The entrepreneurial desire to innovate and grow remains strong, despite the uncertain climate created by COVID-19 and challenges it has posed for business owners. Immigration and global talent are top-of-mind topics, and it is still possible for innovative companies and entrepreneurs to take advantage of Australia’s visa programs, despite current limitations.
TMA founder, Sarah Thapa recently presented at the Sydney Landing Pad, an event by Haymarket HQ designed to showcase Australia’s market potential for fast-growing, innovative companies that are looking to expand to Australia or Asia.
Her presentation focused on key trends in the current immigration climate as well as Global Talent Visa options available to companies currently based in Australia, as well as those looking to establish operations in the Australian market.
Immigration options for attracting innovation and talent to Australia
There is a range of visa options for overseas companies looking to establish in Australia. Some employment-related visa programs have been in place for years, while others were recently created to address growing needs to attract innovation and entrepreneurial investment in Australia.
Understanding the Australian immigration landscape to establish a business operation in Australia is critical to ensure a business has the right people on the ground and the founder or management team can work in the venture. To this end, Australia offers multiple options for attracting business owners and key team members to set up in Australia.
- Global Talent Visa Programs
There are two Global Talent Visa Programs available in Australia.
One is the employer-sponsored Global Talent Scheme visa, which falls under the subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa program and is designed to help companies sponsor highly-skilled employees who don’t fall within the traditional criteria of the TSS visa.
An employer seeking to use this visa must be a startup or accredited sponsor, and the person nominated for sponsorship must have highly-specialised or niche skills not necessarily on the skilled-occupation lists. There are also certain salary thresholds that impact one’s eligibility for the 482 Global Talent visa.
The second option is the Global Talent Independent Program, which provides a pathway for individuals to secure permanent residency if they help attract innovative skills to Australia.
The Global Talent Independent Program was introduced in 2019 and is designed for companies in seven key sectors: Agricultural technology, space and advanced manufacturing, financial technology, energy and mining technology, medical technology, cybersecurity and advanced data science.
To qualify for the program, applicants must have a salary near the high-income threshold and must be nominated or endorsed by someone in the same field, who resides in Australia or New Zealand. If invited, an individual can apply for the Distinguished Talent Visa.
We have secured a number of Global Talent Agreements for employers and Distinguished Talent Visas for individual clients in a range of industries, providing a secured pathway for key staff to be hired and retained with permanent residency options available.
- Entrepreneur Visa
Australia has created another immigration pathway for successful entrepreneurs via the 188/888 Business Innovation & Investor Visa Program. This program has two streams: A business innovation stream for a successful business with a solid track record running businesses, and an entrepreneur stream for business founders with innovative ideas and at least $200,000 in venture capital funding. Both have a path to permanent residency.
- Employer-sponsored work visas
Most businesses setting up in Australia also need to consider work-visa solutions for their key personnel – for example, a business development representative or manager to set up the operations and acquire new customers. It is not necessary for a company to be established in Australia to sponsor employees on 482 TSS work visas in Australia.
An overseas company can sponsor an employee to help establish a business in Australia or service customers. Alternatively, if Australian operations are being set up, then the Australian entity can be the sponsor of the foreign employee’s TSS visa.
Innovative businesses featured at Sydney Landing Pad
International companies can benefit from the range of visa solutions that are designed to attract innovation and international business to Australia.
Here are three examples of innovative companies we were impressed by at Sydney Landing Pad who could potentially bring huge benefits to our economy:
Sensegrass is a real-time soil monitoring system created to help farmers track their fertiliser and energy use. With this data, farmers can reduce costs and streamline their operations. Despite being a young startup, their innovative system is in use in eight countries. The company is also notable for its founders, Guatam and Khandal, who appeared on the Forbes “30 under 30” list in 2020.
This startup applies advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to reducing waste in the fruit and vegetable supply chain. Their technology detects differences in produce and alerts manufacturers to unwanted variations. Their expanding base of customers includes packers, growers, exporters, food service and retailers.
Wellysis has created a continuous ECG monitor for smart cardiovascular disease monitoring. Their innovative patch provides critical data to individuals and their healthcare providers and facilitates remote diagnosis without sacrificing clinical quality. Wellysis has been approved for use by numerous organisations, including the Australian Department of Health.
Global talent options for your innovative business
While the Sydney Landing Pad event was focused on growth businesses, startups and established companies alike can reap the benefits of Australia’s global talent programs.
At TMA, we partner with companies of all sizes to build bespoke immigration solutions that are efficient and transparent. We guide business owners, CEOs and SMEs through our 5-step process, which includes:
- Assessment: Learning about a client’s needs and finding unrealised immigration opportunities that can drive growth, innovation and profit.
- Preparation: Building an actionable strategy based on your immigration needs and walk you through all the necessary documentation to present an immigration case to the Department of Home Affairs.
- Lodgement: Presenting your case to the Department of Home Affairs, advocate for your needs and keep you updated on your the progress of your case.
- Outcome: Informing you about the outcome of your case and advising with the next steps on your global talent acquisition path.
- Partnership: Keeping you up-to-date on renewal dates and compliance changes over the years, while being ready to assist with any additional immigration needs.