Visas for innovation
As has been rightly pointed out this visa will sit along side or in the space of a class of visa applications called “distinguished talent” visas. And as many readers of this twenty (20) year blog AR LAW Services has done some exceptional work for a range of special people with “gifts” in a wide range of talents from a Thai cardio-thoracic surgeon to a Singaporean Racing car driver.
“This program will provide our tech companies with the skilled workers they need to be able to do business here in Australia and grow, which will in turn contribute to our economy and create more jobs for Australians,” Minister for Industry, Science, and Technology Karen Andrews said.
“We obviously want Australians employed wherever possible but this program will help tech companies to fill the gaps, while we continue to develop the skilled workforce we need.
“These highly skilled workers will not only help Australian businesses to grow but will also share knowledge with our local workforce and help to upskill their colleagues.”
The federal government revealed that during the pilot 23 companies signed up for GTES agreements during the last financial year. Among those companies included tech unicorn Canva and quantum computing firm Q-CTRL.
The startup advisory panel that was anointed as part of the GTES pilot program will also stay. It was created to endorse a startup before it could bring in skilled workers under the scheme.
Startup Advisory Panel chair and StartupAus CEO Alex McCauley said now with the pilot over, more companies are encouraged to sign up for GTES.
“These visas not only unlock financial success for startups, but open up a myriad of other jobs and roles for Australians. The ability to place the right highly-skilled person in an Australian startup allows that business to grow and add many more local jobs, including in more traditional roles such as sales, marketing and finance,” he said.
Under the GTES agreements, which lasts for five years, established businesses can apply for up to 20 skilled highly-skilled visa applicants per year, while it’s five per year for startups — but only if the businesses are able to prove it is unable to source Australian workers to fill the role.
The Department of Home Affairs said it aims to finalise all GTES agreements within two weeks a completed application is submitted to help businesses quickly fill roles.
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge had previously framed the GTES as being and more on addressing the labour market shortage.
“With digital disruption to almost every industry, there is a global war for the high-end talent, and we need to ensure our visas support this,” he said in August last year. “We are therefore complementing the national and regional skills lists with a number of other more bespoke arrangements.”
About the program
The Global Talent Employer Sponsored program allows employers to sponsor overseas workers for highly-skilled niche positions that cannot be filled:
- by Australian workers
- through other standard visa programs – in particular, the Short-term stream and Medium-term stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa
Before the Department enters into an agreement, businesses must be able to demonstrate that they can’t fill the position through existing skilled visa programs.
You will then be able to sponsor workers for a TSS visa under the GTES.
The GTES is designed to benefit Australia and Australian workers.
It aims to bring globally mobile, highly-skilled and specialised individuals to Australia who can act as ‘job multipliers’ in Australian businesses, helping them to hire more local staff and fill critical areas of need.
Any position filled through a GTES agreement must provide opportunities for Australians by, for example:
- creating new jobs for Australians
- transferring skills and knowledge to Australian workers
You must demonstrate how you realise these opportunities throughout the GTES agreement period.
The main features of the GTES are:
- trusted employers can access highly-skilled roles – you are not restricted to occupation lists for the TSS visa short-term or medium–term streams
- there are 2 streams – Established business and Startups
- the earning threshold for applicants is higher than under the standard TSS stream
- you can negotiate variations on the standard TSS visa requirements
- the visa is valid for up to 4 years and allows access to a permanent residence pathway
- you can negotiate age requirements for the permanent residence pathway
- priority processing of GTES agreements
Approved businesses must meet specific criteria and requirements to be considered for the GTES.
Established Business stream
The Established Business stream lets employers who are accredited sponsors employ workers with cutting-edge skills to help innovate in an established business and make Australian businesses and their Australian employees the best at what they do.
The main features of this stream are:
- access up to 20 positions per year (applicant and position criteria must be satisfied on each occasion)
- flexibility in certain visa criteria, including access to 4 year TSS visas
- transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years, including age cap concessions
- simpler agreement applications and faster processing of agreements
- if the position ceases, the visa holder will have 60 days to find a new sponsor and a new visa or depart Australia
The Startup stream lets employers sponsor workers with cutting-edge skills to contribute to Australia’s developing startup ecosystem and bring new ideas, new jobs, new skills and new technology into Australia.
This stream is for startups operating in a tech-based or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.
The main features of this stream are:
- access up to 5 positions per year (applicant and position criteria must be satisfied on each occasion).
- flexibility in certain visa criteria, including access to 4 year TSS visas.
- transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years, including age cap concessions.
- simpler agreement applications and faster processing of agreements.
- if the position ceases the visa holder will have 60 days to find a new sponsor and a new visa or depart Australia
Startups must be endorsed by the independent GTES startup advisory panel.
Panel members include:
- Alex McCauley (Chair), Chief Executive Officer, StartupAUS
- Alex Gruszka, Chief Operating Officer, StartupAUS
- Bronwen Clune, Digital Director, LaunchVIC
- Emily Close, Head of Venture Community & Business Development, AirTree
- Lorraine Chiroiu, Chief Executive Officer, AusBiotech
- Murray Hurps, Director of Entrepreneurship, Director/Co-founder University of Technology Sydney, Startup Muster
So if you or someone you know who is a “high -flyer” in ag tec or Cyber Security , or a “rocket scientist” contact us to discuss your options under this new visa class.
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