The federal government has launched a new visa pathway pilot scheme, which is designed to help bring international expertise into Aussie startups…
After the outcry in some startup quarters in relation to the tightening of 457 visas comes the response: a 12-month Global Talent Scheme pilot was launched on 1st July and will run until 30th June next year.
An extension of the government’s Temporary Skills Shortage visas, Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge said the pilot is designed to make Australia more appealing to experts in niche fields.
“A lot of the top talent is in fierce demand from companies all over the world. We want this talent to come to Australia, to support businesses here and create wealth for the nation,” he said.
“[The scheme] complements existing Temporary Skill Shortage visa arrangements by providing the flexibility to handle high value, niche skills that can’t be obtained under the standard visa program.”
To apply for the scheme, startups will have to demonstrate that granting a visa will be beneficial to Australia.
To show that the role cannot be filled by an Australian worker, startups will either need to have advertised the position at two different times, or in two different mediums, or have engaged an executive search firm.
The government also said they would accept evidence from an industry expert “explaining why the specific individual overseas is the only person, or one of very few people, who could undertake the nominated position, and no Australian worker is available.”
Startups will also have to show they have either received an investment of more than $50,000 from an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership, or have received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant.
Applications will then be assessed by an independent advisory panel, which the government said will ensure visas are only granted to legitimate startups.
Overseas workers granted visas must be paid at least $80,000 per year, although this can include equity, as long as the cash component is at least $53,900.
Startups can apply for up to five GTS visas a year, which will allow recipients to stay in Australia for up to four years, with the opportunity to transition to permanent residence after three years.
While the Department said they’re hoping to expand the pilot in due course, at the moment it’s only focused on STEM-oriented startups and is limited to the first 200 startups that are accepted.
“This will support the critical role innovative startups play across the economy in creating high-value jobs, contributing to increased productivity and bringing new products and services to market,” a spokesperson said.
“The government will continue to work closely with industry on the implementation of the GTS and [demonstrate] that overseas workers are supporting jobs for Australians, and driving skills transfer and innovation.”
The government said an Industry Advisory Group, including the Business Council of Australia, StartupAUS, Cochlear and Universities Australia, will be reviewing the pilot over the next twelve months.
You can read more about the Global Talent Scheme here.