The Global Talent Independent Visa program aims to attract top talent in certain critical sectors. It is designed to help Australia compete with countries such as Canada, the US and the UK for the world’s best and brightest. The program targets individuals who are distinguished in their field and who are likely to be able to earn at least AU$153,600 in Australia. This amount relates to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) which is indexed annually usually on 1 July.
Ajuria’s dedicated Global Talent Visa team has successfully lodged many applications for Global Talent Visas and are now seen as some of the leading experts in this specialised area.
Why the Global Talent Independent Visa Program (GTIP) over other options?
The program is attractive in many ways:
- Priority processing means these visas are given the highest priority of all Australian migration programs. The process is streamlined and extremely efficient with Global Talent visas being granted in as little as 1 month from lodgement but usually in an average of 3 months.
- Once invited to apply for the Global Talent Visa, the pathway to permanent residence is much more certain and it is not the subject to months if not years of processing which is the case with other visa programs such as the 190. The government sees this as a much more targeted approach to attracting talent in sectors seen as critical to Australia.
- The visa is granted without being the subject to any employment conditions. This means individuals are free to move roles and/or employers.
- Because the visa is not tied to an employer, there is no training levy which can be a saving of AU$3,000 or AU$5,000 depending on the size of the employer.
- Our international borders have been practically closed since last year, however if granted a visa through Global Talent Visa program, no exemption to enter Australia is required from the Australian Border Force as individuals are granted Australian permanent residence and are free to travel
- Being a permanent resident provides a pathway to Australian citizenship.
Who can apply for the Global Talent Independent Visa Program?
Whether overseas or in Australia, individuals eligible for the Global Talent Independent Visa program can lodge their Expression of Interest (EOI). This is part of the process that we most love working on in our office as it allows us the opportunity to put arguments forward as to why a candidate would be so attractive to Australia. A lot of our clients are based overseas in other parts of Australia. We most often work with our clients on the GTIP over Zoom or other video platforms.
If invited to apply, a visa application is then lodged under the GTIP pathway. Given the recently relaxed rules, anyone in Australia who holds a valid visa can now apply for a Global Talent visa provided they meet the usual requirements. This has certainly broadened the number of eligible applicants as prior to this change only certain visa holders were able to apply for a Global Talent visa from within Australia.
Australia’s Immigration Minister can offer ‘Directions’ for processing of visas with the GTI being at the top of the priority list. The latest Direction (number 89) released on 17 December 2020 was issued to:
To enable the Department of Home Affairs to give effect to the priority processing intentions of Government for the Global Talent cohort. This will support the responsive processing of applicants that are identified as highly desirable by Government.
This is why these applications are processed so quickly by the Department of Home Affairs.
As the government continues to target talent from around the world, it recently expanded the scope of the talent program by adding new target sectors including tourism, financial services and the circular economy. The target sectors for the Global Talent visa are:
(b) Agri-food and AgTech;
(d) Health industries;
(e) Defence, advanced manufacturing and space;
(f) Circular economy;
(h) Infrastructure and tourism;
(i) Financial services and FinTech; and
The government is now accepting visa applicants into the Global Talent program from 10 target sectors that cover far more ground than the original set of definitions.
New target sectors of note are education, tourism and the circular economy, while the remaining seven areas are largely an expansion of the original seven.
Since its inception the program has now expanded to 15,000 per year. With the next immigration program year being opened on 1 July, we expect to see many more grants in this category. We also await Australia’s Federal Budget in May 2021 as often migration priorities are set during this budget. We are not expecting the GTI program to be curtailed.
What do I need to apply for the Global Talent Independent Visa Program?
To be eligible you will need to show that you:
- are distinguished in in one of the identified Global Talent Visa industries: AgTech; Space & Advanced Manufacturing; FinTech; Energy & Mining Technology; MedTech; Cyber Security; Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science & ICT;
- have an Australian nominator;
- are able to earn above the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) (currently AU$153,600 per annum) in Australia which can be demonstrated with evidence of current earnings, future job offers or recent PhD graduates in the target sectors.
Australian Nominator for the Global Talent Independent Visa Program
You will need an Australian citizen or Australian organisation to nominate (endorse) you for the Global Talent visa. There is no fee payable with the nomination, and there are no ongoing obligations for your nominator.
The nominator should be in a position of expertise in Australia in your field so as to be able to verify that you have the international reputation and that you should be granted a Global Talent visa.
As part of the process, our Ajuria GTI team assists nominators with the completion of the paperwork. Often clients have more than one nominator and we assist in discussing and choosing the strongest one.
Ajuria Case Study
Anna is working in San Francisco as a Software Developer. Whilst she met all requirements for the GTIP visa, she did not have an Australian nominator. This was arranged through the IT professional body whom after assessing her skills, were able to nominate her for the role.
Your Ajuria GTIP lawyer can assist you in working out who should be your nominator.
What is the process of applying for a Global Talent visa?
Our office is helping lots of amazing applicants with this program. We have developed a 3 step process with fees being incurred per stage and not all up front:
Ability to earn more than AU$153,600
You do not need to show that you are currently earning more than this amount to be granted a Global Talent visa, although if you do earn more than this it will certainly help the application. The requirement is only that you demonstrate that you have the potential to earn that amount of money.
Ajuria Case Study
Laksh is a medical researcher working in Australia for a State government. His current annual salary is $98,000 which is less than the required $153,600 for the Global Talent Visa. By doing market research and collecting evidence of salaries in the private sector for similar type occupations we were able to argue that Laksh has the capacity to earn above the $153,600 threshold based on his projected career advancement.
We can help you work out the best way to prove your ability to earn enough money for the Global Talent visa especially if you are a recent PhD graduate.
How can Ajuria help you obtain a Global Talent visa?
Our GTIP lawyers have a lot of experience with the Global Talent Visas and can help you make a successful application.
We will help:
- Prepare and lodge your expression of interest making sure we focus on all the factors that the Australian government is looking for.
- Work with your nominator and referees to build the strongest supporting evidence possible for your case.
- Gather evidence of your earning capacity in Australia.
- Prepare, lodge and then navigate your visa application through the process to approval.
- Help you understand how you can obtain Australian citizenship if that is your goal.
How much does it cost to lodge a Global Talent visa?
The costs of the Global Talent visa varies greatly depending on the individual and their personal circumstances. Ajuria Lawyers’ process is simple and fees are in line with the 3 stages as set out above. If you engage our services, fees are paid in instalments as the matter progresses and are all disclosed upfront through a formal fee agreement compliant with the rules as regulated by the Law Society of NSW. This fee agreement states your Ajuria GTIP lawyer that will work on the application and will itemise out all disbursements expected to be incurred. Our fees are transparent and clear with no surprises.
What are Ajuria Lawyers’ success rates with the Global Talent visa?
Our team has been extremely successful with the GTI program which is largely to do with the calibre of our applicants, but also because our GTIP lawyers carefully assess the eligibility before processing to prepare the EOI. We will only lodge the GTI EOI once we are confident the chances of success are strong.
We often see failed EOIs not prepared by our team. The theme that they all have in common is the lack of information and lack of supporting arguments. The EOI is an extremely important step and we work strategically with our clients to ensure the paperwork meets the Government guidelines which invariable are subject to constant change.
A GTI applicant must show they will earn above $153,600 in Australia and this might be challenging for some recent graduates, however recent PhD graduates may be able to navigate this requirement. Since its launch, the GTI attracted many recent graduates, but from 20 January 2021, students nearing completion date and graduates of Masters by Coursework, Masters by Research and Bachelor with Honours are no longer eligible for invitation to the GTI program solely on the basis of their qualifications. This includes candidates who submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) prior to this date. Those who received an invitation before the cut-off date are still eligible to apply. PhD graduates and certain PhD students may still be eligible to apply for the GTI Program if they can demonstrate exceptional talent and international recognition in a target sector. In addition, PhD students who are nearing completion of their degree must be able to demonstrate they had a record of achievement prior to commencing their PhD studies. Ajuria Lawyers is experienced in assisting PhD graduates in the various GTI target sectors.
For more details regarding students, recent graduates and the GTI initiative, contact one of our lawyers in our GTI team or please see our post on the topic.
Global Talent visa applicants and their families are now be able to seek a waiver of the usual health requirements if they suffer from a disease or condition that would otherwise have resulted in a visa refusal. This is due to recent welcome changes to the GTI Regulations by the Federal government. Although the Department will still need to assess the likely costs of any health condition and decide whether to grant the visa despite these costs, it means that many families who would otherwise have been ineligible for Global Talent visa can now apply.
Ajuria Lawyers lobbied strongly for this change and celebrated when it was recently introduced. Our experienced lawyers have extensive expertise in dealing with visa health waivers. This ranges from working with medical specialist to argue a reduction on assesses costs to successfully arguing why a waiver should apply – specially if applying under the GTI program where we can clearly demonstrate the attractiveness of the candidate because of their skills.
If you have questions or want to learn more about how the Global Talent visa could help you, please contact us.
If you are an employer and are interested in offering this pathway for your staff, we would love to help!
Global Talent Team
Learn more about our Global Talent Team and discover how we can help you in your visa application process.
DISCLAIMER This information is current as of date of publication and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.