The launch of a new fast-tracked visa marks a new era for skilled migration, with the federal government actively seeking tech talent from around the world to live and work in Australia, StartupAus chief executive Alex McCauley said.
The Global Talent – Independent Program was unveiled by the Coalition earlier this year as a “major new initiative in Australia’s immigration strategy”.
The program includes a component in which Australian officials actively seeking out highly skilled workers from overseas and attracting them to the country through the offer of fast-tracked permanent residency.
The scheme has now officially launched, with up to 5000 visas on offer for the current financial year.
Applicants must be likely to earn more than $148,700 annually in Australia and be highly skilled in the seven selected industries: AgTech, FinTech, MedTech, cybersecurity, energy and mining, space and advanced manufacturing and quantum information, as well as advanced digital, data science and ICT.
As part of the program, the government would look to actively attract tech talent to Australia with the offer of the fast-tracked residency. Government officials have already been placed in Berlin, Washington DC, Singapore, Shanghai, Santiago and Dubai, with another officer starting this week in New Delhi.
The scheme is separate to the Global Talent Employer Sponsored initiative, which was made permanent earlier this year, and could have a “transformative impact on the Australian economy”, immigration minister David Coleman said
The seven targeted sectors were selected by the government through consultations with prominent members in academia and businesses.
While most early-stage startups won’t be able to offer a salary of $150,000, the Global Talent Independent Program is not an employer-sponsored visa, and applicants only need to be likely to be able to earn that much.