Masquerading for Distinguished Talent

In the past twelve months, there have been a number of departmental initiatives utilising the term Global Talent with the most recent being the Global Talent Independent Program (GTIP).

The GTIP is a peculiar initiative as it seemingly follows suit with the Global Talent Employer Sponsored pathway albeit it falls within the Distinguished Talent visa which has been historically reserved for athletes, musicians, artists, CEOs and scientists:

As a general proposition, the visa grant numbers for the distinguished talent visa had been sitting at the 500 mark so the opening up of 5,000 spaces in specific industries will be interesting to observe in terms of processing outcomes.

The main challenge for clients applying for a distinguished talent visa is how to evidence an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in a profession.  As a first point of call for this proposition, the immigration department are known to typically use Google search – so clients relying on this visa category should have a public profile.

In addition to this requirement, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are likely to earn more than $149,000 per year in Australia, and they are highly skilled in one of seven key industry sectors.  The usual character, security and integrity checks will apply to all applicants.

The seven industry sectors are AgTech, FinTech, MedTech, Cyber Security, Energy and Mining Technology, Space and Advanced Manufacturing, and Quantum Information/Advanced Digital/ Data Science and ICT.

It will be interesting to see how applicants in these sectors are able to evidence an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement particularly with a lot of these sectors operating under a veil of privacy.

Whilst the fast track permanent residency sounds appealing there remains a significant threshold to meet in terms of documenting outstanding achievement.

Global Talent Employer Sponsored

That said, it is our view that the more appropriate and relevant program for employers is the Global Talent Employer Sponsored, which allows employers to sponsor overseas workers for highly-skilled niche positions that cannot be filled by Australian workers and through other standard visa programs such as the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

The main features of the GTES are:

  • trusted employers can access highly-skilled roles – you are not restricted to occupation lists for the TSS visa short-term or medium–term streams
  • the earning threshold for applicants is higher than under the standard TSS stream
  • the visa is valid for up to 4 years and allows access to a permanent residence pathway
  • you can negotiate age requirements for the permanent residence pathway
  • priority processing of GTES agreements (Based on our experience, TSS applications are processed within a few days to 2 weeks.  There is currently no available data for permanent resident applications but would expect it to be within 1-2 months for decision-ready applications.)

Requirements for the program include:

  • Must be publicly listed or have an annual turnover of at least AUD4 million for each of the past 2 years
  • Labour market testing evidence for the specific positions as part of requesting a GTES agreement
  • The employer must be in good standing with relevant regulatory agencies, including compliance with immigration and workplace laws
  • Be endorsed as a TSS accredited sponsor

To discuss the Distinguished Talent visa or GTES and how it can work for you, please feel free to reach out to one of our consultants via email or call us on (02) 8234 8400.