Global Talent Scheme and Independent Program

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Global Talent Scheme

The Global Talent Scheme (GTS) allows Australian companies including start-ups, a pathway to sponsor highly skilled and specialised workers not covered by the standard 482 programs. This program also caters for new and emerging STEM positions where the occupations will not already be approved for visa purposes.

There are two visa streams in this program, these are:

  • Employer-Sponsored Program Established Business Stream (GTES)

  • Start-Up Stream

Established employers who have an agreement in place with the Immigration Department can sponsor up to 20 applicants per year over 5 years. The business must be an accredited and current Standard Business Sponsor. There is a minimum annual earnings requirement which is set at the Fair Work High Income Threshold  which for FY 20/21 is $153,600.

Start-up businesses can sponsor up to 5 applicants per year. This stream allows employers to sponsor start-ups operating in a technology or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related field. Start-ups must be endorsed by the independent GTS start-up advisory panel. In order to gain endorsement, the business will need to have received an investment of at least $50,000 from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership or received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant. There is a minimum annual earnings requirement of no less than $80,000 which can be made up of partial equity and cash.

Occupation Lists

The GTS Agreement must specify the occupations that are to be filled over the 5 years. Unlike the standard sponsorship program, the occupations do not have to be listed in the approved list of occupations used in the 482 and 186 (Employer Nominated Scheme) programs and sponsors can apply to have their occupations approved by Immigration. 

Age Requirement

Applicants applying for permanent residence under visa subclass 186 will generally be eligible to apply up to the age of 55 years. An increase in the age limit can be negotiated

Labour Market Testing

The sponsor is required to test the local labour market which requires the business to advertise the position as per labour market testing requirements.

Global Talent Independent Program

The program offers a streamlined variety priority visa pathway for highly skilled individuals to work and live permanently in Australia and is designed to strengthen Australia’s ability to compete for the world’s best and brightest skilled migrants and grow Australian businesses of the future.

The eligibility requirements for the program include that the candidate:

  • is highly skilled and internationally recognized in one of seven target sectors (listed below); and 

  • has the ability to earn the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $153,600).

In assessing whether a candidate is likely to have the ability to meet this salary threshold, the Department will consider current salary or future job offers; as well as candidates who have recently graduated or are soon to graduate with PhDs or Masters qualifications in the target sectors.

The following target sectors have been selected to foster growth in future-focused industries:

  •  AgTech

  • FinTech

  • MedTech

  • Cyber Security

  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing

  • Energy and Mining Technology

  • Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT

How to apply?

Individuals who meet the requirements will be provided with a unique Global Talent Identifier, which provides priority processing for a Distinguished Talent Visa application.

You must register with the immigrations Department to be provided with a unique identifier number.

Candidates accepted into the program will receive streamlined, priority processing to meet the Distinguished Talent Visa regulatory criteria. All visa applicants need including health and character requirements before a visa can be granted.


Dates Feb 09, 2021

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