In March 2018, the government announced that they would pilot the ‘Global Talent Scheme’ (GTS) which would comprise of two streams under the Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) (TSS) visa. Hannan Tew gave our analysis on this initial announcement here.
On 1 July 2018 the GTS pilot was rolled out and further clarification has been provided (noting though that it is largely a consultative process which requires correspondence with the Department of Home Affairs (Department)). A summary of what you need to know is below:
Global Talent Scheme
The GTS will comprise of two streams:
- Established businesses stream for accredited business sponsors; and
- Start-up stream for certain start-ups operating in a technology or STEM field.
Under both streams, companies/individuals need to demonstrate that:
The differences between the two streams are broken down below:
Established Business stream
In order to seek endorsement, the start-up will need to have at least one of the following:
Applicant and position criteria
Benefits of GTS over existing TSS
The GTS offers several benefits to businesses (and individuals) over the TSS visa. These include:
- the ability to negotiate variance from standard TSS visa requirements (including access to a 4 year TSS visa);
- transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years (including negotiable age concessions);
- visa validity of up to 4 years and access to permanent residency pathway (for occupations not listed on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);
- simpler agreement applications; and
- expedited processing for start-ups.
The above benefits are helpful incentives available to businesses to attract (and retain) key personnel where there are skill shortages. This allows the business to offer an individual a streamlined pathway to a more attractive visa than the standard TSS visa.
How to apply
This program is not immediately available to all companies. In its current format, the GTS resembles an expedited Labour Agreement without much of the bureaucracy.
Where a business believes that they meet the above criteria, they are to contact the Department of Home Affairs (Department) with a description of the positions unavailable or restricted due to the occupation lists.
The business will then need to complete a GTS request form and return it with the required supporting documentation (including evidence of LMT). In the case of a start-up, the business will be assessed by the GTS start-up advisory panel.
Once the application has been assessed positively, the Department will send over the GTS agreement for the business’ signature after which the business may lodge TSS applications under the GTS agreement.
Hannan Tew support the government’s actions in implementing a system that has the potential to benefit Australian businesses and particularly start-ups.
As the scheme will be trialled for 1 year with periodic review and refinement, many of the specifics remain unavailable (i.e. who is on the start-up advisory panel and how much information about the business will they have access to, how will the above criteria be assessed, what does the ability to have ‘flexibility’ in certain visa criteria mean). We encourage there to be greater transparency about the program and criteria to be met.
In the short term, it does permit certain established businesses and start-ups to recruit foreign workers for longer periods of time in “off-list” occupations. Given the issues many start-ups had with the occupation list changes last year, the GTS appears to be a promising alternative.
The Global Talent Scheme has already commenced and will continue to be piloted until June 2019. 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.