New High Tech Visa Announced

Global Talent Scheme – New visa for highly skilled tech professionals

In a recent article for Information Age, Managing Editor Roulla Yiacoumi identified this upcoming visa trial, designed to provide a pathway for overseas highly skilled and highly paid technology professionals, into Australian businesses.

The new visa is to be piloted with a 12 month trial commencing July 1st 2018. There seems little doubt that its conception lies at the feet of the recently axed 457 visa and of course, the obvious shortcomings of its more restrictive successor, the 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa (or as Home Affairs prefers to call it, the TSS Visa).

So what is the Global Talent Scheme?

Firstly, it’s not unique to Australia. It is though, a scheme which offers companies an opportunity to import skills totally unrecognised by Government. In the modern technological age, exceptional skills are being developed every day; skills which cover social media, newly-sourced information analysts, the integration of AI into decision-making applications – the list goes on and on. Just a few years ago, some of these skills didn’t even exist and in a few years’ time, additional ones will emerge.

By introducing this new visa, the Government acknowledges the active international competition for these skills. Allowing their practitioners into Australia not only assists local business, but also transfers the skills to Australian professionals.

How will it work?

Admissions will be via two “streams” and variances do apply.

The “Established Business Stream” targets publicly listed companies or those with two consecutive turnovers each exceeding $4 million. In this stream, the nominated position must have a minimum salary of $180,000 per annum.

On the other hand, the “Start-up Stream” is aimed at newly-established companies in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (including medical, agricultural etc.). Here, the annual earnings minimum falls into line with those under the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, currently $53,900 per annum.

Obviously, applicants will need to be nominated by an established business and the initial settings for consultation with this business will generally include:

  • Business will need to demonstrate that it has given first preference to Australian workers
  • Labour market testing for the specific position
  • Established Business Stream businesses must be publicly listed companies or have an annual turnover of at least $4 million for each of the past two years. “Start-up Stream” companies must meet criteria.
  • Business must be a good corporate citizen with no breaches of workplace or immigration law.

Applicants will also need to meet a range of criteria, including;

  • Health, character and security requirements
  • No familial relationship with directors or shareholders
  • Appropriate English language skills
  • Qualifications commensurate with highly skilled role
  • Minimum 3 years work experience in directly relevant position
  • Position must have minimum annual earnings of $180,000 (can be part equity)

Will there be a possible transition to permanent residency?

The short answer to this is “yes – it is possible after three years”. Immigration law is extremely complex however, and the foundations for any future transition are best laid from the outset.

Focus on the outcome

The dynamics and fast changing world of technology in many ways mirrors the ever-evolving landscape of immigration, so it really does pay dividends to obtain professional assistance; skilled practitioners who are specialised in the field, comprehensively trained to recognise the traps and the trends. It can save so much time and avoid so much unnecessary expense.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.

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