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Is Australia joining the global competition for talent?

In November 2022, INSEAD, the Pottinger Institute, and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore jointly released the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report for 2022. The report showed that countries such as Switzerland and Singapore ranked at the top in terms of talent competition, and now talent is seen as a key factor in a country’s development and prosperity. In addition, the report also proposed ways to influence the distribution of talent in the global arena by encouraging, discovering, attracting, and nurturing entrepreneurial talent on a global scale.

 
Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2022 rankings
Screen capture from INSEAD.
 

Countries around the world have launched talent attraction plans

 

Since the 21st century, the scale of international talent flow has continued to expand, and the competition for high-end talents among countries has become increasingly fierce. In order to gain an advantageous position in the talent competition, countries and regions around the world have introduced relevant talent policies.

 
High Potential Individual (HPI) visa
 

In March 2020, the UK Home Office announced the launch of the “High Potential Individual (HPI)” visa from May 30th, aimed at attracting the “smartest and most talented” individuals who are at the beginning of their careers.

 

In October 2022, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu addressed the global media with the “2022 Policy Address”, in which “talent attraction” became a major focus. Lee stated that Hong Kong is one of the world’s most competitive economies and an important gateway for mainland China to connect with the international market. Over the past two years, Hong Kong has lost approximately 140,000 workers. To attract and retain global talent, a series of favorable policies have been implemented, such as canceling the annual quota for talent admission and launching the “Scheme for Admission of Talent (Technology) – Hong Kong” program.

 

Screen capture from Immigration Department, The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

 

In response to the challenges posed by an aging population and labor shortages, Japan has been actively competing for global talent and striving to become a “country chosen by talent.” On February 17th, 2023, the Japanese government announced a new policy for accepting foreign talent at a meeting. The policy is aimed at “exceptionally high-level talent,” and Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu stated at the meeting that “more favorable treatment than the current measures should be allowed for top-level talent.”

 

Screen capture from Public Comment.

 

Australia Joins Talent Battle

As talent competition intensifies, consulting giant PwC has stated that Australia is lagging behind countries such as Singapore and Canada in the battle for talent.

 
Screen capture from Financial Review.
 

Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil, has stated that Australia is facing a serious shortage of talent and she hopes that Australia can attract more skilled workers. She also aims to shift the focus of talent immigration from short-term to long-term and permanent immigration.

 

Screen capture from Australia Government.

 

To attract top-tier talent from around the world to Australia, the Global Talent Independent Program (GTI) was officially launched on November 4th, 2019. The program falls under the Australian 858 visa category and is the priority processing category, aimed at attracting highly skilled and talented individuals in target fields to contribute to Australia’s technological innovation, job creation, and economic recovery.

 

Screen capture from Australia Government Department of Home Affairs.

 

The Global Talent Independent Program (GTI) launched by Australia on November 4, 2019, is currently one of the most cost-effective ways for high-end talent to obtain a green card in a major country. With an annual submission of over 10,000 applications, official data shows that the invitation rate from 2020-2022 was about 41%, meaning that more than half of the applicants were rejected at the EOI stage. One of the reasons for this situation is that the Australian government’s requirements for applicant achievements are relatively vague and there are no clear standards to refer to. Therefore, choosing an experienced and professional immigration company is particularly important.

 

Since the establishment of the program, Globevisa has signed more than 300 groups of clients, with extensive experience in practical operations and an invitation rate of over 80%. Successful cases have been achieved in all ten eligible fields, which is also an important reason why many applicants choose Globevisa.

 

The GTI project team of Globevisa specializes in the program and formulates precise signing standards based on the situation of previous successful clients. They develop exclusive solutions for each client based on their actual situation, deeply mining their achievements, and having professional lawyers review and finalize the solutions. They also use the current situation in the Australian field to provide statements and evidence of achievements for applicants to ensure a successful application.

 

The most critical aspect of the GTI program is obtaining a nomination letter and invitation code. According to official data, once an applicant obtains an invitation code, the success rate will be as high as 99%.

 

Image source: Australia 2021-22 Migration Program Report.

 
 

Special invitation to Australian lawyers for professional interpretation

 

Australia is very welcoming to talent, but looking at the quotas and approvals of the Australian GTI program from past fiscal years, it seems otherwise. Let’s take a look at the quotas and approval quotas since its launch:

 

2019-2020: Quota of 5,000, with 4,109 approvals;

 

2020-2021: Quota of 15,000, with 9,584 approvals;

 

2021-2022: Quota of 15,000, with 8,776 approvals;

 

2022-2023: Quota of 5,000, reduced by two-thirds.

 

So why has this happened? RUOBING YANG, a cooperating lawyer with Globevisa, holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Sydney and is a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia. He answers questions and analyzes the policy direction of the Australian GTI project for the next fiscal year.

 

“As more and more applicants become aware of this program, the application volume of the Australian GTI project has exploded. As there are no follow-up requirements, the Australian government has found that there are not many applicants who actually make contributions to Australia after obtaining their identity through this means. This has caused the Australian government to re-evaluate the project, and the quota has been directly reduced by 10,000 from the 2022 fiscal year.”

 

Regarding the policy direction for the 2023 fiscal year, he said, “The quota for the next fiscal year’s Australian GTI project may continue to be reduced, and the requirement for the applicant’s annual salary may continue to increase. Matching tax bills may also become a mandatory requirement.”

 
High income threshold

Screen capture from Australia Government Department of Home Affairs.

 

Globevisa, since its establishment more than a decade ago, has built a professional team proficient in Australian immigration. With rich application experience and profound document preparation skills, they have helped clients successfully obtain their Australian residency. In the cases currently being handled by Globevisa, proposals without tax returns or not meeting the annual salary requirements are still feasible. However, in the next fiscal year, it is not ruled out that there will be an increase in the annual salary requirement and a demand for matching tax returns. Academic personnel overseas who do not meet the annual salary standard may lose their opportunity to apply.

 

On February 22, 2023, Claire O’Farrell, the Minister for Immigration, issued a lengthy statement that Australia’s immigration policy will undergo eight comprehensive reforms to establish a new structure and scale of immigration system, one of which is to strengthen the focus on skilled professionals. This involves clarifying the types of skilled professionals that Australia needs, where they will come from, and establishing an efficient application process to help more skilled individuals stay and live in Australia. This shows that what Australia needs are talents who can truly contribute to the country, which makes it inevitable for the Australian GTI program application requirements to increase. Applicants need to cherish this opportunity and apply accordingly.

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