Australia announces brand-new visa scheme

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australia new visa schemeThe Australian government has announced that they will create a new visa scheme, the Global Talent Scheme. This scheme will make it easier for highly-skilled migrants to come to Australia.

Here’s what we know

The Global Talent Scheme will include two visas:

  • One visa for established businesses.
  • Another visa for start-ups operating in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Both visas will require the migrant to have at least three years of relevant experience while the sponsor companies must be able to demonstrate efforts to hire Australians first.

Number of visas per visa category:

There will not be a cap on the overall number of visas, but individual companies will have a limit on the number of migrants that can be employed:

  • Established businesses will be able to employ up to 20 skilled migrants per year.
  • Starts-ups in STEM fields will be able to employ up to 5 migrants per year.

Salary requirements:

Migrants joining established companies must earn a minimum annual salary of AUS$180 000, while migrants joining STEM start-ups must have minimum annual earnings at the market salary rate. The latter can include equity, but must have a cash component that is no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold which is AUS$53 900.

Other migrant requirements:

Should you wish to apply for this visa, you’ll have to meet certain health, character and security requirements. In addition:

  • You may have no familial relationship with the directors or shareholders of the company that wants to sponsor you.
  • Your qualifications must be commensurate with the highly skilled role.
  • You must possess the capacity to pass on skills to Australians and to develop Australians.


Migrants will have the option of a transitional pathway to permanent residence after three years in Australia.

Company requirements:

The most critical requirement ask of established businesses is that the company must be publicly listed or have an annual turnover of at least AUS$4 million for each of the past two years. This financial criteria is to be determined in consultation with stakeholder for STEM start-ups.

When is the Global Talent Scheme coming into effect?

The details of the scheme will be ironed out over the next few months before a 12-month pilot begins on 1 July.

  • March 2018: Announce policy intent and direction.
  • April-June 2018: Refine initial settings in consultation with industry and other stakeholders.
  • July 2018-June 2019: Pilot the Global Talent Scheme.

Our advice

You won’t be able to take advantage of the Global Talent Scheme, or be assessed for either visa, until 1 July when the pilot programme is launched. We’ll send a reminder in our July newsletter.

In summary

The Global Talent Scheme will offer highly-skilled migrants the opportunity to work for established companies or STEM start-ups. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the right candidates and could lead to permanent residency after just 3 years in Australia.

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