Global Talent Independent Program  – understanding your eligibility

The Distinguished Talent visas in this program, the Subclass 124 (offshore) and 858 (onshore), have been attracting alot of attention by potential candidates during this covid-19 period. They offer a pathway for skilled migrants in the top future-focussed fields in Australia.

Expected salary amount

The Fair Work high income threshold (FWHIT) currently set at $153, 600 is set under Direction No. 85. As per s499 of the Migration Act 1958, directions are not law,  they are instructions.  They help ensure that that delegates take into account all relevant factors. The salary threshold is therefore only a direction, and not a legislative requirement.  An application will not be refused solely because the applicant does not have the ability to attract it. Not meeting the salary threshold does not make you ineligible to apply

Priority processing

Direction No. 85 specifies the order of consideration for Distinguished Talent visas. Applications made in the target sectors and that provide evidence (as specified in this Direction) of their current or future salary equal to or above FWHIT will be afforded priority processing. All other visa applications will receive the second highest priority. Direction No. 85 provides the ability for the Department to be flexible when assessing whether a candidate is likely to attract this salary.

Make sure you can satisfy the regulations first!

The main purpose of this Direction is to provide priority processing. In my discussions with candidates, and the Department, there is too much emphasis put on this. The first consideration is being able to meet the regulations. For example, if you are applying as a professional for the Subclass 124 visa, the following examples would demonstrate that you have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and oustanding achievement:

  • an individual holding a senior position (such as senior manager, lead technician or lecturer) in a highly competitive ‘international orgaisation’. 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 organsiations, in a number of countries;
  • an individual completing major international projects which have had a wide reaching impact, i.e. a pharmaceutical executive who has led projects and successfully achieved a medical outcome that benefits health of society.


Providing relevant evidence

What type of evidence can you provide to demonstrate your record? References from current and past employers; statements from prominent business and industry peers; national and international industy awards. There are a variety of ways. The important thing to remember is don’t inflate your position – you must hold, or have held, a senior position. Working in a mid-level managment role (no matter how much work you did), or cetainly less than this, will not qualify.

The key to a successful application

Understand clearly how to satisfy the regulations. Don’t assume anything. Know for sure. Know the detail.