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Australia opens doors for STEM workers from South Africa

Apr 4, 2018
Australia opens doors for STEM workers from South Africa

Never mind Australia’s offer to South African farmers, the Australian government is handpicking highly skilled workers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, to join their STEM trained workforce or to start up new businesses, in a new Global Talent Scheme, geared towards attracting these sought-after skills to the country.

“This is a new visa scheme to attract highly skilled migrants and help Australia compete globally and will be piloted from 1 July 2018. The government wants Global Talent Scheme to deliver innovation, transfer skills to local workers and help grow Australian businesses,” says Sable International’s immigration expert Sam Hopwood.

“If you’re looking at moving to Australia and you are highly skilled in your field, this could be your opportunity to move Down Under.”

The Australian government is interested in high levels of skills in the Natural and Physical Sciences (NPS),  Information Technology (IT), Engineering and Related Technologies (ERT), Agriculture, Environment and Related Studies (AERS) and Mathematical Sciences.

The initiative is split into two streams: Established businesses and the start-up businesses. Both kinds of businesses have to apply to the Government to be able to sponsor applicants for certain highly skilled positions. They also have to perform labour market testing to show that they have tried to find Australian workers with the relevant skills first,” says Hopwood.

“For start-up businesses to qualify they must operate within an STEM-related field. A “start-up business authority”, yet to be determined, will have to endorse the businesses applying to the start-up stream. Businesses in the established business stream must be publicly listed or have had an annual turnover of at least AUD 4 million for the past two years.”

Start-up businesses will be able to issue five visas per year while established businesses will be granted up to 20 visas per year. Each applicant will, of course, have to satisfy the visa criteria.

If an applicant is successful, a Temporary Skill Shortage visa will be issued for four years. After just three years on this visa, you will be able to apply for permanent residence.

After having lived in Australia for four years on your Temporary Skill Shortage visa, and having held permanent residence for the last year, you will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. Do note that you may not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total during the four-year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months before applying.

The government has not stated an age limit to the visa but has said that there will be age cap concessions made. Applications for the Global Talent Scheme will also be processed faster than other Australian visas.

“It is a fast track opportunity to get into Australia,” says Hopwood.

“These skills are in demand as the STEM fields are widely recognised as key to national economic growth.”