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Australia GTS Visa to the Aid of Local Startups

Posted on August 19, 2019
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The Australian government recently announced that it will make the Global Talent Scheme a permanent feature in its Subclass 482 visa.

In July 2018 the GTS scheme was introduced as a pilot program but has now been made permanent. The visa was introduced to bring in highly skilled global talent to the country and encourage innovation. The goal of the scheme was to provide startups in Australia access to workers from other countries with cutting-edge skills that were lacking in local Australians.

Australia GTS Visa

The visa scheme was launched in the hope of replicating the US’s success story with a similar visa category that led to the influx of highly skilled workers in the country. They were responsible for the growth of Silicon Valley companies and the rise of more than 50% of start-ups.

The scheme was introduced to help fill the tech talent shortage in Australia. The GTS aims to attract tech workers and encourage innovation in the country. The GTS or the ‘Startup visa’ is specially designed for startups that are technology-based or in a STEM-related field. The visa comes under the Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482).

According to David Coleman Immigration Minister, “The pilot showed the GTS has strong support from industry and highlighted the economic benefits of recruiting overseas talent directly to Australian businesses.”

According to Coleman, continuing the scheme will help to bring in highly- skilled foreign workers and their unique knowledge and skills which can be transferred to Australian workers.

The scheme aims to fill niche roles in businesses that can’t be filled by local Australians or through the standard TSS visa program.

Since the introduction of the scheme, 23 businesses signed up for it out of which 5 are startups. Among these are companies such as Q-CTRL and Gilmour Space Technologies. Large tech companies that qualified for the scheme are Atlassian and Canva. Non-tech companies such as Rio Tinto and Coles have used the GTS to access appropriate talent.

What are the eligibility requirements for GTS?

  1. Companies must be operating in a technology or STEM-related field.
  2. The recruitment policy of these companies must give first preference to Australians
  3. Companies must not have violated any workplace laws
  4. Companies must have proof that employees are paid as per workplace rules
  5. Certification by a recognized authority that the company is eligible for the scheme

Eligibility for candidates:

  • Eligibility requirements for candidates under this scheme are:
  • No familial relationship with the directors and shareholders of the company
  • Adherence to health, character and security requirements
  • Matching of qualifications with the role applied for
  • At least three years of work experience relevant to the position applied for
  • Capacity to transfer skills to Australians
Visa validity is for four years and candidates can apply for a PR visa after three years

Benefits of the GTS:

  • Access to roles that do not appear in the occupation lists
  • Facility to negotiate terms different from requirements of the TSS visa
  • Priority to processing of applications
  • No age restrictions on the visa
  • Value for emerging technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality

The GTS helps companies find candidates with a range of qualifications. Tech and startup sectors welcomed the move because they felt it could solve their problems such as the skills gap and access to the right talent.

The GTS visa has helped the technology industry get over the restrictions of the TSS visa which is limited and makes it difficult to gain access to specialized talent from across the world.

Startups in Australia have welcomed the move to make the GTS a permanent feature since it will solve some of their manpower woes.

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