New Visa Scheme to Attract Highly-Skilled Foreign Workers in Australia

The Global Talent Scheme will target established businesses with annual turnover of over $4 million, and STEM-related start-ups.


The Australian government announced a new visa scheme on March 19 to attract highly skilled global talent and deliver innovation to the country. The new program will be piloted from July 1, 2018.

The Global Talent Scheme will consist of two components — an established business stream and a start-up stream. “Established businesses with an annual turnover of more than $4 million will be able to sponsor highly skilled and experienced individuals for positions with earnings above $180,000 into Australia,” the department of home affairs said in a statement.

The employers will have to demonstrate that they prioritize the employment of Australians and that skills transfer will be facilitated to Australian workers as a result of the person being granted a visa. The sponsoring business must have a track record of hiring and training Australians.

“The government recognizes there is fierce competition globally for high-tech skills and talent, and that attracting these people helps to transfer skills to Australian workers and grow Australian-based businesses,” the statement added.

Technology-based and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related start-up businesses will also be able to sponsor experienced people with specialized technology skills.

Start-ups will need to be recognized by a start-up authority and demonstrate that they prioritize the employment of Australians. In both cases, a four-year Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) will be issued with permanent residence applications available after three years.

A TSS visa enables employers to address labor shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers in situations where they cannot source an appropriately skilled Australian, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said that the new scheme is in recognition of the fact that global talent is in high demand and pathways need to be provided for the Australian businesses to access this.

“We want to ensure that Australian businesses can access the best talent in the world, because this will underpin business growth, skills transfer and job creation. At all stages, Australians are prioritized for the jobs, but where the skills and experience are not available here, we want to be able to attract talent from overseas,” Tudge said.

He added that the move is a part of the ongoing reforms to the county’s skilled visa programs to ensure that Australians have priority for Australian jobs, “but acknowledge that there are times when the skills are not available in the country.”

Industry figures reveal that globally mobile, highly skilled and experienced staff can act as “job multipliers” in Australian businesses, helping them to hire more local staff and fill critical areas of need, Michaelia Cash, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, said.

“The new scheme will particularly help Australian employers in our growing innovation sector and help them to create more Australian jobs,” Cash added.

The new scheme will initially run on a trial of 12 months, starting in July this year.

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