This week, some structural changes have been made to the Distinguished Talent Visa, which is the primary visa used in the Global Talent (Independent) Program.
As well as catering for highly talented people in targeted sectors, the Distinguished Talent visa is also open to anyone who has an extensive international reputation in their field.
The changes are very positive ones, which seek to remove some of the red tape surrounding the application process.
- The “offshore” version of the Distinguished Talent Visa, Subclass 124, has been closed to new applicants.
- Changes have been made to the “onshore” Distinguished Talent Visa, subclass 858, such that it is now the only form of Distinguished Talent Visa available.
- People who are either in or out of Australia will now be able to access the Subclass 858 visa.
- Further, people who are in Australia and holding certain visas such as Visitor Visa, Specialist Temporary Entry visas and Bridging Visa A, B or C, may apply onshore for the Distinguished Talent Visa.
These changes will mean there is no longer a need for some applicants to leave Australia to have their distinguished talent visa granted. It will save a lot of inconvenience, particularly in this environment of travel bans and hotel quarantine. Given that the government may grant up to 15,000 Distinguished Talent Visas under the Global Talent Program in 2021; the changes are very welcome.
The other beneficial change is that the Health Requirement for this visa has been relaxed, to permit a Health Waiver, if required. This means that, although all applicants still need to pass health criteria, if an applicant, or one of their family members, may exceed the significant health costs threshold, it is possible to apply for a waiver of the health requirement – meaning the visa could still be granted.
An updated and improved version of the Nomination Form (1000) is now available. There have also been some changes made to the online application form.
I have already applied for a Distinguished Talent Visa – Subclass 124 – will I be affected?
The changes will not affect people who have already applied for their Distinguished Talent Visa under Subclass 124. No further Subclass 124 visas can be lodged now, but ones which are already lodged will still be processed. Anyone who was previously advised to lodge a Subclass 124 visa, will now have to instead lodge the Subclass 858. Certain applicants will still need to be outside Australia for lodgement of the visa – such as those people who have been refused a visa since last entry, or have had a visa cancellation.
Those people who have lodged a Subclass 858 visa will be assessed under the legislation which currently applies.
Will this mean it’s easier to get an invitation to apply under the Global Talent Program?
No. The changes above relate to the mechanics of the visa application; not to the Global Talent Invitation process. We have noticed lately that the Invitations under the Global Talent program seem to be taking longer, as there is a lot of high quality interest in the program. Inevitably, this may result in a longer wait for an invitation, and a more competitive field of applicants for a fixed number of places.
What if I am applying under the non-Global Talent stream of Distinguished Talent?
The changes to the visa will make it easier and more streamlined for Distinguished Talent Visa applicants, and will allow many people who are already onshore, to apply.
If you’re extremely talented in an area which is not covered by the Global Talent program, consider that only 200 places have been allocated to the Distinguished Talent Program in 2020-21. The scarcity of this visa means you will have to really show an exceptionally high degree of talent and international recognition, to be able to secure a Distinguished Talent Visa in fields such as the arts, sport, and non-Global Talent business and academic fields.
Should I re-submit my documents?
If your Distinguished Talent visa application has been lodged – no need to do anything. If we are in the process of preparing your Distinguished Talent Visa, we may contact you as we will have to re-draft the application form and send you a new draft.
Your nomination form may have to be redrafted using the current format.
If you are currently our client for a Distinguished Talent visa, we will contact you to talk you through the changes, if you are affected.
Would you like to discuss your Global Talent prospects? Contact us for expert advice.