Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Australian government imposed stringent travel restrictions and closed its borders to many foreign travelers, causing many Indians, including business travelers and students.
However, under the current Global Talent Independent (GTI) visa scheme, some highly qualified Indians have a new opportunity to come to the country with permanent residency benefits.
The Australian government uses this initiative to recruit the best and brightest talent from around the world to assist in the country’s post-Covid economic recovery. The GTI scheme, which began as a pilot in November 2019 with 5,000 spots available, was expanded by the government in the 2020-2021 Budget, with a new goal of 15,000 locations.
Also, the government has shown its commitment to the program by establishing a global business and talent attraction task force in the second half of 2020 to attract high-value international businesses and outstanding talent to Australia to aid post-Covid recovery and improve local employment.
Applicants must be highly skilled in one of the ten target sectors to be eligible for a visa under this program: agri-food and agrotech, energy, health industries, defense, advanced manufacturing and space, circular economy, Digitech, infrastructure and tourism, financial services, and fintech, and education.
Candidates must be highly qualified in any of these fields and command a salary that meets the A$153,600 high-income threshold. They must also demonstrate international recognition by proof of exemplary professional accomplishments.
“Because the GTI program is more flexible than all other conventional Australian migration programs, it will help some of India’s best and brightest migrants.
“The Australian government is committed to accelerating economic growth following the pandemic, and it aims to recruit the best talent from around the world for its high-value, priority, and future-focused industries,” said Cherie Wright of a global immigration law firm Fragomen in Sydney.
According to Wright, the GTI visa is a much better choice for Indians than all other immigration routes to Australia because it is not employer or state-sponsored and has a high upper age limit of 55, which can be relaxed further. Only an Australian permanent resident, person, or organization with a ‘national reputation’ in the same industry sector may nominate you.
Since the GTI target sectors capture unique cutting-edge skills, applicants do not have to apply under an occupations list is also a benefit for Indians, Wright added.
“The GTI applicant can work for any company they choose, and the visa is simplified thanks to expedited processing. In some instances, the path to permanent residency can be completed in a matter of months,” she said. Along with the United Kingdom and the United States, India is among the top countries interested in this visa scheme.
According to data from the Australian Department of Home Affairs, 265 Indians were invited to apply for a distinguished talent visa under the GTI between January 1, 2020, and September 9, 2020.
Santosh Kumar (name changed on request) is a precision medicine expert in Bengaluru, where he is working on a cutting-edge project with a genomics research firm. He was recommended for the GTI program two months ago by a professor and researcher in the same area at a leading Australian university. He has already secured a Permanent Residence visa invitation from the Australian government. He hopes to travel to Melbourne to join a research assignment by the end of May 2021.
The Australian GTI visa has sparked a lot of interest among Bengaluru’s highly skilled cybersecurity professionals, despite its relatively new choice. “Unlike investor visas, the GTI visa does not require large-scale investments, and the path to permanent residency is streamlined and fast.
Dominic Volek, a member of an executive committee and group head of private clients at residency and citizenship planning company Henley & Partners, said that some Indian clients with high CVs had their papers processed in as little as five weeks.
Another major drawback is that Indian applicants who apply for the GTI visa have no restrictions on traveling to Australia, except during the pandemic. “Even though Australia’s borders are closed to non-citizens, migrants in this group are free to travel,” Wright said.
“It is for this purpose that this scheme has piqued the interest of Indians, especially in the Digitech field. It is also appealing to Indian ex-pats on other visas in Australia and those in other countries such as the United States.”