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New Innovation Visa opens to attract tech talent from the UK

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Pankaj Sharma
// // Need staff? A new visa pathway for 1,000 workers from the UK is open for applications (until 20 November)...

Under the recently signed Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement, the Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP) has been established to open doors for UK professionals eyeing a career in Australia.

IECSEP will be introducing two distinct pathways:

  1. The Innovation stream offers up to three years in Australia for individuals who have showcased a significant contribution to innovation.
  2. The Early Careers Skills stream enables participants to engage in short-term placements, intra-corporate transfers, or secondments for up to a year.

For its initial phase, the IECSEP program has allocated 1,000 visas this year, with this number expected to double next year, after which a review will be conducted.

For all the details, visit the DFAT website:  

The current application round is set to conclude by 11.59pm (GMT) on 20 November 2023. Interested parties are advised to regularly check the official webpage, as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) reserves the right to close application rounds earlier than the specified date.

As a pre-requisite, all IECSEP aspirants must secure a job in Australia and submit either an employment offer letter or a contract to validate their prospective Australian employment.

For the Innovation stream, eligibility hinges on a notable contribution to innovation, along with a high skill and experience level. Prospective employment should meet the ANZSCO Skill Level 1.

Eligibility for the Early Careers stream requires applicants to be between 21 to 45 years old, have tertiary qualifications, and possess a minimum of 3 months’ experience in their current role. Prospective employment in Australia should align with the applicant’s current field and meet specific ANZSCO Skill Levels.

Additionally, all applicants must prove UK citizenship and ensure they have the financial resources (minimum $5,000 plus travel fare) to sustain themselves throughout their stay in Australia.

Upon acceptance into the IECSEP program, successful applicants will have to seek a Temporary Work (International Relations) subclass 403 visa from the Department of Home Affairs. A Letter of Support from DFAT will be provided to aid this visa application.

Are you short staffed?

Employers and businesses in Australia stand to benefit from this pilot program. The IECSEP emphasizes the value of skill mobility and innovation to both Australian and UK economies. This pathway offers Australian companies a unique opportunity to tap into the talent and expertise of UK professionals. Conversely, UK firms can leverage this program for employee development and international career enhancement.

Potential Australian employers interested in leveraging the IECSEP program are encouraged to liaise with UK counterparts or potential applicants directly. Similarly, UK entities can engage with Australian partners for potential collaborations.


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Pankaj Sharma

Co-founder, former co-founder Toast My Curry, and couple of other startups, Pankaj is passionate about anything to do with startup life. With more than 20+ years in media, advertising and communication, Pankaj enjoys merging his passion of media and startup here at Startup News… apart from travelling around the world.
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