Global Talent Independent (GTI) Program: The versatile migration pathway

The GTI (Global Talent Independent Program – 858 Visa) is a relatively new type of Visa issued by the Australian Government in November 2019. It is essentially an extension of the Distinguished Talent Visa (DTV) that initially targeted talented individuals such as actors, musicians, academics, and business talent alike. However, the original DTV only offers 200 places each planning year, and therefore it is not always practically attractive to prospective applicants. Furthermore, the scope of DTV focuses on talent that is nationally or internationally recognized, thus stopping ordinary people from applying.

The GTI program expends the DTI framework and focuses the talent recruitment in the following areas:

  • Resources
  • Agri-food and AgTech
  • Energy
  • Health Industries
  • Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space
  • Circular Economy
  • DigiTech
  • Infrastructure and Tourism
  • Financial Services and FinTech
  • Education

As opposed to 200 places offered by DTI, the GTI provides 15,000 places in this planning year, making GTI far more feasible than GTV. Furthermore, the GTI provides:

  1. Direct entry to PR, which is superior to 489 (Skilled Regional Provisional Visa)
  2. There is no sponsorship requirement that is superior to 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa) or even then 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme).
  3. Skills assessment is not required.
  4. An average turnaround time of 1 – 3 months, from lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) to approval.

As we have mentioned from the start, GTI is versatile in many ways compared to skilled migration and business migration. We keep in mind that skills assessment can be a long and complicated process, and the interpretation of ANZSCO job occupation is a rigid list. For example, the difference between Chef and Cook might look arbitrary in a restaurant kitchen, but it is two different occupations for immigration.

For GTI applicant, there is no formal skills assessment. Although the applicant must demonstrate their skills in their application, it is up to the case officer to determine the applicant’s skills level. Furthermore, the case officer is benchmarking on the ability of the applicant to meet an annual income of AUD 153,600 while in Australia in their nominated industry and not so much on the skill-set that the applicant qualifies for.

A high-level review of the GTI pathway:

  1. The applicant must lodge an expression of interest to the global talent officers.
  2. Secure a nomination – As mentioned above, the nomination requirement is different from employment sponsorship. Whereas in skills migration, a company must sponsor you with an employment contract for several years, the condition here is such that a professional body recognizes the applicant’s skills. For example, if the applicant is a global talent in the field of Digi-economy, a nomination from the Australian Computing Society or Engineering Australia is likely to be sufficient. Such nomination does not involve skills assessment, and there is no outcome.  Such nomination can also come from a reputable individual in the field. Another example is a lecturer from a recognized university for teaching, a personal nomination from the Dean of the school shall be sufficient.
  3. Once the officer accepts and approve the application, the applicant lodge supporting evidence, go through the common background check and health check, the process should conclude within three months from start to finish.

The key takeaway for GTI is that it offers a flexible and versatile pathway for distinguished applicants in specific fields (as mentioned above). Although the assessment matrix appears to be more flexible in GTI, the requirement to prove an annual income of $153,600 AUD and a nomination from a reputable body / person to endorse the applicant is the critical barrier of this Pathway.

However, shall an individual fit the income and talent profile, GTI offers an unprecedented, speedy pathway to direct Permanent Residency. If you’d like to know if you can apply for this visa, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Path Migration.

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