Global Talent Program and Distinguished Talent Visa

Global Talent & Distinguished Talent

The Migration Program for a new financial year is normally considered early in the new calendar year, and the program is formally announced by the Minister after his public consultations and after the Federal Cabinet has decided on it – this announcement is normally made before the commencement of the new financial year on 1 July.

This year the process has been disrupted because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the migration program, or its planning levels, is now expected to be released about the time of the Budget in early October 2020.

The Prime Minister has already foreshadowed that the program will be reduced significantly because of the growing unemployment in Australia. However, it is expected that certain programs may not be reduced because of the significant economic and employment benefits that they will bring Australia. Two such programs are the Business Innovation & Investment Visa Program, and the Global Talent Program.

We will discuss the Global Talent Program & the Distinguished Talent Program in this article.

Purpose of this Article

When we talk about the Australian Global Talent Program, we are in fact talking about the following three loose but separate or overlapping programs:
• Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program:
• Global Talent Independent Program; and
• Distinguished Talent Program.

In this article we will demystify the Global Talent Program, and in the process also look specifically at the Distinguished Talent Visa.

The Global Talent Program

This is in fact our third article on the subject of Global Talent, and what it means:

• Global Talent Employer Sponsored:

On 7 May 2020 we reprinted an article that we had published in 2019 on the Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program (GTES) which you can view here: https://rcrlaw.com.au/global-talent-visa/

In this article we explained how Australian businesses can negotiate specific labour agreements directly with the Department of Home Affairs to bring highly skilled occupations that may not be on the published skilled occupation lists to Australia.

Australian businesses must demonstrate that they cannot fill vacant positions under existing skilled visa programs before applying for a GTES agreement, and the criteria for this is dependent on the visa stream that is being considered:

•the Established Business Stream is where the applicant is for a highly skilled occupation where its minimum annual earning capacity is equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently AUD$153,600).

•the Start-up Stream: In contrast this stream is aimed at newly-established companies in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) that can demonstrate that they have received at least AUD$50,000 in funding from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership, or that they have received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant. In addition, the Businesses must be endorsed by the Start-up Advisory Panel.

These visas will be allocated from either the Employer Sponsored Visa Programs, or the Global Talent Program.

• Global Talent Independent:

Our second article on Global Talent was published on 14 May 2020 when we wrote about the Global Talent Independent (GTI) Visa: https://rcrlaw.com.au/global-talent-independent-visas/

This visa program is for highly-skilled candidates from seven specified innovative “future focused fields” of interest to the Australian government, specifically in the AgTech, Space and Advanced Manufacturing, FinTech, Energy and Mining Technology, MedTech, Cyber Security, and Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and IT sectors.

Apart from proving that applicants have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement, they also need to show that they attract, or potentially attract, a salary commensurate with the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT).

The Global Talent Independent Visa is a permanent resident visa and is given priority processing by the department.

In this article, we will also give focus to the Distinguished Talent Visa and the confusion it may sometimes have with the GTI as both overlap, and have different visa program allocations.

We have already explained above, and in the links provided, what Global Talent is, and specifically the Global Talent Independent “Visa”. The Minister for Immigration in announcing the GTI program on 4 November 2019 said: “Over time, the Global Talent program has the potential to have a transformative impact on the Australian economy.”

Because of its importance, the Minister has said that the process for these applications will be fast-tracked to permanent residency in Australia.

But when we discuss Global Talent visas, we merely discuss them as notional GTES or GTI “visas”. In reality GTES and GTI are only notional concepts as they do not have a 3-digit subclass identifier number like other substantive visas, such as Skilled Visas (eg 189, 190 or 491), or Distinguished Talent Visa (offshore subclass 124 or onshore 858 visas).

However, a migration program is allocated to them directly: for GTES its program if not derived from the Employer Sponsored Program, would like GTI, be sourced directly from the Global Talent Program.

In processing GTI applications, they are managed and assessed in a similar way to Distinguished Talent Visas. Just this month (July 2020) we assisted a client apply for the GTI Program – and the GTI/ Distinguished Talent Visa was granted in just 11 days! When this visa is granted, however, the visa is allocated from the larger Global Talent Program instead of the much smaller Distinguished Talent Program.

In the 2019-2020 Program year, 5,000 visa allocation was set aside for Global Talent and only 200 visas for Distinguished Talent. This fact can be found on the department’s website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/migration-program-planning-levels

What is Distinguished Talent Visa?

It is important to explain the difference between the GTI and the Distinguished Talent (DT) visa. They overlap theoretically but they are not the same.

As explained above, the GTI is a program for highly-skilled candidates from seven specified innovative “future focused fields” identified by the Australian government. Applicants for it must have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement.

In contrast, the DT is notionally much broader in scope, even though its program numbers are significantly smaller.

To be eligible for DT, like GTI, applicants must also have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement, but the applicant can come from one of the following four broad areas of talent:
• a profession;
• a sport;
• the arts;
• academia and research.

In addition, the applicant must still be prominent in the area; will be an asset to the Australian community; and will have no difficulty in obtaining employment, or in becoming established independently in Australia in their area of reputation.

Furthermore, the applicant must be nominated and have the support of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or Australian organisation that has a national reputation in the area of talent.

The applicant must also prove that they will be of exceptional benefit to the Australian community.

These are the minimum core threshold requirements for DT.

As can be seen, GTI applicants need also to fulfill many of the same criteria, but their eligibility will be narrower in scope.

Case Example

To illustrate what a DT candidate may look like, I can share a true story that was granted a DT Visa.

The applicant in question was an exceptional Indian classical dancer of Indian nationality. Because she was able to prove the following requirements, she was granted a DT Visa:

• as an Indian classical dancer, she was able to prove that she was the cream of the cream, globally, in the arts – that she had an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement;

• at time of application she remained prominent in her craft;

• she was able to prove that she was an asset (culturally?) to the Australian Community;

• she could prove that she had no difficulty in obtaining employment, or in becoming established independently in Australia in her area of talent and reputation – possibly teaching and earning an income from teaching Indian classical dancing to the growing Indian diaspora in Australia?

• she had the support of an Australian citizen/ permanent resident or Australian organisation that had a national reputation in the area of her talent; and

• she was able to prove that she would be of exceptional benefit (cultural?) to the Australian community.

This is an usual story, but it is chosen here to illustrate how the DI Visa works, even though it is an arcane talent.

However, unlike the GTI, the DI Program numbers have remained consistently low over the years – only a ceiling of 200 visas have been issued annually in the past many years.

Eligibility for DI candidates are therefore highly selective and rigorous.

How does the process work?

Candidates with immense talent as explained for GTI and DI, and who wish to be considered for either program should approach us to test their eligibility.

If the candidate is assessed as potentially meeting the requirements, we will assist the applicant with the process: by lodging an Expression of Interest in the case of GTI, or an application to Australian Immigration for DI candidates.

In either case, we will work with the client in guiding and advocating for them throughout the process:

• For GTI candidates: we will work with the client in a proactive manner to lodge their expression of interest to the department. Successful candidates will be issued an invitation to submit an application with a Global Talent unique identifier, and we will assist the client lodge the strongest application possible for them.

• For DI candidates: the process for DI is different. If we are convinced that the client meets all the required threshold requirements we will guide & work with them in a proactive way to collate all the required supporting evidence to enhance the applicant’s prospects before finally lodging the application.

We have direct experience in assisting clients with these applications and are familiar with the processes. As mentioned above, in July 2020, we assisted a GTI/ Distinguished Talent client get her visa in a record 11 days! We endeavour to assist all our future clients in a similar way. These applications are important to the Australian government, and GTI applicants are fast-tracked and given priority processing.

Contact

Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers team of Migration Lawyers can assess the suitability of candidates for either program. We can provide comprehensive advice regarding eligibility, address the important threshold issues, and guide applicants in preparing a decision-ready application.

Please contact any one of us in the Migration team for assistance, or call (07) 3009 8444:
• Peter K K Lee, Special Counsel: [email protected]
• Clayton Hellen, Senior Associate: [email protected]
• Shanalee Johal, Lawyer: [email protected]

VISA UPDATE: Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program

Global Talent Employer Sponsored Visa

The Minister for Immigration announced in August 2019 that the Global Talent Visa scheme is now a permanent fixture in Australia’s migration program. The Global Talent scheme comprises of two different programs: Global Talent – Employer Sponsored program and Global Talent – Independent program. This article will address the first program, the Global Talent – Employer Sponsored program (GTES).

The Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program (GTES)

The Global Talent Scheme Pilot, targeting highly skilled global talent, began in July 2018. The purpose of the program was to address concerns that highly skilled niche positions required by Australian businesses were not able to be sponsored under the rigid occupation lists of other skilled and employer sponsored visa programs.

While the program has seen some success, critics question whether it is delivering on its aim, due to the low number of applicants sponsored through GTES Agreements since its inception.

Global Talent Visa AustraliaThe Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program (GTES) allows eligible Australian businesses to sponsor highly skilled overseas applicants for up to 4 years. The program is delivered through the existing Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa. However, GTES applicants do not have to apply through the usual Short Term and Medium Term streams of the TSS visa, which requires the nominee’s occupation to be on the published skilled occupation lists. Instead, GTES allows Australian businesses to negotiate specific labour agreements directly with the Department of Home Affairs to fill highly skilled occupations that may not be on the published skilled occupation lists and may not be available under the existing industry specific labour agreements in place.

A business must demonstrate that they cannot fill vacant positions under existing skilled visa programs before applying for a GTES agreement.

The visa is split into two streams: the Established Business Stream and the Start-up Stream.

GTES (Global Talent Employer Sponsored) Streams

The Established Business Streams

This stream is only available to Australian employers who are accredited sponsors with the Department of Home Affairs. There are five categories of accredited sponsors:
1. Australian Government agencies where at least 75% of the workers are Australian
2. Australian Trusted Traders where at least 75% of the workers are Australian
3. Existing Standard Business Sponsors with a turnover of over $4million where at least 85% of the workers are Australian
4. Existing Standard Business Sponsors who have successfully nominated at least 10 workers in the last 2 years, with a turnover of over $4million, where at least 75% of the workers are Australian
5. Existing Standard Business Sponsors who have made a major investment of at least $50million into Australia

Australian Employer Criteria- The Established Business Stream

The Australian business will need to meet the following key requirements:
1. Be an accredited sponsor;
2. Be publicly listed, or have an annual turnover of at least AUD4 million for each of the past 2 years;
3. Have good standing in compliance with regulatory agencies
4. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
5. That the position will have minimum annual earnings equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $148,700); and
6. That the sponsorship will support job opportunities and a skills transfer to Australian workers.

This stream will allow businesses to nominate up to 20 positions per year.

Visa Applicant Criteria -The Established Business Stream

The visa applicant will need to meet the following key requirements:
1. Qualifications to suit the highly skilled role;
2. Three years of directly relevant work experience;
3. Capacity to pass their skills on to Australian workers; and
4. No family relationship with the directors and shareholders of the employer.
Applicants will have access to a transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years.

The Start-up Stream

The Start-up steam is aimed at newly-established companies in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Businesses must first be endorsed by the Start-up Advisory Panel. They must also demonstrate that they have received at least $50,000 in funding from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership, or that they have received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant.

Australian Employer Criteria- Start-up Stream

The stream requires businesses to show the following:
1. Endorsement by the Start-up Advisory Panel;
2. That their recruitment policy provides first preference to Australian workers;
3. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
4. That the position will provide for the market salary rate for the position, which must be at least $80,000 (including a cash component of at least $53,900) and
5. That the sponsorship will result in job opportunities and a skills transfer to Australian workers.
Approved businesses can nominate up to 5 positions each year.

Visa Applicant Criteria- Start-up Stream

The visa applicant will need to meet the following key requirements:
1. Qualifications to suit the highly skilled role;
2. Three years of directly relevant work experience;
3. Capacity to pass their skills on to Australian workers; and
4. No family relationship with the directors and shareholders of the employer.

Applicants will have access to a transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years.

GTES agreements receive priority processing by the Department.

If you are an Australian business who is struggling to fill a high specialised role within your organisation, the GTES program may be your solution to being able to employ an appropriate candidate from overseas. Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers migration team can provide advice on your eligibility, discuss the options available, and guide you through the GTES process.

If you are a highly skilled applicant who has an Australian employer interested in offering employment, and you need to discuss what visa options might be available, Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers can provide comprehensive advice on the options and strategies available to you and your potential employer.

Contact us for a consultation today:
Peter Kuek-Kong Lee, Special Counsel and Registered Migration Agent MARN 0427478
[email protected]
Anna Gunning-Stevenson, Associate and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1797244
[email protected]
(07) 3009 8444

Entrepreneur Visa Australia

Entreprenuer Visa Australia

The Australian Government introduced an Entrepreneur Visa in September 2016, adding it to the suite of existing Business Migration and Investor Visas.

The visa is for people who are able to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia in conjunction with an acceptable partner listed below. It is in some ways a smaller version of the Venture Capital Entrepreneur Visa. This visa provides a pathway to permanent residence.

Conceivably bright international students in Australia researching in innovative, science, engineering, and technological industries may be eligible if they can find eligible partners who could assist with funding for the entrepreneur activity.

Who is eligible for the entrepreneur visa to Australia?

Applicants have to be less than 55 years old, and must be nominated by a State or Territory Government. This requirement can be waived by the nominating government if the proposed activity “is or will be of exceptional economic benefit” to the nominating government.

Unlike the other Business Innovation & Investment visas, the applicant must have Competent English (equivalent to IELTS 6).

And the applicant must undertake, or propose to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia, and has a genuine intention to continue this activity.

Furthermore, the nominating government must be satisfied that the net value of the business and personal assets of the applicant is sufficient to allow them to settle in Australia. This net value may vary depending on the nominating government.

The criteria also include the mandatory elements of the entrepreneur activity listed below.
Unlike the Business Innovation (subclass 188a) Visa and the Investor (Subclass 188b) Visa, this Entrepreneur Visa is not subject to the Points Test.

What is Complying Entrepreneur Activity?

A Complying Entrepreneur Activity is an activity that relates to an innovative idea that will lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.

The applicant will need to find a Partner with whom it will have a funding agreement of at least AUD$200,000 to undertake the complying entrepreneur activity. This Partner can be one of the following entities:

• Commonwealth Government agency;
• State or Territory Government;
• Publicly Funded Research or Innovation Organisation;
• Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership; and
• Higher Education Provider.
The entrepreneur activity must comprise the following elements:
• There is one or more legally enforceable agreements to provide funding for at least AUD$200 000 for the entrepreneur activity;
• At least 10 per cent of the funding must be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months from the day the activity commences in Australia;
• The applicant holds at least 30 per cent interest in the entrepreneurial entity;
• There is a business plan for the entrepreneurial entity showing how the innovative idea will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.
What are my obligations for the entrepreneur visa?

It is expected that the Entrepreneur Activity will maintain an ongoing relationship with the nominating State or Territory government; and the funding party must pay the entrepreneurial entity, as described above, at least 10 per cent of AUD$200,000 within 12 months from the day the entrepreneurial activity in Australia commences.
Contact

If you are interested in the Entrepreneur Visa for Australia please contact migration lawyer Peter Kuek-Kong Lee of Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers on (07) 3009 8444, or email: [email protected]

RCR Lawyers co-host an Investment and Business Migration seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

On May 4, 2019, Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers were the co-hosts of an Investment and business migration seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The partnership between RCR Law, TP Immigration, Investment, and Consultancy attracted Vietnamese business people from near and far and was a great success for all involved.

Presenters included our Founding Partner Greg Rostron and Special Counsel Peter Kuek-Kong Lee. Alongside, Greg McKean, Manager at Business and Skilled Migration QLD, Australia and Brendan Goulding, Director in International Services at Bentleys QLD, our very own Peter Kuek-Kong Lee presented on visa options for businessmen and women looking to bring their business and investment to Australia.

New Global Talent Scheme Pilot

Migration Lawyers

In March 2018, the Australian Government announced a new visa scheme, the Global Talent Scheme Pilot, targeted at highly skilled global talent. The trial of this new visa scheme will commence on 1 July 2018 and last for 12 months.

The purpose of the Global Talent Scheme is to recognize global talent in high demand for the benefit of Australian workers and Australian businesses. It will allow eligible Australian businesses to sponsor highly skilled overseas applicants for up to 4 years on the existing Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa.

The scheme comes at a time of large cuts to the occupations available under Australia’s skilled migration program. It is a proposed solution to address skill shortages in Australia, particularly in the Innovation sector, where many evolving tech-based job positions do not fit in the strict occupation moulds of the current Skilled Occupation Lists.

The new visa scheme will involve two streams: the Established Business Stream and the Start-up Stream.

The Established Business Stream

This stream is available to Australian employers who are publicly listed or have an annual turnover of more than $4 million.

The Australian business will need to meet the following key requirements:

1. That their recruitment policy provides first preference to Australian workers;
2. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
3. That the position will have minimum annual earnings of $180,000; and
4. That the sponsorship will result in a skills transfer to Australian workers.

This stream will allow businesses to nominate up to 20 positions per year.

The Start-up Stream

The Start-up steam is aimed at newly-established companies in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The stream will require businesses to show the following:

1. That their recruitment policy provides first preference to Australian workers;
2. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
3. That the position will provide for the market salary rate for the position (at least $53,900);
4. That a ‘start-up authority’ has endorsed the business; and
5. That the sponsorship will result in a skills transfer to Australian workers.

Start-ups will be able to sponsor up to 5 positions per year.

There will also be other visa criteria related to the visa application, such as health and character checks.

Applicants under both streams will have access to a 4-year TSS visa, with a transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years, if the applicant is eligible.

The Global Talent Scheme Pilot initiative is a step toward a more innovative and skilled Australian workforce. However, the practicality of the requirements is yet to be tested. Whether the scheme will appropriately address skill shortage concerns is yet to be seen, but we expect further refinements will continue to be made once it commences.

Shanalee Hayer, Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers

Paralegal

Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers migration team can provide advice to Australian businesses in need of overseas skilled workers.  Contact us for a consultation today:

Peter Kuek-Kong Lee, Special Counsel and Registered Migration Agent MARN 0427478

[email protected]

Anna Gunning-Stevenson, Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1797244

[email protected]

(07) 3009 8444