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3 New Visas for Innovation: The Global Talent Visa Program now includes priority processing for permanent Visas

3 New Visas for Innovation: The Global Talent Visa Program now includes priority processing for permanent Visas

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The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs introduced a new program in 2019 to boost the movement of highly skilled individuals from around the world to Australia.

This includes a fast-tracked pathway to Australian permanent residency for applicants with globally recognised talent in a target sector.

This is one of the first programs of its type where Australia is actively hunting talented people and asking them to come to Australia.

This is an older article. Click here to learn the criteria for the Global Talent Visa


The Visas for Innovation include the following three programs:

1. Global Talent Visa program (subclass 858 visa)

A pathway for talented individuals to get an Australian visa fast

2. Global Talent Employer Sponsored program (Temporary Skills Shortage visa, Subclass 482 visa)

A program helping Australian businesses fill unique positions with the best workers

3. Supporting Innovation in South Australia pilot (subclass 408 visa)

Attracting entrepreneurs to regional Australia to undertake their projects in a supported environment - this pilot program ends November 2021

Each of these programs uses a new pathway for an old visa.

These new pathways are seeking to increase the Australian workforce capabilities in high-tech industries.

Up to 15,000 places will be offered in the Global Talent program in 2021-22.

Global Talent Independent Visa (GTI) (subclass 858 visa)

NOTE: the Global Talent Independent Visa was renamed the "Global Talent Visa" in 2020.

The benefits of the Global Talent Independent Program is that it is fast, flexible and straight-to-PR. Find out why the GTI is so popular here.

It presents a great opportunity for a highly-skilled professional in a high-growth area to move to Australia permanently.

The Global Talent scheme was launched 4 November 2019 and is built on the existing Distinguished Talent program, comprised of:

  • Offshore Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124)
  • Onshore Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858)

Fast Processing

At the Law Council's Immigration Law Conference on 20 March 2020, respresentatives from the Department of Home Affairs stated that applications under the GTI program are being given priority processing. Processing times vary from 2 day to 2 months with many being decided in one to two weeks!

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs (as he then was) David Coleman has also signed Direction no 85 to give high priority to GTI applications as they are considered to be highly desireable by the Government.

GTI Requirements

1. Highly skilled in one of the identified target “high-growth” sectors:

  • Resources
  • Agri-food and AgTech
  • Energy
  • Health industries
  • Defence, advanced manufacturing and space
  • Circular economy
  • DigiTech
  • Infrastructure and tourism
  • Financial services and FinTech
  • Education​

2. One of the following:

  • “Ability to attract” a salary at or above the Fair Work High Income Salary Threshold (this varies each financial year and is AUD158,500 as at 01 July 2021) or
  • Recent graduate of PHD or a Masters program who received high grades.

The program is designed to have global talent officers situated around the world in capital cities such as Dubai, New Delhi, Santiago, Shanghai, Washington DC, Berlin and Singapore.  These officers are seeking to attract and engage highly skilled individuals to the program to move to Australia and bring their skills with them.

Currently there are allocated 15,000 places in the GTI program which are up for grabs so if you’re a leader in your field, make sure you get your place to move to Australia.

Watch our video: Fast Track to Australian PR Now: GTI visa for Tech and IT sectors

High-Growth Fields

Agricultural Technology (AgTech)

AgTech is one of the fields identified for the Global Talent Independent Program.

Australia is looking to push the boundaries of “Agriculture 4.0”.

Growth through the Internet of Things (IOT) has been identified as an area for further explanation, with big advantages to flow for the agriculture industry.

Financial Technology (FinTech)

FinTech is a growing field worldwide, including in Australia.

We have seen the rise of a range of:

  • Modern banks such as Up, Xinja and 86,400
  • Investing platforms such as Raiz, eToro and Spaceship
  • Payment platforms and digital financial products, including AfterPay
  • Regtech and many many other FinTech products in Australia

To develop cutting edge technologies which will function in not only the Australian financial market, but which can be exported to overseas markets, Australian FinTech startups and companies need the highest level of talent.

If you are a developer, computer scientist or financial expert with a background in FinTech, a permanent move to Australia through the GTI program could be the way to go.

Experience and skills in blockchain are especially sought after.

Medical Technology (MedTech)

There is innovation globally in the medical technology field, using technologies both existing and developing.

From a range of industries to create technologies that better serve the health needs of patients.

In Australia, there are big opportunities in developing new and better medical devices, implants and bionics.

There is work to be done in designing, building and quality assurance on new implants and body augmentations

to help those with serious health problems to live a better life.

Key foundation competencies are needed in engineering and product design in the MedTech field.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is very important to many businesses and government Departments, ensuring that data, personal information, commercial information and funds remain secure.

With more and more connections to the internet and a growing number of attacks on private and public bodies, new Cyber Security solutions are needed and there are more positions in Australia than can be filled

Energy and Mining Technology

Australia has a rich and varied history of energy, mining and resources industries.

There is room for further development in mining equipment, technology and services (METS).

Global talents are being sought who can bring skills to Australia to push the METS industry even further.

The CSIRO have released a roadmap for where they see development of METS heading.

Space and Advanced Manufacturing

South Australia has recently been set up as the home for the new Australian Space Agency and space industry entrepreneurs will benefit greatly from this.

There are a range of interesting startups already underway, looking at microsatelites and other services in the space and space-adjacent industries.

Applicants who have experience working with the development of sensors, advanced materials, robotics and augmented/virtual reality systems

will have skills which are highly valuable.

One of the advantages of operating in Australia, especially in the advanced manufacturing industry, is the access to nearby asian countries.

Timezones, close proximity and existing networks make Australia a positive environment.

If you are a global talent in the advanced manufacturing industry, this program might be a suitable way for you to obtain a permanent Australian visa

and work for an established company or establish your own.

Quantum Information/Advance Digital/Data Science and ICT

There is a lot of research taking place in advanced computational systems and the field of “big data”.

There is demand for high level talent with experience and aptitude in the area to make big breakthroughs.

Global talents are sought by universities, government research organisations and private industry to develop and apply quantum information/advance digital/data science and ICT.

Global Talent Employer Sponsored (GTES) (TSS subclass 482 visa)

The GTES is an option for businesses to sponsor highly skilled workers who do not fit neatly into atarget sector. It has been open for applications since 1 July 2018.

We have previously written about this in depth here:

A number of big tech and adjacent industry names are already registered as sponsors for this program (all current agreements are published here:

These include:

One of the big benefits of this program is the skills which highly skilled individuals can pass on to their colleagues in Australia.

There are two streams for the GTES program:

  • Established Business stream
  • Startup stream

Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) (subclass 408 visa)

The SISA program is a new stream for the 408 visa and an opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop their new idea in South Australia.

This program has actually been in force since November 2018. We wrote about this soon after its release here: New South Australian Entrepreneur Visa (SISA) Processing Times & Requirements

Success Stories

One success story is Daniel Tan, the founder of Pencil Rocket who has obtained a SISA visa in connection with ecosystem provider Flinders New Venture Institute.

You can read Daniel’s story here:

Another is Pascal, founder of Jobspottr:


This article was written by Luke Edwards

Visit Luke's profile to find out more his expertise.

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