Many non-employer sponsored permanent visa types have been put on hold by Australian Immigration during COVID-19. However, applications lodged under the Global Talent Program are still being processed as a top priority. In fact, The Australian Government has just created 15,000 places for global talent visa applicants this immigration year – up from 5,000 last year. This indicates that there will be a strong focus on attracting global talent rather than general skilled workers.
The Global Talent Independent Program provides a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residency for highly skilled migrants from innovative fields and from around the world. TMA’s immigration experts have been working on a range of cases with leading organisations, assisting them to secure top international talent quickly and effectively.
New Government taskforce to prioritise talent attraction for COVID-19 recovery
The Global Talent Independent Program, introduced in 2019, provides a pathway for leaders and distinguished talent from specific industries to secure permanent residency in Australia.
On 4 September 2020, the Department of Home Affairs announced a new task force with the mandate to attract exceptional talent into the country through a range of visa programs, including the Global Talent visa, to assist with the post-COVID-19 recovery.
The industries initially being targeted by the task-force are:
- Space and Advanced Manufacturing
- Energy and Mining Technology
- Cyber Security
- Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT
Applicants must also meet a number of criteria to qualify for the program, including an international reputation for their talent or expertise, meeting a current or future high-salary threshold, nomination or endorsement by an Australian organisation or individual in the same field, and evidence of industry leadership, skills and experience. Specific requirements include:
- The applicant must prove they are internationally recognised with evidence of outstanding achievements.
- They are still prominent in their field of expertise.
- They need to provide evidence that they would be an asset to Australia in their area of expertise.
- They must have no difficulty obtaining employment in Australia or becoming established in their field.
- They have to be endorsed as a global talent by a recognised organisation or individual in Australia, and the organisation or individual must be in the same field as the applicant.
The most recent migration report released by the government provides insights into talent visa approval by industry. From 2019-2020, the categories with the most approvals were quantum Information, advanced digital, data science and ICT, medical technology, energy, and mining technology.
From April 2019 to April 2020, government statistics show that 7,444 Expressions of Interest (EOIs) were received, 1,105 were refused and 2,513 EOIs were invited. Of the invitations, people in Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science, and ICT received the most invitations (679). Next was Energy and Mining Technology at 593 and MedTech at 565.
A grand total of 3,124 Global Talent Visas (subclass 124 and 858) were issued during that year-long period.
TMA case studies
The Migration Agency team has developed a strong track record and expertise in processing various types of global talent applications across a range of sectors including Medtech, Fintech, and ICT, as well as individuals working in academia and in the private sector.
One recent example was the Global Talent application lodged for an emerging leader in the life sciences industry, who was employed by our client, a top tier Australian university.
The client had a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences and was well-known in his field. We assisted the individual to put together evidence of his exceptional skills, qualifications, and experience, and demonstrate his international acclaim in this area.
A key element considered by the Department of Home Affairs for the Global Talent visa is the contribution an applicant will make to their field and how that will be of national benefit to Australia. In this case, the applicant’s work in medical and biopharma advancements was making a significant contribution to Australian medical research.
One of the challenges we encountered was the individual was already employed by the university, but was not being paid high enough to meet the required salary threshold. Our immigration specialist worked with the client to find a solution, making reference to the employer’s enterprise agreement and other evidence to prove that the applicant’s potential future salary could meet the required threshold for the Global Talent visa.
Another key challenge was that the applicant was yet to organise a passport following the birth of a new child. This required a birth certificate, which was slow to arrive as it required processing through the Nigerian Consulate. We developed a personalised strategy for lodgement of the application on paper rather than online, so that the child could be included in the application as planned. We guided the client throughout the process so that they were ready for lodgement.
COVID-19 can also cause additional challenges as health examinations must be completed in person. Delays in arranging health examinations needed to be managed, however, we guided the client through this process and once medical results had been cleared, the visa was granted three days later.
The client’s immigration business partner was able to support the employer and applicant through the process to coordinate documents and milestones and provide expertise on the criteria for the global talent visa to ensure the visa application was successful with minimal issues.
Preparing for a successful outcome
As with any application, The Migration Agency takes a strategic approach mapping out the timelines and requirements for each state of the Global Talent Independent Program before preparing to lodge the application.
It’s important for employers and individuals to be aware of the requirements for each stage upfront, to flag any potential challenges or documentation that need to be arranged.
The Global Talent application process has three stages:
- Expression of interest (EOI) submitted to the Department.
- An official invitation to apply is received.
- Application for the visa is lodged with the Department, with supporting documentation to substantiate the claims made in the EOI.
We also seek to understand decision-making trends, and we may adjust our approach accordingly.
Currently, the Department is receiving high volumes of EOIs so we have found that it is important to lodge a quality EOI submission that clearly demonstrates the applicant’s talent in their field along with supporting evidence.
It is possible to receive an invitation and be refused at the visa stage if all the criteria for granting of the visa are not met or the applicant’s skills and achievements are not substantiated in the visa application. The program is highly competitive, and this will ensure the application is processed without delay and given the best chance of returning a successful outcome.
The Migration Agency can help
If you’re looking to secure top overseas talent and want to know more about applying for the Global Talent Independent Program, we can help. Contact The Migration Agency today for a consultation and our experts will assist you with a tailored visa solution to meet your needs.