Skip to main content
858Distinguished TalentGlobal Talent IndependentInnovation

The National Innovation Visa

By 20 May, 2024No Comments5 min read

national innovation visa

On 14 May 2024, the Australian Government released the Federal Budget for the 2024/25 year, which included a raft of Immigration-related measures. You can read our blog about these announcements and our commentary here.

Relevantly, it announced that a new National Innovation visa would be released in late-2024, to replace the Global Talent (Subclass 858) visa (see here). The implementation of this change should not adversely affect existing Global Talent visa applicants (see here).

As we have highly limited information about this so far, the below is speculation based on what we do know. However, do check back as this will be updated as further information becomes available, and you can also subscribe to our newsletter here.

What is the National Innovation visa?

The National Innovation visa is aimed at targeting “exceptionally talented migrants who will drive growth in sectors of national importance”.

Unfortunately, there is little to no other guidance as to what this will mean, what the formal criteria will be, and even whether it will be a temporary transition to permanent visa (like the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visas), or straight to permanent residency (like the Global Talent visa).

What we think the National Innovation visa will look like

Our expectation at this time is that this visa will confer immediate permanent residence and have criteria that predominantly mirrors that of the Global Talent visa.

While the announcement of the National Innovation visa was framed as being a replacement for the Global Talent visa, the budget announcement also confirmed that the BIIP would be closed.

The closure of the BIIP has been a long time coming, with the “Migration Review” indicating that the program delivered poor economic outcomes for Australia. This was reflected in the low 2023/24 migration program allocation for the BIIP to effectively process/approve the existing backlog (and no new allocations being given to the State/Territories to nominate new candidates).

It’s likely that the new National Innovation visa, would represent a combination of these two programs in a single, streamlined pathway to attract a relatively small number of highly talented migrants to Australia such as investors, entrepreneurs, and global researchers.

Effectively, the “borrowed” aspects of the:

  • GTI program – would allow the Department to state the target sectors that it wishes to attract, and “simplify” the criteria to be invited (i.e. subjective assessments of achievements rather than rigid criteria); and
  • BIIP – would be to continue to attract high net worth individuals (investors) and entrepreneurs (businesses and start-ups) in these target sectors, but without the limitations of the existing program (such as a points test including consideration of age, turnover of business, value of assets, formal qualifications etc.)

What is the Global Talent visa (and GTI program)?

The Global Talent (Subclass 858) visa offered permanent residency to individuals who amongst other things, could demonstrate an “internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement” in an eligible area.

Originally commencing as a visa to attract highly talented individuals in a profession, sport, arts, or academia/research, these candidates then fell under the “Distinguished Talent” stream, while a different stream was created.

The Global Talent Independent (GTI) program was officially launched on 4 November 2019 to provide a streamlined, priority pathway for highly skilled and talent individuals across 10 forward focused target sectors to obtain Australian permanent residency. This program was part of the “Global Talent” initiative that the Department rolled out to support innovation in Australia, and so applicants applied for the Global Talent visa after being invited to do so, under the GTI stream. You can read more about this program here.

The GT visa will continue into the 2024/25 migration year, with 4,000 spots available. However, National Innovation visas granted in 2024/25 will be counted within this allocation.

Conclusion / How can Hannan Tew Lawyers help me

Hannan Tew Lawyers have assisted a significant amount of individuals in applying for the Global Talent visa under both the “GTI” and “Distinguished Talent” streams, and have been at the forefront of this program since conception.

We have been interviewed by various media outlets including ITnews and SBS regarding our insights and views on the GTI program, and on our insights on immigration more broadly which can be read here. We have also delivered sold out CPD sessions via industry bodies to education other Migration Agents/Lawyers on this program.

Please feel free to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone +61 3 9016 0484 if you have further comments or queries or would like some guidance.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.
Jordan Tew

Author Jordan Tew

Jordan is one of less than 50 lawyers who are Accredited Specialists in Immigration Law by the Law Institute of Victoria, and less than 100 nationally. Accredited Specialists undergo a vigorous assessment process, and make up about 1% of all registered migration agents.

More posts by Jordan Tew

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.