What is the change? Australia has launched the Global Talent Scheme—a one-year pilot program under the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa scheme aimed at attracting foreign talent with cutting-edge skills to bring innovation to Australia.

What does the change mean? The two streams of the Global Talent Scheme will allow established accredited sponsors or new start-up companies to benefit from a simplified application process, faster processing, and four-year TSS visas. Companies must meet financial eligibility criteria, salary minimums, and conduct labour market testing before being invited to enter an agreement with the Government. They must also demonstrate throughout the life of the agreement that they are bringing opportunities to Australian workers by creating new jobs and transferring skills and knowledge to Australians.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate. The pilot program began 1 July and will run for 12 months.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visas – Global Talent Scheme.
  • Who is affected: Accredited sponsors that meet the qualifying criteria; start-up companies in STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) fields that meet the qualifying criteria.
  • Impact on processing times: The Global Talent Scheme will offer a simplified application and faster processing than standard Temporary Skill Shortage visas.
  • Business impact: The pilot stream may be a good option and alternative to the standard TSS visa stream for companies that can show that they are unable to fill the positions through existing visa programs.
  • Next steps: The application process is outlined on the Department of Home Affairs’ Visas for Innovation’ page. The first step for businesses that meet eligibility criteria is to email the department at with their business name and description of positions they seek to fill.

Background: Following the elimination of the subclass 457 visa and introduction of the stricter TSS visa in its place in March, the Australian Government announced the launch of the Global Talent Scheme, recognizing the global competition for tech talent and the need to provide fast-track processing for a subset of TSS applicants in cutting-edge fields. To be considered under the scheme, companies must first demonstrate that they are unable to fill the position with an Australian worker and that they cannot fill the position through other visa routes. Foreign employees in the Global Talent Scheme will be issued four-year TSS visas and are eligible to apply for permanent residence after three years. If the position ends, the worker will have 60 days to find a new sponsor and new visa or depart Australia.

The qualifying criteria for the two streams of the Global Talent Scheme are summarized as follows.

  • The Established Business Stream is available for Australian companies that are endorsed TSS accredited sponsors and either publicly listed or have an annual turnover of A$4 million in the previous two years. Nominees must earn equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (A$145,400 as of 1 July 2018) per year and have a minimum of three years of experience relevant to the job role. Employers must conduct labour market testing and may sponsor up to 20 workers per year under this stream.
  • The Start-Up Stream is available for new businesses in STEM industries who must be endorsed by the newly established independent Global Talent Scheme advisory panel. The start-up must have received either an investment of at least A$50,000 from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership or have received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant at any time. The Government will review criteria during the pilot phase and may update them to include a broader number of startups. Nominees must have at least three years of relevant experience and earn market salary wages but not less than A$80,000 per year. Start-up companies will be allowed up to five workers per year under this stream.

Additional information is available on the Government’s Global Talent Scheme Fact Sheet here.

BAL Analysis: Companies that meet the eligibility criteria for sponsorship should consider the Global Talent Scheme for niche roles that are restricted under the occupation lists for other visa routes such as the short- and medium-term streams of the TSS visa.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 0101248

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