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Posted on June 29 2021

Australia's GTI program: A Cybersecurity professional's journey of immigration

By  Editor
Updated March 27 2024

An Indian by birth. A Cybersecurity professional by occupation. An immigrant by choice.   This is my story of how I ended up to live in New South Wales after immigrating to Australia from India as a skilled professional.  

Why immigrate? 

This is the question that was put to me by so many people when I first began discussing my plans of immigration before my friends and close family.   A majority of them told me that immigration was not worth it. Many even told me of how someone they knew had gone abroad, only to come back years later without having made any mark in the international scenario.   I was determined that if I did go overseas as a permanent immigrant, I would make sure it was worth it. I was very sure in my mind that I would make doubly sure I took all the right decisions along the way, settling in a country that was both welcoming for me as well as lucrative in the long run.   I mean, if you decide to pull up your roots in your home country and relocate somewhere, you must be sure of getting excellent return on your investment. Otherwise, it is simply not worth it.  


Entrenched in my field 

While immigration was part of my long-term plans, I was waiting for the right time as well as the right option to open up for me. That did happen eventually.   I had decided to apply for the General Skilled Migration of Australia. But then, something better came along.    


Australia's Global Talent Independent Program  

Commonly called the GTI program of Australia, the Global Talent Visa Program of Australia has a total of 15,000 visa spaces allotted for Financial Year 2020-2021.   According to the Department of Home Affairs, the Global Talent Visa Program is targeted at highly talented individuals.   Simply put, a person eligible for the GTI will be eligible for the GSM, but it might not be true the other way around. Get my point?  With my 12+ years of experience in Cybersecurity, I was convinced that for me the GTI might be a much better option. There would be less of competition anyway, as the GTI is not for all.   For me, the GSM route for Australia was the highway. The GTI was the expressway. I decided to take the expressway as I had a fairly good idea that I might be able to make it.  


Cutting-edge skills needed for the GTI  Simply being on the list in the 10 target sectors is not enough. To be eligible for the GTI, you must be able to prove that you had the cutting-edge skills in that sector as well.   A nomination – from an organization or body in Australia – would also be required. This took a bit of research on my part. Thankfully, a friend of mine was in Australia and suggested the best nominating body for my sector of Cybersecurity.  


Nomination by ACS 

In my experience, meeting the GTI requirements is fairly simple.   Finding an Australian nominator is another matter altogether though.   Offshore applicants like me might face a lot of obstacles in securing a nomination.   As my sector was that of Cybersecurity, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) was the nominating authority for me.   The ACS nominates GTI applicants that come under the ICT sector.    


How I got a nomination by ACS 

The first step was to lodge my Expression of Interest for the GTI program. This Expression of Interest, also commonly called just the EOI, is to be registered with the Department of Home Affairs.   Then, following as assessment for eligibility, I was given a “Global Talent Identifier number” by the Department.   Now, the ACS came into the picture.   This was the time of getting in touch with the nominating body for me. For this, I had to send in my CV to the ACS. I had to explain in detail all my qualifications, skills as well as experience in Cybersecurity.   My application was processed by the ACS. A nomination fee also has to be paid for a GTI nomination.   Thankfully, I was not asked to attend an interview with the ACS.   My Nomination Letter was then given by the ACS. This had to be included by me along with my GTI program visa application.    


Asset in industry for GTI 

To be able to secure a nomination for the GTI, I had to prove to the ACS that I had the potential of being an ‘asset’ to my industry in Australia.  To convince the ACS of my capabilities, I made it a point to include details of all rewards and awards – big or small – that I had got in my organization across the years that I had been working for them.   I had often been a speaker at Expo Asia. I was also mentioned in a magazine article among the leaders in Cybersecurity to look out for. Being part of a leadership program also helped my case with the ACS.   Innovation and an entrepreneurial bent of mind are qualities that are sought-after.    


Meeting salary threshold  With a job in the top-level in my MNC office in India, I was taking home a fairly good salary. And was thus able to meet the high-income threshold required as part of the eligibility for the GTI.   


GTI – an expressway into Australia 

Looking back, it has been a fairly good experience for me overall. Though a bit complicated, the GTI application process can be quite simple if you have the right people behind you.   Y-Axis has practically hand-held me throughout the process. Trust me, it is always better to get professionals on board for complicated visas like that for the GTI program of Australia.   With Y-Axis, you can indeed get it right. Even with the GTI visa. Yes, it is possible and achievable.  



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