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New Australian visa scheme launched for the tech industry

Last month, the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs formally launched the Global Talent Independent Program (GTIP), a new, specialised high-skilled migration scheme that will offer fast-tracked permanent residency to up to 5000 people each year to potential migrants in seven key technology sectors. This program is designed to attract the best and brightest talents in their fields of expertise in order to best position Australia for competitiveness, and has the potential to have an ongoing and transformative impact on the Australian economy. 

What is the program?

The GTIP is a dedicated migration scheme that operates by providing identified potential migrants with an invitation to apply for a Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124 or subclass 858). Those under this scheme will have their visas fast-tracked, allowing them to obtain permanent residency in a matter of weeks. Its aim is to entrench high-tech industries in Australia. 

Who does it apply to?

The program targets potential migrants working in one of seven tech fields, including AgTech, space and advanced manufacturing, fintech, energy and mining technology, medtech, cyber security, and quantum information, advanced digital, data science and ICT.  The potential migrants must be at the top of their field, and also must be deemed to be high-incomer earners – that is, either currently earning more than AUD$149,000 per year (this figure will be adjusted at the start of each financial year) or are otherwise determined to likely make more than this in Australia.

How does it work?

In order to support the stream, the Department of Home Affairs has deployed officers (called Global Talent Officers) to seven global cities – Santiago, Berlin, Washington DC, Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai and New Delhi – in an effort to recruit potential migrants and guide them through the application process. Global Talent Officers will identify candidates and give them a referral to the Department, who may then be subsequently invited to apply for a Distinguished Talent Visa. Alternatively, a leading organisation or individual with a national reputation in the same field as the potential migrant may also provide a referral. Only individuals who are recognised as being at the top of their field will be eligible for the program. 

Subsequent visa applicants under the scheme will still need to pass the usual security and character checks under Australian immigration law, however, the Department of Home Affairs will fast track the process to ensure that their applications receive the highest priority processing, allowing complete applications to be processed in a matter of weeks. The new permanent residents will then be able to live and work anywhere in Australia, free from restrictions. 

What are the expected impacts?

The aim of the program is to allow Australia to better compete as an international draw for tech-talent, streamlining the visa process given that it has a reputation for being notoriously complicated. This will allow local business in Australia to attract top talent in the relevant fields and then assist in growth for these industries in Australia. By extension, the scheme is expected to create opportunities for Australians by creating linked job opportunities, allowing for the transfer of skills and promoting innovation. The 5000 GTIP placements are expected to be a driving force for growth in the tech industry. 

Conclusion

The GTIP has the potential to attract highly specialised tech talent to Australia and in turn foster the development and growth of each of the industry fields under the scheme. Beyond this, the scheme is expected to create new Australian jobs, strengthen and diversify the economy and build on the Australian tech industry’s talent pool. And of course for eligible potential migrants this presents a great opportunity for those interested in moving to Australia. 

Harris Gomez Group is a Common Law firm, with offices in Santiago, Bogotá, and Sydney. We also have legal teams in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina. Over the last 18 years, we have been supporting foreign companies with their growth in Australia and Latin America. Many of our clients are technology companies, service providers and engineering companies that focus on the mining, energy and infrastructure markets.

To better understand how we can support your management team in the Region, please contact Cody Mcfarlane at cmm@hgomezgroup.com