What is the change? The Migration Institute of Australia has provided additional details on Australia’s forthcoming Global Talent Scheme.

What does the change mean? The programme, which will be piloted for one year beginning 1 July, will allow established businesses and start-ups to sponsor qualified foreign workers on Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visas. Qualified applicants will enjoy simpler applications and shorter processing than standard TSS visa applicants.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The programme will be finalised between now and the 1 July launch date.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visas for foreign workers who meet the programme’s criteria.
  • Who is affected: Eligible employers and high-income foreign employees and specialists.
  • Business impact: The new visas may be an attractive option, especially because the TSS visa is generally more restrictive than the Subclass 457 visa, which it recently replaced.

Background: The Australian Government announced plans for the Global Talent Scheme this week, recognising the “fierce competition” globally for tech specialists and other highly skilled workers. The Global Talent Scheme will have two components: the Established Business Stream and the Start-Up Stream.

  • The Established Business Stream will allow established companies to sponsor highly skilled workers making more than A$180,000 per year. It will be open to accredited sponsors and other businesses and will allow companies to sponsor up to 20 workers per year. Applicants who qualify through this stream will be issued four-year Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visas and will be able to apply for permanent residence after three years. The application will be simpler and processing times will be faster than for standard TSS visa applications.

    To establish their eligibility, businesses will need to demonstrate that they give preference to Australian workers. Considerations may include the percentage of a company’s workforce that is Australian and the company’s efforts to train Australians. The business cannot have any breaches of workplace or immigration law on their record. They must pay workers according to an Enterprise Agreement or salary table that meets market salary rates. Companies must be publicly listed or have an annual turnover of at least A$4 million in each of the last two years in order to qualify. They will be required to conduct a labour market test before filling a position with a foreign worker.

    Applicants in this stream will be required to meet health, character and security requirements. They cannot have any relatives who are company shareholders or directors. They must have adequate qualifications and at least three years of experience relevant to the position they would be filling. They must show they will be able to transfer skills to Australian workers and must have a salary of at least A$180,000 per year. Visa holders who lose their job will have 60 days to find a new sponsor, obtain a new visa or leave the country.

  • The Start-Up Stream will allow tech- and STEM-based star-up companies to sponsor foreign workers with specialised tech skills. It will allow companies to sponsor up to five workers per year. Applicants who qualify through this stream will also be issued four-year Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visas, have simpler application requirements and faster processing times. They will be able to apply for permanent residence after three years.

    To establish their eligibility in this stream, start-up companies must operate in a STEM field. They will have to meet the same criteria as companies in the Established Business Stream on policies regarding Australian workers and corporate citizenship. A forthcoming start-up authority will have to recognise the company in order for it to be eligible. Financial criteria are yet to be established.

    Visa applicants in the Start-Up Stream must meet the same criteria as applicants in the Established Business Stream, with the exception of the salary requirement. In the Start-Up Stream, applicants must earn at least the market rate salary and no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold. As in the Established Business Stream, visa holders who lose their job will have 60 days to find a new sponsor, obtain a new visa or leave the country.

An MIA fact sheet on the Global Talent Scheme is available here.

BAL Analysis: The Global Talent Scheme could prove to be a good option for qualified employers looking to sponsor highly paid foreign workers or specialists. BAL will continue to monitor the roll out of the new programme and will alert clients to new information as it becomes available.

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

MARN: 0101248

Copyright © 2018 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact