastructure planning;
  • Characterisation (Technologies in advanced microscopy and microanalysis that underpin modern science, medicine, engineering and industrial innovation);
  • Digital Data and eResearch Platforms; and
  • Platforms for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

What Are the Characteristics of an Australian Nominator?

An Australian nominator should be either an:

  • Australian citizen;
  • Australian permanent resident;
  • eligible New Zealand citizen; or
  • Australian organisation.

The Australian nominator should also be: 

  • internationally recognised in the same industry sector as you;
  • familiar with your international recognition and achievements; and 
  • able to attest to those achievements in detail. 

Do Nominators Have Any Obligations to the Department of Home Affairs?

Your potential nominator may be concerned that they will be subject to stringent legal obligations or liabilities if they nominate you.

A nominator is not a ‘sponsored employer’ (a status normally attracting specific sponsorship obligations). They are also not ‘sponsoring’ you for the global talent visa. Essentially, the nominator assumes no liability or obligation by becoming a nominator for you at both the EOI and visa application stage (subclass 858). 

All that is required of the nominator is their willingness to provide their subjective and professional assessment and attest to your:

  • record of international recognition and achievements in your specific field of expertise (aligned with one of the target sectors);
  • prominence in the field (and provide examples accordingly); 
  • value as an asset to Australia; and
  • chances of obtaining employment or becoming independently established in the relevant field of your specialisation, in their view. 

The nominator must be willing to provide accurate information about the above concerning you. 

What if I Cannot Find an Australian Nominator?

It is a legislative requirement for the subclass 858 Distinguished Talent Visa to identify an appropriate Australian nominator. If you cannot do so, you will not meet the criteria. 

When Do I Need a Nominator?

As explained above, you are required to identify an Australian nominator when submitting your visa application. You should also have a nominator at the time of submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI). 

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Am I Eligible if I Hold a Bachelor (Honours) or Masters?

As of 20 January 2021, Master by Coursework, Master by Research and Bachelor (Honours) graduates are no longer eligible for invitation to the GTI program solely based on their qualifications. This policy change affects all future EOI submissions and EOIs made by candidates who had not yet received an invitation by 20 January 2021. 

Going forward, applicants who are recent graduates (of the above educational qualifications) must demonstrate the following in addition to their educational achievements. They must:

  • be internationally recognised with evidence of outstanding and exceptional achievements;
  • still be prominent in their field of expertise;
  • provide evidence that they would be an asset to Australia in their field of expertise;
  • have no difficulty obtaining employment in Australia or becoming established in their field; and
  • have a recognised organisation or individual in Australia endorse them as global talent in the same field as the applicant. 

Priority is also given to applicants that can demonstrate:

  • there is written communication from an Australian employer offering employment in Australia with an annual salary equivalent to or higher than the Fair Work high-income threshold (FWHIT); 
  • current earnings in an amount equal to or greater than the FWHIT; or
  • that they are likely to attract a salary that is equal to or greater than the FWHIT. Applicants can demonstrate this through current salary, future job offers outlining remuneration or concrete evidence of realistic earning potential backed up with evidence based on the candidate’s credentials (rather than generic market salary evidence).

Unfortunately, your EOI will not be competitive enough to secure an invitation if you rely solely on being a recent graduate of a Bachelor or Masters in the last three years. 

However, recent PhD graduates do still have priority. 

Health Waivers

From 14 November 2020, applicants (and their family members, if they are part of the visa application) who have serious health conditions can apply for a health waiver and receive the subclass 858 Distinguished Talent Visa (whether through the Global Talent Independent Program or otherwise). 

You must provide a detailed submission with supporting documentation as part of the visa application (not at the EOI stage) for the Department to assess whether they can exercise a PIC4007 waiver in your favour.

Am I Eligible if I Have Extensive Work Experience In a Target Sector?

Many potential candidates believe that if they can demonstrate extensive work experience in one of the target sectors, that alone will be enough to secure a Global Talent Visa. Unfortunately, it is not so simple. 

It is important to consider the key criteria to satisfy, such as:

  • proving a record of international recognition and achievements in your specific field of expertise (that aligns with one of the target sectors);
  • confirming that you are prominent in the field (and providing examples accordingly); 
  • describing how you would be an asset to Australia; and
  • establishing you would have no difficulty obtaining employment or becoming independently established in the relevant field of your specialisation. 

Work experience alone is unlikely to satisfy the international record of achievements criteria, even if it was in a senior role in an international company, possibly as a sponsored employee (subclass 482) and in one of the target sectors. 

Receiving an invitation to apply for the Global Talent Visa is a very competitive process. As the process and assessment of each EOI is fairly subjective, potential candidates must understand that their work experience alone will not place them in a competitive position over other candidates. Many other candidates will be able to demonstrate significantly more of their international recognition and achievements (from a combination of extensive work experience, awards, published articles, speaking engagements and so on). 

How Long Does It Take to Receive an Invitation?

Processing times vary. Due to the demand for the program, expect to wait for one to four months for an invitation. 

How Long Does It Take to Process the Visa Application?

Similarly, times vary depending on the application. 

Do I Need to Have an Australian Employment Offer?

No, you do not need to have an Australian employment offer. However, priority is given to applicants that can demonstrate that:

  • there is written communication from an Australian employer offering employment in Australia with an annual salary equivalent to or higher than the Fair Work high-income threshold (FWHIT);
  • current earnings is an amount equal to or greater than the FWHIT; or
  • they are likely to attract a salary that is equal to or greater than the FWHIT. Applicants can demonstrate this through current salary, future job offers outlining remuneration or concrete evidence of realistic earning potential backed up with evidence based on the candidate’s credentials (rather than generic market salary evidence).

I Do Not Earn Equivalent or Higher to the FWHIT. Will This be a Problem?

Not necessarily. See above. 

Key Takeaways

If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible to apply for the Global Talent Visa. If you are considering applying for this visa, LegalVision’s immigration lawyers can assist and provide information to any potential candidates who would like to discuss their eligibility for the Global Talent Visa. To make an appointment, call 1300 544 755  or complete the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Global Talent Visa?

The Global Talent Visa is designed to attract highly qualified, experienced and exceptionally talented individuals to live and work in Australia as permanent residents.

Can I get a Global Talent Visa for any field?

Global Talent Visas are issued for a certain number of targeted fields. These were expanded on 17 December 2020.

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