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Australian Visa Update: Immigration Options for Attracting Innovation and Talent to Australia

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Migration

There is a range of visa options for overseas companies looking to establish in Australia. Some employment-related visa programs have been in place for years, while others were recently created to address growing needs to attract innovation and entrepreneurial investment in Australia. 

Understanding the Australian immigration landscape to establish a business operation in Australia is critical to ensure a business has the right people on the ground and the founder or management team can work in the venture. To this end, Australia offers multiple options for attracting business owners and key team members to set up in Australia. 

  • Global Talent Visa Programs 

There are two Global Talent Visa Programs available in Australia. 

One is the employer-sponsored Global Talent Scheme visa, which falls under the subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa program and is designed to help companies sponsor highly-skilled employees who don’t fall within the traditional criteria of the TSS visa. 

An employer seeking to use this visa must be a startup or accredited sponsor, and the person nominated for sponsorship must have highly-specialised or niche skills not necessarily on the skilled-occupation lists. There are also certain salary thresholds that impact one’s eligibility for the 482 Global Talent visa. 

The second option is the Global Talent Independent Program, which provides a pathway for individuals to secure permanent residency if they help attract innovative skills to Australia. 

The Global Talent Independent Program was introduced in 2019 and is designed for companies in seven key sectors: Agricultural technology, space and advanced manufacturing, financial technology, energy and mining technology, medical technology, cybersecurity and advanced data science.  

To qualify for the program, applicants must have a salary near the high-income threshold and must be nominated or endorsed by someone in the same field, who resides in Australia or New Zealand. If invited, an individual can apply for the Distinguished Talent Visa.

We have secured a number of Global Talent Agreements for employers and Distinguished Talent Visas for individual clients in a range of industries, providing a secured pathway for key staff to be hired and retained with permanent residency options available.

  • Entrepreneur Visa 

Australia has created another immigration pathway for successful entrepreneurs via the 188/888 Business Innovation & Investor Visa Program. This program has two streams: A business innovation stream for a successful business with a solid track record running businesses, and an entrepreneur stream for business founders with innovative ideas and at least $200,000 in venture capital funding. Both have a path to permanent residency. 

  • Employer-Sponsored Work Visas

Most businesses setting up in Australia also need to consider work-visa solutions for their key personnel – for example, a business development representative or manager to set up the operations and acquire new customers. It is not necessary for a company to be established in Australia to sponsor employees on 482 TSS work visas in Australia. 

An overseas company can sponsor an employee to help establish a business in Australia or service customers. Alternatively, if Australian operations are being set up, then the Australian entity can be the sponsor of the foreign employee’s TSS visa

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