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Other Visas

Distinguished Talent Visa (Subclass 124)

This visa has been replaced by the Global Talent Visa Subclass 858 as of 27 February 2021. Please contact our office if you require further details about this visa.

Global Talent Visa (Subclass 858)

The Global Talent visa is not for the average person, but rather for people who are at the absolute top of their field. If you have a long history of top international achievement and would like to bring your skills to Australia, this may be the visa for you. This visa is a pathway for those highly skilled experts to work and live permanently in Australia. The aim of this visa is to create chances to Australians by passing on skills, promoting innovation and creating new jobs. There are three main programs under this visa.

Global talent visa program

Global Talent Visa Program, which is also known as the Global Talent Independent Program is a special government program streamlining and prioritising applications from some highly skilled professionals not necessarily already accomplished internationally. Australia is after the brightest and best global talent to work in seven future-focused sectors. The program is designed to help grow our economy by innovation and advancing technology. The recent outstanding PhD and Masters or Honours graduates are encouraged to apply. GTI priority processing is available to applicants who are currently working or studying in the following seven sectors:

  • AgTech
  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  • FinTech
  • Energy and Mining Technology
  • MedTech
  • Cyber Security
  • Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT

The applicants are expected to be or have the potential to become high-income earners. The Fair Work Australia High Income Threshold figure should be taken as a guide. Currently, it is $153600. The Department of Home Affairs has established a special unit assessing the expression of interest for the program and issues special endorsement identifiers assuring priority processing for the approved applicants. In 2020-2021, there are 15,000 places available under the program

The Global Talent Officers that engage with potential applicants are normally located in London, Shanghai, Singapore and Washington DC and now in Australia as well due to Covid-19. 

There are two pathways under this program -being Global Talent Visa Program and Distinguished Talent pathway. The Global Talent visa program pathway will require a submission of an Expression of interest to gain priority while as the latter is for applicants working in other sectors.

Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program

This program allows employers to sponsor overseas workers for highly-skilled specialised and niche positions that are not able to be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident or by other visas such as the TSS. This means it is not limited to the short-term and medium-term occupation list. If an applicant satisfies the requirements for this program then can apply for a TSS at that stage.

Supporting Innovation in South Australia

This program is a new program piloted in South Australia where if successful it will be applicable in all of Australia.

Application process

Depending on the applicant and which program used prior to visa lodge an invitation of interest or, the application must be accompanied by a nomination from an nationally-recognised Australian person or organisation.

Visa eligibility criteria for Subclass 858

The main criteria for a Global Talent visa include:

  1. You have an internationally-recognised record of exceptional achievement in:
    • A profession
    • A sport
    • The arts
    • Academia and research
  2. Your record is sustained and consistent
  3. You are still prominent in your area
  4. Your skills would be of benefit to Australia
  5. You are nominated by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or organization which can attest to your record of achievement who are also in the same field. 
  6. If you are under 18 or over 55 years old, your presence would be of exceptional benefit to the Australian community
  7. Standard health and character criteria

For secondary/dependent applicants making an onshore application (subclass 858):

Generally speaking, you must be a member of the family unit of the primary applicant at both time of application and time of decision. However, if you were a member of the family unit at time of application and:

  • Your relationship with the primary applicant has ceased; and
  • You were subject to family violence by the primary applicant;

then your visa may be granted.

Visa requirements

Applicants may be eligible for this visa if they:

  • have a nominator
  • must have a record of exceptional and outstanding achievement and must be internationally recognised in a profession, the arts, sport, research or academia.
  • have relevant qualifications and/or awards received by internationally recognised institutions.
  • Must have an invitation if that is the requirement for their profession 
  • provide evidence that the applicant is still prominent in the field.
  • Have at least functional English (otherwise a fee will apply) 
  • Satisfy the health and character requirements. 

Common problems for applicants

You must be at the very top of your field to receive this visa. For example, if you are a sports person it is expected you will be one of the top 5 players in the world.

You must still be prominent in the field, i.e. you cannot have retired.

The nomination document must be lodged at the same time as the application and must be a comprehensive list of your achievements.

Even if your record is considered exceptional in your home country, you must be able show it is exceptional according to international standards.

Unsure if your record is strong enough to apply? Having trouble making sure your nomination form is completed to a high enough standard? Red Earth Migration can assist. Contact us on (08) 6117 1940 to schedule a consultation with one of our migration experts today.

Distinguished talent applicant FAQ

You can be inside or outside Australia to apply, but not in immigration clearance.

You can be inside or outside Australia for visa grant, but not in immigration clearance.

Children under the age of 23 and spouses or de facto partners. Children over 18 must be financially dependent on you.

This visa does not allow for waiver of the health requirement

This is a permanent visa with a five-year travel facility. This means you can stay in Australia permanently but if you want to leave and return after five years you must apply for a resident return visa.

Visa Details

Visa Subclass:
Length of stay:
From AUD 4,710

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