The Global Talent Independent program which was only started in November 2019, is significant in this financial year as it has the greatest increase in quota. This increase came at a huge cost to the other skilled visas and the skilled 189, state sponsored 190, regional 491, employer sponsored 186 and regional employer sponsored 494 visas, which have all been heavily reduced.

Global Talent Program 2020/2021


Requirements and how to apply



Higher quota

The quota for global talent visas is three times what it was last year, offering 15,000 places to high achieving applicants. This is opposed to many other skilled visas that saw major reductions in quotas. This makes this an ideal alternative to applying for the 189 visa.

Know your EOI status

You will be notified if your Expression of Interest is unsuccessful so that you can explore other visa pathways. This is unlike the 189 visa, where you will not be told what is happening with your EOI and can wait for years in the queue. 

Graduates are eligible

Global talent visas are also offered to those who have completed their bachelor honours degree, masters degree or PhDs in the last three years, so you don’t necessarily have to have had a big career to be considered. Eligible graduates actually will not need to meet many of the following requirements. This is a huge advantage and a game changer for graduates or recent graduates who are unsure on how to continue their stay in Australia with the 189 visa becoming so difficult. 

Not a points tested visa

Because this is not a points tested visa, you do not lose points for getting older. In fact, there is no requirement on your age or English capability. You do not have to have an occupation on a specific occupation list or have a skills assessment either. 

If you do not have at least functional english or if you are under 18 years old or above 55, you will have to be able to meet other additional requirements.

Visa requirements

 7 target sectors

There are 7 target sectors in which Australia wants to build innovation and capabilities. They are Agricultural Technology, Space and Advanced Manufacturing, Financial technology, Energy and Mining Technology, Medical Technology, Cyber-Security, and Quantum information Advanced Digital Data science and ICT. You have to be highly skilled in one of these key sectors. 

Highly skilled

You have to be considered highly talented..

  1. with an internationally recognised record of
  2. exceptional and outstanding achievement in a profession, or academia and research


 Internationally recognised

When considering if you are internationally recognised, it is not asking for you to famous, but that your achievements have been or would be considered as exceptional in any country.

  • the international standing of the country (or countries), where the applicant’s achievements were realised, in respect of the particular area;
  • the standing of the achievement in relation to Australian standards such as Australian tertiary education quality standards, in relation to achievements in the area of academia and research; and
  • the standing of the achievement in relation to international standards.

Examples include:

  • an applicant rated at or near the top of their field in their home country, in a field that is undertaken and recognised in a number of countries, and the achievement would be similarly recognised in relation to international and Australian standards .
  • an individual holding a senior position (such as senior manager, lead technician, or lecturer) in a highly competitive ‘international organisation’. An organisation with an internationally renowned reputation would be considered as an ‘international organisation
  • an individual with a track record of holding senior positions in organisations, in a number of countries
  • an individual completing major international projects which have had a wide reaching impact. For example, a pharmaceutical executive who has led projects and as a result, successfully accelerated the clinical trial process to achieve a medical outcome, would be considered as an individual who has had a wide-reaching impact on the health benefits of society


 Exceptional and outstanding achievement

You will need to provide evidence of your achievements being exceptional and outstanding as well.

  • supporting statements and material provided by the applicant detailing relevant aspects of their record of achievement, including their qualifications, awards, and professional or academic positions held. This should include information relating to achievements both in Australia and overseas
  • supporting statements from internationally recognised individuals or organisations in the applicant’s claimed area of achievement who are qualified to comment on the applicant’s achievements and the applicant’s reputation within the area
  • awards received from internationally recognised institutions or organisations
  • profession:
    • national and international industry awards and accolades
    • references from current and past employers, statements from prominent business and industry peers
    • academic degrees or professional designations associated with the applicant’s profession
    • personal/professional titles such as CEO, Director, Department Head and Professor
    • newspaper and magazine articles attesting to achievements, links to any reputable websites which refer to the applicant and what they have achieved
  • academia and research:
    • reports, books, articles, commissioned or published
    • awards, honours and accolades received
    • recognition by peers including citation in journals, statements of achievement from government, professional, scientific or other relevant bodies
    • professional designation such as Professor, PhD, or M.D
    • membership of international groups and organisations associated with the area of learning
    • scale and audience of research undertaken or completed
    • evidence of government/private grants associated with the applicant’s research

Don’t be discouraged by the terms used. If you are considered to have a strong career in one of the 7 sectors, there is a chance that you would be eligible. 

Must still be prominent 

Another requirement is that you are still relevant in your field. All this means that you are still or can still be contributing and it is easily substantiated through evidence of recent work, positions held, awards won, or through reference letters from relevant parties such as your university or employer.


Must be an asset to Australia

You are considered an asset to Australia if you are able to contribute in terms of raising Australia’s technical or academic standards internationally and or if you are able to introduce skills to Australia. Evidence could include:

  • evidence that they have created a product/ technological advancement that is unique, and cutting edge in nature
  • evidence demonstrating that the applicant’s research fills a significant knowledge gap and will be of benefit to industry, business or academia in Australia
  • evidence of their involvement in establishing a start-up company


Highly employable

You will need to demonstrate that you would have no difficulty in finding employment or becoming independently established in Australia within your field of expertise. Evidence of this can include:

  • current and future employment contracts/offers
  • evidence of self-employment or opportunities to establish a viable business
  • evidence of sponsorships, scholarships, grants or other payments


Meet the high income threshold

Finally you must be able to command an income meeting the high income threshold. This High income threshold is adjusted every year on 1 July. It currently stands at $153,600. You can use:

  • a job offer that shows this, great 
  • your current salary shown through payslips or a contract
  • combine job advertisements, remuneration data or other recourses to show that your position/occupation attracts a salary that meets the threshold


Bachelor Honours, Masters and PhD applicants

The Australian Government is actively encouraging those who have completed their Bachelor Honours, Masters degree or PhD in the last 3 years. If you are a Bachelor Honours or Masters graduate, you need an overall grade point average of 80 out of 100. If you are a PhD student, you may also be eligible if you will be submitting your thesis in the next 6 months. A full academic transcript and letter from the applicant’s university must be provided detailing the submission date of their thesis.

Masters and PhD applicants have the advantage of not needing to worry about many of the career related requirements such as being still prominent, being an asset, being employable or meeting the high income threshold. This may sound easy, but applicants will be required to show that they meet the conditions of being internationally recognised with exceptional and outstanding achievement .

You should be in a field of research that is of international interest, or have presented their research at an international level, or have research that could advance Australia’s international competitiveness. 



This first step is critical to your application.

  1. Submit your expression of interest through the immigration department’s Global Talent contact form. This is not the same as SkillSelect
  2. If you are identified as a global talent, you will be invited to reply and you will receive what is called a unique identifier
  3. You must use this unique identifier to apply for a Distinguished Talent 858 visa

The Global Talent Independent Program is only piggybacking off the Distinguished Talent visa. The Distinguished Talent visas have very similar requirements but are not limited to the 7 target sectors and includes those in sports, art and cultural fields. The quota for Distinguished Talent visas is only 200 places. 

To be considered on the Global Talent Independent Program, you will need the unique identifier. The Global Talent program gives you access to the quota of 15,000 places and priority processing. 



If you are invited to apply you will also need to provide a statement from a nominator. The nominator Must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, eligible New Zealand citizen, or Australian organisation with a national reputation in the same field as you. The nominator does not need to employ you. The nominator is only required to fill in a form declaring how you meet the above requirements.

The nominator will need to demonstrate their own achievement  in the same field as you as well:

  • solid track record of achievements;
  • evidence of high calibre;
  • leadership in the relevant field of expertise;
  • professional associations with lead organisations and industry bodies;
  • current and previous employment history;
  • their participation at conferences both in Australia and internationally; and
  • their contribution to a number of international journals which would be utilised by researchers, academics and organisations undertaking work in the same field of research.

An example of an acceptable nominator would be an individual nominator employed as a tech professional in a leading tech company that has a multi-national reputation. 

You do not need a nominator when you are submitting your EOI. This is only required after you are invited to apply.

This program is a great alternative for the other skilled visas. It is free to submit an expression of interest and can possibly save you valuable time from waiting endlessly for a 189, 190 or 491 visa. It’s definitely something that eligible Bachelors Honours, Masters and PhD graduates should check out as the requirements are less difficult for them. If you need help, our team is ready to help. If you need advice, we offer Skype, Zoom and phone consultations. Call +(02) 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.



Zoe He