General Skilled Migration
The Skilled stream of the Migration Program is designed to attract migrants who make a significant
contribution to the Australian economy, and fill positions where no Australian workers are available.
Skilled migrants have very high participation rates in the workforce, helping to stimulate economic
growth, which results in more jobs.
The Skilled stream also plays an important role in regional development through providing skills and
labour which can’t be sourced locally, as well as encouraging investment and promoting local
spending in regional areas.
Migration program planning levels :
The Migration program is designed to achieve a range of economic and social outcomes. The program is set annually, with the total places available capped at a ceiling of 160,000 for 2020-21. The total program is broken down into the following streams:
- Skill – designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia. Most of the places in the program are in the Skill stream (79,600 places in 2020-21, 50.7 per cent of the program).
- Family – is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship (77,300 places in 2020-21, 49.2 per cent of the program).
- Special Eligibility – this covers visas for those in special circumstances. This can include permanent residents returning to Australia after a period away and is the smallest stream (100 places in 2020-21).
- At least 3,000 Child places will be available in 2020-21.
Program Size and Composition :
The size and composition of the Migration program is set each year through the Australian Government’s Budget process. It is informed following broad public consultations with state and territory governments, business, and community groups and the wider public. Community views, economic and labour force forecasts, international research, net overseas migration, and economic and fiscal modelling are all considered when planning the program.
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) (direct entry stream) closes to new
applications from 16 November 2019
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) (invited pathway) closes to new
applications from 16 November 2019
Global Talent Visa program:
The Global Talent Visa Program, also known as the Global Talent Independent Program, is a streamlined visa pathway for highly skilled professionals to work and live permanently in Australia.
Australia is after the brightest and best global talent to work in seven future-focused sectors. The program is designed to help grow our innovation and tech economies. This will create opportunities for Australians by transferring skills, promoting innovation, and creating jobs.
Australia is also a lifestyle destination, and one of the most prosperous, safe and culturally diverse countries in the world. Australia offers opportunities for innovation, with strong trading links and a business friendly regulatory approach. Through the program, talented individuals will be given permanent residency to make their new lives in Australia.
In 2020-2021, there are 15,000 places available under the program.
Global Talent Officers are usually located in London, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington DC and promote the program by engaging with prospective applicants, business and industry.
To be granted a visa under the Global Talent Visa Program, a candidate will be highly skilled in one of the 7 target sectors. They will also be able to attract a salary that meets the high income threshold.
- Space and Advanced Manufacturing
- Energy and Mining Technology
- Cyber Security
- Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT
To be eligible to apply for the Global Talent Visa Program under the Distinguished Talent visa, individuals must:
- prove they are internationally recognised with evidence of outstanding achievements
- still be prominent in their field of expertise
- provide evidence that they would be an asset to Australia, in their area of expertise
- have no difficulty obtaining employment in Australia or becoming established in their field
- have a recognised organisation or individual in Australia nominate them as global talent, in the same field as the applicant
Candidates must meet a high standard and show an exceptional track record of professional achievement. This may include senior roles, patents, professional awards and international publications and memberships.
Places are also available to Masters and PhD students who can demonstrate their exceptional talent and international recognition across the target sectors.
High income threshold
Candidates should have the ability to attract a salary at or above the Fair Work high income threshold of AUD153,600. This figure is adjusted annually on 1 July.
In assessing this, we will consider:
- current salary shown through payslips or a contract, or
- future job offers outlining remuneration, or
- recent PhD or Masters graduates in the target sectors
Global Talent Employer Sponsored 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.
- Demonstrate that access to the GTES will support job opportunities and skills transfer for Australians
- Labour market testing evidence for the specific positions as part of requesting a GTES agreement
- The employer must be in good standing with relevant regulatory agencies, including compliance with immigration and workplace laws
- Must be publicly listed or have an annual turnover of at least AUD4 million for each of the past 2 years
- Be endorsed as a TSS accredited sponsor
Applicant and position criteria
- Must meet health, character and security requirements
- No familial relationship with directors/shareholders
- Qualifications must be commensurate with the highly skilled role
- At least 3 years work experience directly relevant to position
- Capacity to pass on skills/develop Australians
- Position must have minimum annual earnings equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold.
For further information regarding High Income Employees, see the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
- Demonstrate that access to the GTES will support job opportunities and skills transfer for Australians.
- Labour market testing evidence for the specific positions as part of requesting a GTES agreement.
- The employer must be in good standing with relevant regulatory agencies, including compliance with immigration and workplace laws.
- Operates in a technology based or STEM-related field (eg digital, biomedical, agtech).
- Independent startup advisory panel will assess and endorse the business as a viable and genuine startup.
Applicant and position criteria
- Must meet health, character and security requirements.
- No familial relationship with directors/shareholders.
- Qualifications must be commensurate with the highly skilled role.
- At least 3 years work experience directly relevant to position.
- Capacity to pass on skills/develop Australians.
- Minimum annual earnings at the market salary rate, but not less than AUD80,000. This can include equity, but must have a cash component that is no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.
Startups seeking to access the GTES must meet at least one of the following requirements: