Talent Visa

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Gaining permanent residency in Australia is difficult, especially if your occupation is not considered “skilled” or in demand. Each year, there are roughly 109 900 slots for skilled workers to apply for residency, of which are divvied between employer sponsored individuals (30 000 places), skilled independent workers (16 652) and state and territory nominated individuals (20 000); all which have risen from 2021-22 planning levels. However, something called a “talent visa” is available for highly skilled workers. In this post by Legal Kitz, we will take you through what a talent visa is, how you could apply for one, and what the necessary requirements are in order to obtain one. 

What are the main points to remember about talent visas? 

  • A global talent visa is a pathway to gaining permanent residency here in Australia, and eventually citizenship once eligible. 
  • There are specific requirements that must be met in order to obtain a talent visa, and these all relate to the sector of your occupation. 
  • In order to apply for a talent visa, you must first be nominated by an individual within a target sector, that is either a permanent resident or citizen. Lodging a GTI application (Global Talent Independent program visa) by yourself will not be accepted. 

What is a talent visa? 

A global talent visa (GTI) is an Australian visa primarily purposed to attract highly skilled and talented individuals from specifically targeted industries to permanently settle in Australia.

Identified as “Subclass 858”, this visa would allow you to either permanently stay in Australia, work and study in Australia, enrol in any Australian health care scheme, i.e. Medicare, sponsor relatives into Australia and eventually apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible, etc. There are currently 15,000 slots made for highly skilled and talented individuals, and a part of the 10 priority sectors in Australia. 

What are the benefits of obtaining a talent visa? 

Obtaining a talent visa comes with a range of benefits, such as: 

  • Receiving priority processing with your visa application;
  • No age limit for applicants; 
  • You do not need an Australian employer to sponsor you for a job; 
  • Not considered a point tested visa;
  • There are no exceptional English skills needed with this visa, where a IELTS score of 4.5 is needed in the English language Test, or similar; 
  • Applications can be lodged whilst residing in Australia, or even off shore if needed;
  • This visa allows you to permanently stay in Australia; 
  • Living and working anywhere in Australia is indefinite; 
  • You can enrol in the Australian public health care program; and 
  • Your children will receive free state schooling. 

What are the requirements to secure a talent visa? Am I eligible? 

In order to succeed with the application process of your talent visa, you would have to be considered highly skilled and internationally recognised in one of the following target sectors: 

  • Resources;
  • Agri Food and AG Technology; 
  • Energy;
  • Health Industry; 
  • Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space; 
  • Circular Economy; 
  • Digitech;
  • Infrastructure and Tourism; 
  • Financial Services and Fintech; or
  • Education.

In addition to these target sectors, your current salary for a job within the targeted sector must be AUD 158,500, or more, or your future job offers predict remuneration exceeding a salary of AUD 158,500 or more, or, you must be a high performing recent PhD holder in one of the target sectors listed above. You must not be in immigration clearance when applying for this visa or when it is being granted. Further, you must also be nominated by an individual with national reputation in your area of talent who is either an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, an eligible New Zealand citizen, or even an Australian organisation. 

Who can nominate me for a talent visa? 

To be nominated for a talent visa, you must be nominated by either an employer, an industry colleague, an academic colleague, or even an industry body if possible. The Australian Computer Society (ACS) will also nominate an individual with a technology focus who does not have a nominator, however you will first need to obtain your unique identifier, then email the ACS who will advise on where to go about with the next steps. You must also meet all the health, character, security and integrity checks that will apply to all the applicants. 

What are the necessary steps to partake when applying? 

Step 1: Expression of Interest for talent visa 

The applicant must submit an expression of interest (EOI) using the Global Talent Expression of Interest form. This form and any form of supporting documentation accompanying it must all be submitted in English, where various documents will be needed to support the applicant’s EOI, and translations for all these documents. Such documentation include: passport, nomination details (such as nominator’s passport), nomination for global talent form, as well as evidence of employment status, income, qualifications, internationally recognised record of exceptional or outstanding achievement in the sector. Applicants must also note that EOIs remain active until you are notified of an outcome, thus multiple submissions of EOIS should not be done. 

If you then meet the program requirements and submit all necessary documentation, you will then receive an invitation email which includes a unique invitation reference identifier and your invitation code. If your EOI is unsuccessful, however, you then be notified via email, where unsuccessful candidates may explore other visa options. 

Step 2: Apply for a talent visa 

Once the applicant has received an invitation reference identifier and invitation code, a Global Talent (subclass 858) visa application must be lodged via an ImmiAccount. Immediate family members may also be added to your application at any time before a decision can be made, where family members who apply for this visa must also meet health and character requirements. 

Legal Advice

Applying for a talent visa is a difficult task considering the requirements needed as well as the period of time needed to wait in order for someone to be granted one. Given the range of benefits offered, this visa acts as a pathway towards permanent residency in Australia, and eventually citizenship, if eligible. If you need any assistance, Legal Kitz can help! Our lawyers specialise in employment related matters and can help you as either an employer or employee. Book here for a FREE consultation now! 

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