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Launched by the Minister for Immigration in November 2019 and broadened in focus in December 2020, the Global Talent Independent (GTI) Program aims to attract the world’s most highly skilled professionals and researchers from selected future-focused Industry Sectors to Australia. Individuals who can demonstrate international recognition for outstanding and exceptional achievement and current prominence in these fields, where they would be an asset to Australia, are encouraged to apply. These Industry Sectors currently include:

  • Agri-food and Agricultural Technology (AgTech)
  • Circular Economy
  • Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space
  • DigiTech (which encompasses both Cyber Security and the previous Quantum Information, Data Science, Advanced Digital etc category)
  • Education
  • Energy, including Clean Energy and Renewables
  • Financial Services and Financial Technology (FinTech)
  • Health Industries (including MedTech and Biomedical)
  • Infrastructure & Tourism
  • Resources and Critical Minerals

These sectors are subject to change.

For the year ending June 2023, a quota of 5,000 permanent residency places has been allocated to the GTI program across these target sectors. Processing is focused on offshore applications.

Organisations and individuals may consider this pathway. It is potentially an alternative to the subclass 186 visa, and presents the following advantages to organisations and eligible applicants:

  • There is no requirement for an offer employment to or a position for the visa applicant. Although, the availability of an offer may increase prospects of success
  • Organisations do not need to pay the fees and levy otherwise associated with a subclass 186 nomination application
  • Applicants do not need to have a skills assessment or registration, licensing or membership
  • Applicants need to demonstrate a lower standard of English, namely functional

Summary of requirements

GTI visa applications are priority processed within the Distinguished Talent visa pathway.  The requirements are the same, however, GTI applications must first be invited to apply via an Expression of interest (EoI) process.
A GTI applicant who has received a unique identifier will need to show that they are:

  • Internationally recognised as outstanding in their field
  • Currently prominent with the ability to drive innovation in their target sector
  • An asset to the Australian community
  • Able to earn the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $162,000). It is not necessary to provide an employment offer with this salary level but evidence of the ability to meet this threshold is recommended.

Applicants must also meet health and character requirements and if aged under 18 years or 55 years and over, they must also demonstrate exceptional benefit to Australia.

In addition, the applicant must be nominated by:

  • An individual who is a permanent resident or Australian citizen and has a national reputation in the same field as the applicant; or
  • An Australian organisation (which could be a prospective employer) with a national reputation, in the same field as the applicant.

Nominators must be prepared to attest to how the applicant is a global talent and meets the requirements for the grant of the visa.

How we can help

Since the introduction of the GTI pathway, we have assisted numerous applicants to secure these visas. We have also worked closely with organisations who have been keen to support eligible applicants, regardless of whether an employment offer was available.
Our professional services in relation to this pathway include:

  • Assessing eligibility and whether it is a suitable alternative to other schemes
  • Approaching the Department to secure a unique identifier
  • Undertaking research to support the application
  • Interviewing referees
  • Advising on documentation and supporting evidence
  • Drafting supporting references, outlining achievements, prominence and benefit to Australia
  • Drafting extensive submissions on how the applicant meets the requirements
  • Preparing and submitting the nomination and visa applications
  • Liaising with the Department until a decision is made

For further information and a quotation for advice and assistance, please contact click here to contact Visa Lawyers Australia.