The government has kicked off a new visa pathway program to bring in highly skilled and specialist workers from overseas to Australian businesses and tech startups this week.
The Global Talent Scheme pilot program, announced in March, will run for 12 months, and will allow STEM-based startups, public companies or business with an annual turnover of more than $4 million to sponsor overseas workers in positions earning more than $180,000.
Workers sponsored in the scheme will be offered a four-year temporary skills shortage visa, which will be extended to permanent residency after three years. Unlike the 457 visa program, it does not include specific job titles that are eligible for the program.
"This scheme will connect Australia with the skills to help grow the economy and develop innovative new businesses," said senator and minister for jobs and innovation Michaelia Cash.
"The government has been working closely with stakeholders to ensure this program brings maximum benefit to Australia - to promote business growth, skill sharing and increased job creation."
The more established companies are required to demonstrate that they prioritise employing Australians first, and must prove that skills will be transferred to Australian workers. They must also demonstrate a track record of hiring and training Australian workers.
Tech startups on the other hand should be recognised by a startup authority while also demonstrate prioritising Australian jobs.
"This scheme is designed to facilitate businesses accessing top talent from around the world," said minister for citizenship and multicultural affairs Alan Tudge.
"It complements existing Temporary Skill Shortage visa arrangements by providing the flexibility to handle high value, niche skills that can't be obtained under the standard visa program.