In November 2019, the Global Talent Visa Program was launched by the then-Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. This program aims to attract highly skilled migrants in selected industries to Australia by offering a high priority and fast-tracked process to permanent residency in Australia.

The Global Talent Program has remained open throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic and is an increasingly sought-after visa class as a pathway to permanent residency.  

What is the Australian Global Talent subclass 858 visa?

The former Distinguished Talent subclass 858 visa was modified with effect from 27 February 2021 to incorporate the Global Talent Program and has been renamed the Global Talent subclass 858 visa.

What evidence do applicants need to provide for a Global Talent subclass 858 visa?

An applicant for a Global Talent subclass 858 visa needs to show, with supporting evidence, that they:

  • have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in their area;
  • are still prominent in their area;
  • would be an asset to (that is, be useful and benefit) the Australian community;
  • would have no difficulty in obtaining employment, or in becoming established independently, in Australia in their area;
  • are nominated by an individual who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an Australian organisation who has a national reputation in the same area as the applicant and can attest to the applicant’s record of achievement in the area; and
  • if the applicant has not turned 18, or is at least 55 years old, at the time of application – would be of exceptional benefit to the Australian community.

The ‘exceptional and outstanding achievement’ threshold is a very high standard, and to meet the standard applicants may need to show proof of:

  • senior roles
  • patents
  • professional awards
  • international publications
  • memberships.

Global Talent subclass 858 places are also available to PhD graduates who can prove exceptional talent and international recognition in a target sector.

‘Internationally recognised’ means that an applicant’s achievements need to have been, or would be, acclaimed as exceptional and outstanding in any country.

Thus, whether or not an applicant meets the criterion of having an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in their area comes entirely down to the applicant’s ability to provide evidence of their track record and talent.

Other important factors for successful Global Talent subclass 858 visa applications include the amount, types and quality of evidence provided, as well as the discretion of the deciding Departmental case officer as to whether an applicant’s record and skills rise to the level of the threshold required by the criterion.

Additionally, an applicant needs to show evidence of their current salary (or future job offers showing remuneration) and their ability to attract an annual salary at or above the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT), which is currently AUD$158,500.

Alternative pathways to obtaining Global Talent (subclass 858 visas)

Alternative pathways to obtaining a subclass 858 visa include applicants who are either:

  • endorsed by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Global Business and Talent Attraction as being likely to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy if granted a Global Talent (subclass 858) visa, and can show, with evidence, that they are likely to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy if the visa is granted; or
  • acting on the advice of the Minister responsible for an intelligence or security agency within the meaning of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Act 1979 (Cth) or the Director-General of Security, the applicant has provided specialised assistance to the Australian Government in matters of security.

What are the Global Talent visa ‘target’ industry sectors?

The industry sectors currently targeted by the Australian Government’s Global Talent Program are:

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

Subclass 858 visa applications for the above target industry sectors that also meet the salary threshold (i.e. where there is evidence of an offer of employment from an Australian employer with a salary of at least the FWHIT or of the applicant’s current earnings which are at least the FWHIT or of the applicant’s likelihood to attract a salary that is at least the FWHIT) will have the highest processing priority within the Global Talent subclass 858 visa program.

How to apply for a Global Talent (subclass 858) visa?

Applicants can apply from inside or outside Australia and must provide as much evidence as possible to support their visa application (including details of their nomination by an Australian individual or organisation).

Applying for a subclass 858 visa is a multi-step process:

  1. First, an applicant needs to lodge an Expression of Interest (EoI), which lists out information and supporting evidence pertaining to the applicant’s skills and how the criteria for the subclass 858 visa are met.
  2. If successful, the applicant is invited to apply for a subclass 858 visa based on the information and evidence in their EoI and given an invitation reference identifier and invitation code with which to apply for the subclass 858 visa.
  3. The applicant then prepares and lodges a valid application for the subclass 858 visa with the Department of Home Affairs, with the invitation reference identifier and invitation code in the invitation they have received.

How can I maximise my chances of obtaining a Global Talent subclass 858 visa?

Due to its popularity and the limited number of invitations issued by the Australian Government each year, the Global Talent subclass 858 visa is a highly competitive visa class. An applicant who is granted a Global Talent subclass 858 visa is not subject to Australia’s current COVID-19 inbound travel restrictions as it is a permanent visa.

Even if you prepare and lodge an EoI, you may not be successful in receiving an invitation to apply for an 858 visa. Therefore it is critical that you put forward the best possible EoI application to prove to the Australian Government that you should be invited to apply for a subclass 858 visa over other applicants.

It is also critical that information and evidence submitted in your EoI is clear, complete and consistent with the information and evidence provided in any subsequent subclass 858 visa application.

Then, even if your application has successfully made it through the EoI process and you have been invited to submit a subclass 858 visa application, you may not always succeed. If your 858 visa application is missing information, or contains information or evidence that is inconsistent with that in the EoI, or contains incomplete evidence, your Global Talent subclass 858 visa application may be refused.  

Given the competition amongst highly skilled and highly paid Global Talent 858 subclass visa applicants it is critical any EoI or visa application you submit can stand up to scrutiny. Providing sufficient and consistent evidence in support of a subclass 858 visa application is especially important due to the discretionary nature of the criteria for the subclass 858 visa where it may come down to an individual Departmental officer’s decision.

Where to get help for your Global Talent subclass 858 visa application

A great deal of time, expense and angst can be saved in the Global Talent 858 subclass visa application process by engaging an experienced immigration lawyer.

Having an experienced immigration lawyer on hand can be invaluable in ensuring any information prepared from the start of the visa process for the EoI and then through to the actual visa application is consistent and sufficiently supported by the right kinds of evidence.

As immigration lawyers well-versed in Australian migration law including not only the legal aspects, but the practical and process side, Craddock Murray Neumann’s Immigration Law team is available to advise on your eligibility for the Global Talent subclass 858 visa and then assist and guide you with every step of your visa process.

For a confidential discussion about your Global Talent subclass 858 visa or any other immigration matter, please contact our team on 1300 123 529, or via email at visas@craddock.com.au.

Please note that this page states the law as at September 2021. Australian immigration law is complex and changes frequently, and the law in relation to Global Talent visas may have changed. We recommend a consultation with our Immigration Law team for further advise.

Key Contacts

Key Contacts

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