High-skilled visa scheme promises residency within weeks

November 6, 2019 no comment kartik

A new, specialised high-skilled migration scheme that will offer fast-tracked permanent residency to 5000 people a year, will target high-income earners with expertise in one of seven fields including fintech and space and advanced manufacturing.


The Global Talent Independent program, first flagged by Immigration Minister  in August, was officially launched by the minister on Monday with the backing of some of the nation’s key business entrepreneurs.

These include Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar, Cochlear chief executive officer and president Dig Howitt, and quantum physicist Michelle Simmons, the 2018 Australian of Year and director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology.

The program aims to establish a high-skilled migration stream that will fast-track visas for 5000 of the world’s best and brightest every year, with the aim of entrenching high-tech industries in Australia.

The intake will not be additional to the annual immigration cap of 160,000 implemented by Scott Morrison. It will be incorporated in the current annual skilled migration cap of 70,000 which is part of the overall intake of 160,000.

Mr Coleman, who will launch the initiative at the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia in Sydney on Monday, says it will cost $13 million to establish.

“Over time it has the potential to have a transformative impact on the Australian economy,” he will say in his speech.

“We want people from the best universities and the most successful companies.

“We want people with entrepreneurial ideas and deep skill sets, who can drive innovation and create local jobs.”

Skilled import ‘trains a dozen here’

To lure the necessary talent, the Department of Home Affairs has sent recruitment officers to Berlin, Washington DC, Singapore, Shanghai, Santiago, Dubai and New Delhi.

As well as being qualified in one of the seven designated fields, successful applicants will either have to be earning above the equivalent of $149,000 a year, which is the Fair Work Australia definition of a high-income earner, or be assessed that they would earn above that if they came here.

So long as they passed the usual security and integrity checks, they will be given specialised treatment by Home Affairs to have their permanent residency fast-tracked.

“Applicants will have a dedicated Home Affairs contact to guide them through the process, and applications will receive the highest priority processing, with complete applications processed in weeks, not months,” Mr Coleman says.

The new residents will be able to live and work anywhere in Australia.

The eligible fields of expertise are: agricultural technology, fintech, medical technology, cybersecurity, energy and mining, space and advanced manufacturing, and quantum information.

The inclusion of space and advanced manufacturing followed an announcement by Mr Morrison in Washington in September that the government would invest $150 million in Australian expertise with a view to contributing to plans by the US to return to the moon and then Mars.

Mr Farquhar said each high-skilled tech worker from abroad “trains a dozen here at home”.

“That’s our experience at Atlassian. This is a great initiative that will create jobs, build our talent pool in Australia, and strengthen our economy,” he said in a statement.

Dr Simmons, who moved to Australia from Britain in 1999, said “bringing in the talent from around the world to contribute to our local high-tech ventures is a must for Australia”.

Mr Howitt said his company had been arguing for years for such flexibility within the immigration program. He said it would help local companies, like his, become global leaders which, in turn, would further attract global talent.

News Source: Financial review


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