Australia global tech talent visa attracts 9,584 migrants

The government is trying to recover from the pandemic and drive economic growth through its migration programme’s skill stream

Australia’s Global Talent Visa Program attracted 9,584 migrants in the 2020-2021 year, as the government aims to attract talent to help the country rebound from COVID-19 and drive economic growth.

In the country’s latest Migration Program report, it details that out of 160,052 places, 79,620 were allocated to the Skill stream, which is designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market. One of the visa categories within the Skill stream is the Global Talent Program which had an outcome of 9,584 places, or 12% of the stream.

The sector with the most applications was Digitech with 34% of the visas, which includes roles like cloud computing, machine learning, cyber security, and quantum computing. Following this was health Industries on 23%, energy on 17%, and financial services and fintech on 12%, which offer roles in IT biochemistry, digital health, resource robotics, and blockchain.

Out of the 9,584 places, 7,375 applications came from migrants already in Australia, while 2,209 came from outside the country. The majority of places where applicants intended to stay were in New South Wales (3,845), Victoria (2,418), Queensland (1,465), and Western Australia (852).

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“Delivering a full program of 160,052 places meant drawing on the pool of onshore applicants due to global COVID-19 restrictions. This has been very successful given the difficult circumstances this year,” said Alex Hawke, minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.

“We will continue to give priority to skilled visas that drive economic growth, job creation and investment in Australia," he added.

To be invited for a visa in the Global Talent Program, candidates have to be highly skilled in one of 10 target sectors and able to attract a salary of $158,500 (£84,275) or above. They also need to prove they are internationally recognised with evidence of outstanding achievements, provide evidence they would be an asset to Australia, and have a recognised organisation or individual in the country nominate them as a global talent.

For the whole migration programme, the largest source citizenship countries of migrants in 2021-2021 were China (22,207 places), India (21,791 places), and the UK (12,703 places). 

In the upcoming year, the migration programme will have a planning level of 160,000 places and applicants will be able to move places within the skill stream to provide flexibility to support Australia's response to managing COVID-19.

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