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Global Talent – FAQs

Ashton Legal is dedicated to providing our clients with the most up-to-date information. We have created a “Global Talent FAQ” page, compiled of commonly asked questions from our clients, about the Global Talent Independent Program (GTIP). We will continually be updating this page as the questions come in, so please feel free to send us your questions and bookmark this page. Don’t forget to check the page regularly for all the updated information you need about the Global Talent visa!

Global talent v General Skilled and Business Migration

Global Talent or General Skilled Migration / Business Migration?

The Australian Government announced that the planning level for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program will be set at 190,000 places, with 137,100 places for the Skill stream.

On 24 August 2023, the Department of Home Affairs published additional information on how the State and Territory allocations has been distributed. Below is the nomination allocation table, which can also be found on the Home Affairs website.

2023–24 State and Territory nomination allocations
State Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)*
ACT 600 600 0
NSW 2,650 1,500 0
NT 250 400 0
QLD 900 650 0
SA 1,100 1,200 0
TAS 600 600 0
VIC 2,700 600 0
WA 1,500 850 0
Total 10,300 6,400 0

Subclass 189/190 visas – general skilled migration

The State and Territory allocation levels has been reduced back to pre-pandemic levels. Potential applicants can expect a reduction in the number of invitations issued by the state/territory governments, as well as longer waiting time and increased competition.

Subclass 188 visas – business migration

You will also note that there is no current allocation to any state or territory government for the business innovation and investor visa programme. ​The Department advised that this is because it has enough applications on-hand to meet the 2023–​24 planning level for the BIIP.​

Global Talent visa – subclass 858

In contrast, Global Talent visa program has been allocated 5,000 places for 2023-24 program year. The GTI program offers direct permanent residency and does not depend on any points system, skilled occupation list, State or Territory nomination.

Nevertheless, the threshold to be invited to apply for the GTI visa is much higher than that of the GSM program.  It may be the only pathway for very senior technical leaders, executives or entrepreneurs  in the target sectors who are over 45.  With the global talent visa, although the age limit is 55, candidates who can provide strong evidence of actual or potential but realistic extraordinary contribution to Australia may still be granted a global talent visa even if they are over 55.

We have helped highly skilled migrants secure the Global Talent visa who thought they were only eligible for the business skilled migration or employer nominated / general skilled migration programmes.

Whether you are onshore or offshore, email us on, or call on +61412357238 or +61279009570 to find out if you’re eligible for the Global Talent visa pathway and let us help you secure your future in Australia.



Global Talent 858 – Global talent stream v Distinguished talent stream

Global Talent vs. Distinguished Talent

The Australian Government has announced that the planning level for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program will be set at 190,000 places, with 52,500 places allocated to the Skill stream, of which the Global Talent visa program belongs. We had previously speculated that there would be a reduction in the quota for the GTI (Independent) visa stream, but it’s good to see that it remains at 5,000 places for the 2023-24 program year (01 Jul to 30 Jun). In contrast, the Distinguished Talent visa stream is allocated only 300 places.

The main difference between the Global Talent and Distinguished Talent stream (both of which are classified as Class BX, Subclass 858, visas) is Direction 89. This ministerial direction gives the highest priority to Subclass 858 visa applications made in relation to target sectors (or related sectors) where:

  • There is written communication from an Australian employer offering employment in Australia, with an annual salary equivalent to or higher than the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT); or
  • The primary applicant’s current earnings are an amount equal to or greater than the FWHIT; or
  • There is evidence the primary applicant is likely to attract a salary that is equal to or greater than the FWHIT.

Applications that meet that fall into the above purview (for the Global Talent Independent stream) will be given priority processing under Direction 89. Applications that are not made under the target sectors, with evidence of current or future earnings equal to or above the FWHIT, will not receive priority processing. These applications would fall under the Distinguished Talent stream and would generally exceed 12 months processing times.

What is not mentioned in Direction 89 is that, to receive priority processing, applications for the Global Talent stream would also require an invitation, from the Department of Home Affairs after applicants submit an online Expression of Interest. The EOI process is subject to heightened competition due the attractiveness and popularity of the programme. Only candidates of the highest calibre, who meet (and even exceed) all eligibility requirements, will be invited to apply under the Global Talent stream. Without the invitation code – and regardless of whether applicants are in the target sector and meet the FWHIT – their application would not be prioritised under Direction 89 and would be processed under the Distinguished Talent stream.

At one stage in 2022, we had advice from the Department that a Distinguished Talent Visa Stream application may be converted to a Global Talent Stream application, if the visa applicant later submits an EOI and receives an invitation.  However, the practicality of this process seems uncertain and the process is subject to policy changes.

Why apply under the Distinguished Talent Stream

  • If the candidate’s achievements can not be aligned with a target sector, but in other areas such as arts, sports, academia.
  • If the candidate’s earnings is far under the FWHIT or they are not able to demonstrate capacity to achieve an earning above the FWHIT level.

Benefit of a global talent visa granted in the Distinguished Talent Stream

The main benefit for people holding a global talent visa granted in the Distinguished Talent Stream is that they are able to access the concession residence requirements for the purpose of qualifying for Australian citizenship.

Under current arrangements applicants for citizenship must meet the general residence requirement which provides that they have lived in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years and were absent for no more than 12 months in that time. They must also have been a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and absent from Australia for no more than 90 days during the 12 months before applying.

Currently, the special residence requirement, announced by the Department in 2021, may apply for a range of applicants who due to their work undertake significant international travel and where it is in the Australian national interest including Australian representative sportspeople, ships’ crew, senior businesspeople, research scientists, and distinguished artists.

The special residence requirement provides that an applicant has held a valid visa for the last four years, living in Australia for at least 480 days during that time, and must have been a permanent resident and in Australia for 120 days in the year immediately before applying. The special residence requirement will now also apply to past, present and future distinguished talent stream visa holders.

If you are thinking about, or are in the process of, submitting an EOI under the Global Talent stream, or if you need assistance in deciding the best stream to apply for the Global Talent visa, please email us on or call us on +61279009570.

Australian Immigration Update – July 2023

Australian Migration Update – July 2023


The Australian Government has announced that the planning level for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program will be set at 190,000 places. This is a slight reduction of 5,000 places compared with the 2022-23 permanent Migration Program planning level of 195,000 places.


Of the 190,000 places, 137,100 of these are allocated to the Skill stream and 52,500 places to the Family stream, and 400 places the Special Eligibility stream. Of interest is the breakdown of allocation under the Skill stream. We had previously speculated that there would be a reduction in the quota for the Global Talent (Independent) visa program, but we can see from the table below that the quota remains at 5,000 places for the GTI visa in 2023-24.


Visa Stream Visa Category 2022-23 Planning levels 2023-24 Planning levels
Skill Employer Sponsored 35,000 36,825
Skilled Independent 32,100 30,375
Regional 34,000 32,300
State/Territory Nominated 31,000 30,400
Business Innovation & Investment 5,000 1,900
Global Talent (Independent) 5,000 5,000
Distinguished Talent 300 300
Skill Total 142,400 137,100



This is indicative of the Government’s commitment to the targeted recruitment of exceptionally talented individuals in key sectors to boost Australia’s digital technology capacity and human capital in intensely competitive global talent market.


As of June 2023, the Department is processing EOIs submitted in November 2022, according to their automatic email responses to the Global Talent mailbox. Despite the fierce competition and increase in the number of GTI EOIs, Ashton Legal is still receiving GTI invitations for our high calibre clients. Most recently, we have received invitations on the 20th and 21st July 2023, for EOIs lodged in June 2023 and February 2023, respectively. This indicates to us that, despite the removal of the Global Talent Officers and priority processing endorsements (back in January 2023), the Department is still fast-tracking EOIs for high calibre clients who can demonstrate that their credentials are exceptionally higher than the threshold requirements. We note, from 1st July 2023, the Fair Work High Income Threshold is now set at AU$167,500.


If you’re interested in the Australian Global Talent Independent visa program, or any of the Skilled visa program (Employer Nomination, General Skilled Migration, Temporary Skills Shortage, etc), now is the time to reach out to Ashton Legal Services for further advice on or call us on +612 7900 9570.

How will Ministerial Direction No. 100 affect my GTI visa application?

Ministerial Direction No. 100 (released in October, 2022) is the Australian Government’s current policy on prioritising the processing of skilled visa applications. Amongst the skilled and employer sponsored visa subclasses, this Direction also affects the processing of the Global Talent (Class BX) Subclass 858 visa applications.

Skilled visa applications are processed in the following order of priority:​

  1. Visa applications in relation to a healthcare or teaching occupation.
  2. For employer sponsored visas, visa applications where the applicant is nominated by an Approved sponsor with Accredited Status.
  3. Visa applications in relation to an occupation to be carried out in a designated regional area.
  4. For permanent and provisional visa subclasses, visa applications that count towards the migration program, excluding the Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa.
  5. All other visa applications.​

With priority now being allocated to healthcare/teaching occupations, and general skilled and employer sponsored visa applications are given priority, it seems that the Global Talent visa has been pushed further down the priority list.

Prior to the introduction of Direction 100, global talent visa applications were being processed quite quickly, which was a feature of the programme. However, since October 2022, processing times for GTI visas are taking over 6 months to process. Although it is taking a bit longer than before, the GTI visa is still – comparative to other permanent visa programmes – being processed quite quickly.

To ensure that your application is processed efficiently, make sure all documents are uploaded at time of application, including all police checks. If the Department does not have to request further information from you then the application can be finalised more quickly.

If you’ve lodged a GTI application, or are preparing to lodge an application, and have some concerns, get in contact with us for further advice.

GTI Quota from 15,000 places to under 8,500, and now only 5,000 places available

Why has the Government reduced the quota for the Global Talent visa? What does that mean for GTI candidates?

We speculate that the Department of Home Affairs has reviewed the number of global talent visa grants and the number of grantees who have migrated to Australia under the program and are onshore now.  They won’t be able to tell whether those who are onshore are actually working / contributing to the target sectors post visa grant, but at least they would be able to see how many are actually working and living in Australia. Perhaps the number of onshore 858 visa holders is disappointing.

Whatever the rationale is behind it, the government has reduced the quota substantially in the October migration planning levels. Nevertheless, the quota for 2022/23 is on par with the pre-COVID quota for the global talent programme (2019/2020).

This means only the more / most exceptional and truly outstanding candidates will be invited to apply for the global talent visa. We can expect that the GTI programme will only become more and more competitive and the level of evidence required to substantiate claims of international achievement will increase.

We also note that Ministerial Direction 100 provides that the global talent visa will no longer be processed on a priority basis, with the government giving priority to general skilled migration (particularly with those occupations in education and healthcare sectors); as well as employer nominated visa programmes (particularly for accredited sponsors and those who are in designated regional areas).

However, our interpretation is that although the global talent visa application processing won’t be fast-tracked, as long as the candidate had received an invitation, there is still a very strong chance they will be granted the global talent visa, provided they are able to demonstrate their achievements will be prominent and current at the time of the visa processing (despite of the passage of time).

If you are concerned about how the reduction in GTI quota will impact you, whether you’re a prospective candidate, have been invited, or have already applied for the visa but awaiting an outcome, please get in contact with us for further assistance.

New FOI Outcome for Global Talent Visa Program as at 31 August 2022

Ashton Legal has received the outcome of our Freedom of Information (FOI) access request (FA 22/08/01578), which seeks updated information in relation to the Global Talent (Class BX) Subclass 858.

From these numbers, we can deduce the following:

  1. there are currently approximately 2,077 undecided EOIs, with DigiTech sector containing the most number of submitted EOIs
  2. between 01 February and 31 August 2022, there are more candidates receiving invitations to apply for the GTI than there are non-invitations for this period.
  3. Hong Kong candidates continue to receive priority processing of their EOIs in line with the Department’s skilled visa processing priorities. It seems that EOIs from candidates from the UK, US and Taiwan are being processed a bit quicker than candidates from other countries. Please note theses are only averages and take into consideration those EOIs that are priority processed with GTO endorsement, which can skew actual median processing timeframes.
  4. The top 6 countries receiving GTI visa grants are: China, India, Hong Kong, UK, Iran, and the US

The Department publishes some FOI outcomes.  









What are the top 5 common mistakes candidates are making on their GTI EOI?

Over the past 2.5 years, since the introduction of the Global Talent Independent visa programme, Ashton Legal has lodged numerous Expressions of Interest for exceptional candidates and have secured over a hundred GTI visa grants (for main applicants, not including dependent applicants).

In our experience, from clients who have lodged their own EOIs and come to us for assistance after receiving a non-invite, or still have EOIs pending, we have noticed 5 most common mistakes made. We share them with you here, and ways to improve your EOI:

  1. Not including enough evidence of global project work where a candidate claims that they have worked with international clients.We understand that some project work may contain confidential information. However, we have found that if clients dig deep, and look hard enough, they will almost always be able to find evidence to back up their claims of international project work that does not comprise the integrity or confidentiality of said project.
  2. Including too many client testimonies, letters of recommendations, employment references that are all templated or look the same (have similar content).It is always better to have 2 – 3 strong references and recommendation letters than to have 10, which seem like they are written by one person, just formatted differently or use different font, and sent for signature. Case officers may also call the referee to verify the genuineness and authenticity of the letter, so ensure that whoever is providing you the letters of support is aware of what they are endorsing/signing.
  3. Not enough evidence attached to the EOI to demonstrate international record of outstanding and exceptional achievement.Evidence attached to the EOI should clearly demonstrate your claims of outstanding international achievements in your field. A screenshot of an email without any context will not make sense. When selecting which documents to upload, put yourself in the Case Officer’s shoes and decide whether each piece of evidence paints a clear and broad enough picture of your profile that highlights that you meet the GTI criteria.
  4. Form 1000 not completed with enough detail to highlight candidate’s strengths.The form 1000 should be clear and concise in highlighting your key achievements that have been recognised by the international community in your industry. It should also address the question with specific information about you, your skill set, experience, and what you can bring to the Australian industry.
  5. Candidate making generic statements about common skills and not highlighting, specifically, key skills and how they can be an asset to Australia.Do your research into the Australian environment, as relevant to your industry. Spend the time to investigate how your particular skillset will “fit into” this context; what you can contribute, in what way, and how you will be able to do so?


Will the change of government in Australia affect the global talent visa programme?

As a result of the May 2022 federal election in Australia, we have a new government, led by the Australian Labor Party.

Some of the candidates are worried that the global talent visa may be adversely impacted as a result.

We are of the opinion that despite of the change of the political party leading the government, the overall direction of the migration programme won’t change for at least the next migration programme year, as the quota for the migration planning level had already been determined for financial year 2022/23 prior to the federal election.

Australian Financial Review reports (22 May 2022) that “[w]ith 84 per cent of businesses reporting labour constraints, groups such as the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been calling for a temporary two-year increase in the permanent migration intake to help address the domestic skills crisis”. The paper also reported that incoming Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers commented that training Australian and migration are both important parts of the solution in addressing Australia’s skill shortage.

However, given the tendency for Australian migration policy to change, it is always recommended that those suitably qualified should apply at the soonest to secure the global talent visa.

If you need expert advice with the global talent programme, please contact us on +61279009570 or

How can I get my EOI allocated on a priority basis for assessment?

At Ashton Legal, we have secured almost 100 global talent visas for our clients (main applicant, i.e., not including secondary applicants).

Even at the initial assessment stage, we highlight the importance (I can even say it is critically important) to get priority allocation of our candidate’s EOI.

First things first, receiving priority allocation of your EOI is, in no way, an indication that you will receive an invitation under the global talent visa, nevertheless, the importance of securing a priority processing is further heightened because of:

  • The standard 12-14 months waiting period for an GTV EOI to be assessed.
  • The quota for the global talent visa being reduced by almost 50% for the 2022-23 financial year.

Thanks to priority allocation, for exceptional candidates, EOIs are not assessed on a first-in-first-served basis, rather, EOIs are assessed in the order of the achievement profile of the candidates. For those candidates whose EOIs are assessed on a priority basis, if they get invited, they are able to secure the global talent visa sooner than others in an already reduced quota.

The EOI priority allocation is endorsed by a Global Talent Officer, one of their primary role is to attract high calibre candidates and promote the global talent visa and the Global Talent and Business Attraction programme. Usually, they don’t have all the necessary information/supporting evidence nor are they charged with the task to decide whether the candidate would meet the ministerial direction as well as the legislative provisions to qualify for the global talent 858 visa.

When a global talent officer agrees to endorse a candidate’s pending EOI for priority processing, they are doing just that, i.e. only endorsing your EOI to be assessed ahead of other candidates, whose EOIs had been queued ahead of yours.  They do not carry out a complete assessment and due diligence on all the supporting evidence. The EOI assessment is done by a different team of departmental officers.

From our experience, only truly exceptional or very strong candidates’ EOIs would be endorsed by a GTO for priority allocation.

To be considered for priority processing, our candidates usually have a combination of the following

  • Provided evidence that they belong to the ‘exceptional candidates’ group, refer to the Department of Home Affair’s website, where the Department has helpfully outlined, for each targe sector the profile of a candidate that is a) exceptional, b) strong or c) unsuitable candidates.
  • Secured nomination (form 1000) from an Australian organisation or citizen or parament resident who can be said to have an undisputed exceptional reputation in the same area of expertise as theirs
  • Provided evidence of very high salary (compared to the local employment condition where they are based but also to Australian standard)
  • Provided evidence of a genuine offer of employment by a reputable Australian business within your area of expertise, and that job offer attracts an earning that is over the FWHIT (Fair Work High Income Threshold).

When reaching out to a Global Talent Officer, provide them with a selection of documents to showcase your key achievements and captures why you are an exceptional candidate.

If your EOI is endorsed by a Global Talent Officer, submit your EOI at the earliest opportunity with the GTO’s name, as well as the whole suite of documents/evidence to demonstrate that you meet the global talent visa key criteria.

Including the Global Talent Officer’s name without having been specifically invited to do so won’t get you far, as we are sure the Department has an internal system to ensure your EOI has, indeed, been endorsed by a GTO for priority allocation.

If you need expert advice with the global talent programme, please contact us on +61279009570 or


Global Talent Series May 2022 – Part 4 – Fintech and Financial Services

Part 4 – Financial Services, incorporating Fintech – successful cases

At our ‘news‘ page.

Global Talent Series May 2022 – Part 2 and 3

Part 2 – how to get a global talent visa invitation and how and when the candidate’s EOI might be assessed on a priority basis

Part 3 – DigiTech – successful business cases – including professionals, as well as entrepreneurs

At our ‘news‘ page.

Global Talent Visa Series May 2022

Ashton Legal is writing a Global Talent Visa Series, starting this week, with a general overview of the benefit of the global talent (858) visa, a detailed comparison between the global talent visa and other permanent visa pathways in the Australia skilled migration programme, as well as our view on how the global talent visa programme has evolved over time.

Over the next couple of months, we will focus on one target sector at a time, delving into the nitty gritty of the target sector, as well as looking at some successful cases where we assisted our clients in securing the global talent visas.

Please reach out on 02 7900 9570 or email if you have would like to have a chat about the global talent visa programme.

Australian Migration Programme Planning Levels : FY 22-23 and the Global Talent Visa Programme

As part of Australia’s budget for 2022/23 financial year, the Department of Home Affairs has released the following planning levels:

Visa Stream Visa Category 2021-22 2022-23
Skill Employer Sponsored 22,000​ 30,000
  Skilled Independent 6,500 16,652
  Regional 11,200 25,000
  State/Territory Nominated 11,200 20,000
  Business Innovation & Investment 13,500 9,500
Global Talent (Independent) 15,000 8,448
Distinguished Talent 200 300
Skill Total 79,600 109,900
Family Partner*
(Demand driven: estimate, not subject to a ceiling)
72,300 40,500
  Parent 4,500 6,000
(Demand driven: estimate, not subject to a ceiling)
3,000 3,000
Other Family 500 500
Family Total 77,300* 50,000
Special Eligibility** 100 100
Total Migration Program 160,00​0 160,000

*Planning levels for these categories are estimates only as they are demand driven and not subject to a ceiling.
**The total for the Family stream in 2021-22 does not include the Child category. For planning purposes both Child and Partner visa categories are counted towards the total Family stream in 2022-23.

Source:  Department of Home Affairs

Although there is a significant reduction in the planning level for the global talent visa (independent) programme, we are confident that exceptional and outstanding candidates in the target sectors will continue to be invited under the programme.  It can be expected that the competition for a place in the Global Talent programme will intensify, as the Australian government calibrates the programme to attract the best of the best talent to Australia.

Where a candidate’s achievements are outstanding and exceptional, it is possible their EOI will be prioritised for consideration, rather than being assessed on a first-in-first-served basis.

If you would like to discuss your eligibility, please reach out to us.

Health Waiver – PIC4007 – Global Talent Visa (858)

Q : I applied for a subclass 858 – Distinguished Talent Visa before 14 November, which was refused on the basis that I did not meet the health criteria, what is the most appropriate way forward? Can I get a health waiver under the global talent visa through the AAT appeal? 

A: A few changes happened to the “Global Talent Visa” on 14 November 2020.  

  • The offshore AL-124 Distinguished Talent Visa was deleted from the legislative provisions.
  • The BX-858 visa was renamed the Global Talent Visa.
  • The BX-858 Global Talent Visa can be applied for and approved as long as the visa applicant is not in immigration clearance, i.e., the applicant can be either onshore or offshore at the time of the application and the time of the decision.
  • Most importantly, the health criteria changed from 4005 to 4007, meaning that in the event the applicant or their family members cannot meet the health criteria, for applications submitted on or after 14 November 2020, they are able to seek a ‘health waiver’.

What is the difference between 4005 and 4007?

Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4005 requires that the applicant, including secondary applicants, be free from a disease or condition which is likely to require health care or community services that would be likely to result in significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care and community services or that would prejudice access of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to health care or community services.

Replacing PIC 4005 with PIC 4007 allows the Minister (or delegate) to waive this aspect of the health requirement on a discretionary basis where the Minister/delegate is satisfied that granting the visa will not result in undue cost to the Australian community or undue prejudice to the access of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to health care or community services. Each health waiver case is considered on its merits, with all relevant factors taken into account, including the capacity to mitigate the potential costs or prejudice to access, and the strength of any compelling and/or compassionate circumstances.

The introduction of the waiver of this aspect of the health requirement will broaden possible access to this visa to people who may previously have been unable to be granted the visa due to a health condition but are able to meet all other criteria for the grant of a Subclass 858 Distinguished Talent visa.

(Source: Authorised Version Explanatory Statement registered 13/11/2020 to F2020L01427)


Under PIC4005, where a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) has formed a lawful opinion that a health condition would result in significant cost to, or would prejudice access to health care or community services, the Minister (or delegate) must accept the opinion as correct and refuse the visa application.

However, PIC4007 gives the Minister (or delegate) discretionary power to grant a visa, despite the significant costs or prejudice to access, provided that the costs or the prejudice to access are not undue. This allows the visa applicant to provide additional evidence showing that the benefits of the grant of the visa could outweigh the costs to the Australian community, as well as other compelling and compassionate grounds for the grant of the visa.

What about an AAT appeal?

As the relevant subclass 858 changes under the Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (2020 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2020 are only applicable to visa applications submitted on or after 14 November 2020, the AAT will not be able to substitute PIC4005 with the more favourable PIC4007.  In short, the AAT must affirm the decision of the delegate to refuse the visa application on the basis of the PIC4005 had not been met (provided that the MOC’s opinion was lawful).

Ministerial Intervention or submit a fresh application?

AAT may refer the refusal to the responsible Minister so they may consider whether to personally exercise their personal jurisdiction to grant the Distinguished Talent visa despite the fact the applicant cannot be granted the visa by a delegate because of PIC4005.

However, the powers under the Migration Act 1958 to replace a decision of a merits review tribunal on an applicant’s case with a decision that is more favourable is only done when the Minister thinks it is in the public interest to do.

The Department’s website on Ministerial Intervention provides details on if and when a case might be referred to the Minister by the AAT and whether the Minister may exercise their personal jurisdiction to grant the distinguished talent visa.

Whether to go down the pathway of an AAT appeal and make a submission for the AAT to refer the matter to the Minister for Ministerial Intervention or to -apply for a new global talent visa so to have access to the PIC4007 waiver, would depend on many factors, including:

  • whether the candidate is able to meet the requirements of the global talent visa now (international achievements, prominence, nomination),
  • if there had been any changes in the health condition, as well as
  • the strengths of circumstances that can be said to reduce the costs to and/or increase the benefits to the Australian community.

For personalised advice/assistance, please contact us on or +61279009570.


New FOI Outcome re Global Talent Visa (processing time and invitation rate by target sector)

Details released under the Freedom of Information legislation in relation to the global talent visas.

FOI Request: FA 21/06/00393

Data Relates to 1 July 2019 – 30 May 2021 (Direction 89 Sectors)

EOI Processing time (from allocation to decision) – Note earlier EOIs are processed much faster, and the Department is currently assessing EOIs submitted in October 2020, unless they have been fast-tracked.

Should you have any specific questions, please feel free to reach out to us on Phone: +61279009570 or via email:

My nominator has been contacted by the Department of Home Affairs, what should they do?


We have seen a big increase in the number of nominators being contacted by the Department, namely to verify that they know the candidate, and they had indeed signed the form 1000.

The Department is also keenly interested in how the nominator is able to make an assessment in relation to the key points in the form 1000, including:

  • the candidate’s international record of achievement,
  • how they are an asset to Australia,
  • as well as their ability to self-establish in the nominated area of expertise.

We know of a dialogue between the nominator and the Department that lasted over 45 minutes whilst, on average, most calls last about 15-20 minutes.

We think it is a great initiative by the Department, to undertake due diligence, to ensure the integrity of the Global Talent Visa programme.

We advise our candidates’ nominators to answer the questions candidly and truthfully, noting that they are also advocating for the individual(s) they’ve endorsed.

Should you have any specific questions, please feel free to reach out to us on Phone: +61279009570 or via email:

Three Months Left to Fill GTI Quota – New FOI Statistics on No. of EOIs on Hand and Invitations Sent as at 31 Jan 2021

As the End of Financial Year is looming around the corner, Ashton Legal has new information to capture:

(1) the number of EOIs still on hand, as of 31 January 2021; and

(2) EOI outcomes by Direction 85 Sectors (invited vs not invited) between 01 July 2020 and 31 January 2021.

The data is extracted from FOI outcome (FA 21/02/00538).

As at 31 January 2021, there’s currently 7076 EOIs on hand, with the highest number of EOIs still being within the Quantum Information, Advanced Digital,  Data Science and ICT sector, followed by MedTech:

Between 01 Jul 2020 and 31 Jan 2021, there has been 1960 invitations and 1474 non-invitation. The number of invitations only accounts for main applicants and does not indicate (a) whether recipients have lodged their visa application and been granted the GTI visa, and (b) whether there were dependent family members, which would increase the number of visas actually granted within the 15,000 visa quota for FYE 2021. Even if every recipient lodged and received a visa grant, and the average number of people in a family unit is 3 – 4 members, this still brings the total to less than 10,000.

More importantly, there is 3 months left of the financial year and there is still room within the quota for the Department to issue a lot more invitations/visa grants before 30 June 2021.

Now is the time to act fast and submit your EOIs for considerations! If this is you, get in contact with us now!

Statistics through Freedom of Information (FOI) on Global Talent (EOI and Grants)

The data is extracted from the FOI outcome (FA 21/01/00413) by the Department of Home Affairs.

The largest number of EOIs are still in the Quantum Information, Advanced Digital,  Data Science and ICT sector, followed by Energy and Mining Technology; then Medtech


Total Visa Grants by sectors in the same period (main applicants only)

Visa grants by country of origin in descending order (countries with less than 5 grants have been omitted)


New name and new pathway

22 February 2021

From 27 February 2021, the subclass 858 visa will become known as the Global Talent Visa (instead of the Distinguished Talent Visa).

A new pathway is created for applicant who has been endorsed by Peter Verwer AO, the PM’s Special Envoy for Global Business and Talent Attraction, that the applicant is likely to make a significant contribution to Australian economy upon receiving a global talent visa.

However, the endorsement by the Special Envoy alone is not sufficient, as the visa applicant must also satisfy the Department of Home Affairs, in addition to having received the endorsement, that she or he is likely to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy if the visa is granted.

GTIP – Updated Statistics

18 February 2021

Freedom of Information request: FA20/12/00509

As at 22 December 2020, 6,798 GTI EOIs are on-hand unfinalised.

As a candidate, it is important to prepare a solid application, do not submit multiple EOIs, otherwise, the GTIP EOI will be clogged up.

It is most likely the removal of the cohort of high performing bachelor and masters degree student from accessing the GTIP (on the sole basis of their academic achievements) would reduce the number of unfinalised cases significantly.

The Department had been issuing about 300 invites every month.

As the quota of 15,000 includes secondary applicant (spouse and dependent children as applicable), and the programme year ends on 30 June 2020, the Department would pace the issuance of EOIs evenly.

Since 1 July 2020, 22% of the quota for the Distinguished Talent Visa under the Global Talent Programme has been utilised.

Direction 89 Revokes Direction 85

Direction 89 has now revoked the previous direction 85 – for priority processing under the Distinguished Talent Visa (Global Talent Independent Programme).



It is our understanding that the EOIs submitted under the previous direction 85 will continue to be assessed by the Department, and candidates should not submit new / repeat EOIs.

The Global Talent Contact Form now reflects the new target sectors under Direction 89.

Current EOI processing time

If anyone has sent an enquiry to the general mailbox of the Global Talent team recently, you would have noticed that the Department is processing EOIs submitted in June 2020. It would seem that EOIs are now taking upwards of 6 months to be assessed.

However, we have noticed that some EOIs are coming through faster than others, i.e. candidates in priority sectors such as FinTech and MedTech, as well as candidates who already earn the FWHIT (presuming all other criterion are met) and working in their field of expertise, seem to receive a faster turnaround time on EOI invitations. If your situation is urgent and you require assistance with your EOI, please get in contact with us.

Update on number of Distinguished Talent (Subclass 124 and 858) visas granted between 01 Jul and 24 Dec 2020

Ashton Legal has recently received a Freedom of Information (FOI) document release [fa-210100009-document-released], dated 21 January 2021, to show the number of visas granted for all Skilled visa subclasses between 01 July 2020 and 24 December 2020.

We were particularly interested in seeing the number of grants for the Distinguished Talent, Subclass 124 and 858, visa during the specified period. For the Subclass 124 (which ceased on 13 November 2020), there were 1442 visa grants. For the Subclass 858, there were 2225 visa grants, bringing the total to 3667. This number would include visas granted for secondary and dependent applicants (partners and children), not just main applicants.

This is only about 25% of the Department’s projected quota of 15,000 places for the Distinguished Talent visa, Global Talent stream. However, it doesn’t take into consideration applications that have been lodged but not finalised, nor EOIs that have received invitations but not yet lodged their visa applications.

UPDATE: Bachelor (Honours) or Masters (WAM 80 and above) eligibility under GTI

Ashton Legal has received a response from a Global Talent Officer (GTO) in response to our enquiries into whether high performing Bachelor (Honours) and Masters graduates are still eligible for the GTI following the removal of the cohort from the GTI eligibility criteria published on the Department’s website. It would seem that high academic achievers who hold a Bachelor (Honours) and Master degrees can still apply under GTI BUT  they cannot rely only on their academic achievements to demonstrate their ‘international record of outstanding and exceptional achievements’.

In summary:

  • As of 20 January 2021, Master by Coursework, Master by Research, and Bachelor (Honours) graduates are no longer eligible for invitation to the GTI program solely on the basis of their qualifications. This policy change affects all future EOI submissions and EOIs made by candidates who have not yet received an invitation by 20 January 2021.

What does this mean for graduates (within the last 3 years) who have achieved a WAM of 80 or above, and were relying solely on their qualifications in the target sectors to qualify for  GTI? This means that candidates in this cohort must be able to provide additional evidence to show that they:

  • they are internationally recognised with evidence of outstanding and exceptional achievements
  • still be prominent in their field of expertise
  • provide evidence that they would be an asset to Australia, in their field of expertise
  • have no difficulty obtaining employment in Australia or becoming established in their field
  • have a recognised organisation or individual in Australia endorse them as global talent, in the same field as the applicant

[…] This may include senior roles, patents, professional awards, international publications, media articles and international memberships.

Candidates in this cohort would also need to demonstrate an ability to attract a salary that is at or above the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) through current salary, future job offers outlining remuneration, or concrete evidence of realistic earning potential backed up with evidence based on the candidate’s credentials (rather than generic market salary evidence).

We have also received advice that candidates in the affected cohort, who are no longer eligible for GTI under the new policy changes, will be contacted by the Department. Affected candidates can withdraw their EOI, and this will not adversely impact on their future interactions with the Department, i.e. will not affect future EOI submissions when they become eligible.

If you are in the affected cohort, please get in contact with us for further advice.

Bachelor (Honours) or Masters (WAM80 and above) no longer eligible?

21 January 2021

On various online migration DIY forums, there was a flurry of excitement and anxiety, as people have received information that candidates in a specific category are no longer eligible under the GTIP, namely, those who are recent Bachelor degree with Honours or Master degree graduates with a WAM or GPA of 80 and above.

The government policy (formally known as the PI (Procedural Instructions)) provided concessional arrangements for the above cohort of applicants, in that it stated that students who had performed well academically (WAM/GPA 80 or above) from an internationally recognised university (does not have to be Australian) are considered to have an international record of achievements.

We think this to be ‘concessional’ because, despite the fact that the students have a high achieving academic scores in their earlier studies, it is not necessarily seen as evidence of having a sustained record of exceptional and outstanding international achievement.  It is also relevant that the marking system varies significantly across the globe, where some countries’ education system are known to give relatively higher scale marking compared to others.

Despite the concession, the PI, nevertheless, clearly requires the candidate to provide evidence of other achievements in addition to the “WAM/GPA 80 or above”. This includes whether the candidate had published in peer reviewed journals, presented an international conference, been involved in projects that can inform Australian industry, academia or government, amongst others.

The Department’s ultimate goal would be to secure talents from around the world who can readily engage in Australia’s research and/or employment in those key target sectors (as identified under directions 89 and 85), particularly in the context of fighting COVID19 and future post-Covid19 social and economic recoveries.

The Department is looking at securing the best for Australia and its people, it is not about creating an easier migration pathway for candidates.

Putting on the hat of an Australian immigration case officer, how would you rank the following examples of types of candidates who express an interest in the GTIP?

  1. Bachelor’ degree with Honours (WAM85) in a target sector within the last three years, no publication, no international conference, and not working in a sector that is closely related.  Relying on generic evidence that someone with extensive industry sector experience can achieve a salary of $155,000 based on market salary details.
  2. Master’s degree (WAM81) in a target sector within the last three years, having published once in a peer reviewed journal as part of the Master’s degree, currently working in a sector that is closely related to the target sector. The candidate provides evidence of realistic potential earning of over the FWHIT income.
  3. Bachelor degree (average mark) over 10 years ago, substantial work experience since graduation. Qualification and work experience all in a target sector.  Working in Australia with a reasonably high salary (say $120,000), concrete evidence of the leadership role in projects completed with the Australian employer.

We would say:

  1. It is likely that the 3rd and the 2nd applicants would be invited, but not the 1st.
  2. If there are a lot of candidates whose profile are similar to or better than the 3rd candidate above, then the 2nd candidate might not even get invited.
  3. However, if the 1st candidate is involved in creating a cutting-edge technology that has huge potential of being commercialised and receives endorsement from a reputable Australian business or industry body, s/he might get invited ahead of the other candidates.

It is the Department’s mandate to, and they will, adjust their policy and the PI to produce a better outcome for its migration programme and, ultimately, for Australia.

Has Direction 89 expanded the target sectors?

Direction 89 provides additional target sectors for priority processing under the Global Talent Programme – Distinguished Talent Visa, namely: education, tourism and circular economy.

It also seems to have expanded Medtech to Health Industries in general, as well as to include Financial Services in addition to Fintech.

Quantumn Information, Advanced Digitial, Data Science and ICT seems to have been grouped/expanded into Digitech.

Circular economy is defined by Ellen Macarthur Foundation as “based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems”.

Introduction of Direction 89 – Order of Consideration – Subclass 858 and Subclass 124 visas

A new “Direction 89 – Order if Consideration – Subclass 858 and Subclass 124 visas” has been introduced by the Honorary, Alan Tudge, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, and commenced on 17 December 2020.

This new Direction gives priority allocation to Subclass 858 applications where:

(i)  there is written communication from an Australian employer offering employment in Australia with an annual salary equivalent to or higher than the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) of $153,600; or

(ii)  the primary applicant’s current earnings is an amount equal or greater than the FWHIT

(iii)  where there is evidence the primary applicant is to likely attract a salary that is equal to or greater than the FWHIT

Direction 89 also provides new key sectors to be included under the purview of the GTI programme, including:

(a) Resources;

(b) Agri-food and AgTech;

(c) Energy;

(d) Health industries;

(e) Defence, advanced manufacturing and space;

(f) Circular economy;

(g) DigiTech;

(h) Infrastructure and tourism;

(i) Financial services and FinTech;

(j) Education

This Direction broadens the scope of the GTIP to include new key sectors like Circular Economy, Infrastructure and Tourism, and Education. What the specific skillsets the Department is looking for, under each sector, remains unknown.

However Ashton Legal has been in communication with the Home Affairs’ policy team to get further clarification on this, and to understand whether Direction 89 will work in conjunction with Direction 85 or otherwise. An update will be provided as soon as possible.

If you now fall within any of these new priority sectors and would like an assessment and detailed consultation, please get in contact with Ashton Legal today!

My EOI was refused for the Unique Identifier but no specific reasons are given as to why. How do I find out how to improve my EOI when if I resubmit?

An expression of interest for the GTIP is not a visa application. For this reason, there is no legislative, or policy, requirement for the Global Talent Officers assessing the EOI to provide specific reasons why a candidate’s EOI is refused, and there are no review rights. Instead, only generic reasons are provided. Namely, that the information provided by the candidate does not meet the GTI eligibility criteria.

This makes it difficult to identify the weaknesses in your previously refused EOI in order to improve on your next. We encourage candidates to only resubmit a new EOI if your circumstances have changed (and has put you in a better position to meet GTIP eligibility), or you can provide new evidence to substantiate your claims. It may not be enough to resubmit an EOI and provide the exact same evidence as your previous EOI; the result may not change.

In limited circumstances, you may submit a visa application without the Unique Identifier (for priority processing). However, you must ensure that you meet the legislative requirements for the grant of the Distinguished Talent (Class BX) (Subclass 858) visa under normal circumstances (i.e. not under GTIP). Please get in contact with us for further advice.

Updated Global Contact Form – Detailed Information About Nominator Required

The Global Contact Form, commonly known as the Expression of Interest (EOI), has been recently updated on 24 December 2020 to include questions about the Australian nominator. Previously, the EOI only asked for the name of the Australian organisation or individual nominator and their designation. The new EOI now asks questions relating to:

  • Type of Nominator (Australian organisation, Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen)
  • Nominator’s full name/organisation name and contact person
  • Date of Birth (if known)
  • Occupation
  • Details of nominator’s national reputation in the industry/sector
  • Applicant’s relationship to the nominator
  • Nominator’s contact number

Establishing the relationship between the applicant and the nominator will seemingly mean that it will be more difficult for offshore applicants to reach out to Australian organisations/individuals unless they already have a pre-existing relationship. Regardless, Ashton Legal will continue to support our offshore applicants in seeking nomination for the GTI through our varied network across all industry sectors. Please get in contact with us for further advice.

Over 50% of the EOIs are not invited.

Out of those EOIs processed between 1 October and 21 October 2020, over 50% are not invited (this includes duplicate or request that are closed due to non-communication from the applicant).

Higher non-invite rate for Agtech, Cyber Security and Energy and Mining Technology sectors. 


Scholarship and Distinguished Talent Visa (Special Return Criteria 5010)

19 November 2020

The applicant (main applicant and member of the family unit) must meet Special Return Criteria 5010 for a subclass 858 visa to be granted.  This is a visa grant criteria and is not assessed at the time of the EOI.

5010     (1)  If:

                     (a)  the applicant is the holder of a Foreign Affairs student visa; or

                     (b)  the applicant is the holder of a student visa granted to the applicant who is provided financial support by the government of a foreign country;

the applicant meets the requirements of subclause (3), (4) or (5).

 (2)  If:

                     (a)  the applicant is not the holder of a Foreign Affairs student visa and has in the past held a Foreign Affairs student visa; or

                     (b)  both:

                              (i)  paragraph (a) does not apply to the applicant, and the applicant is not the holder of a substantive visa; and

                             (ii)  the last substantive visa held by the applicant was a student visa granted to the applicant who was provided financial support by the government of a foreign country;

the applicant meets the requirements of subclause (3), (4) or (5).

             (3)  The applicant meets the requirements of this subclause if the course of study or training to which:

                     (a)  the visa mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) or (b) relates; or

                     (b)  if paragraph (2)(a) applies–the Foreign Affairs student visa most recently held by the applicant related; or

                     (c)  if paragraph (2)(b) applies–the last substantive visa held by the applicant related;

(whether or not the applicant has ceased the course) is one designed to be undertaken over a period of less than 12 months.

             (4)  The applicant meets the requirements of this subclause if the applicant:

                     (a)  has ceased:

                              (i)  the course of study or training to which:

                                        (A)  the visa mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) or (b) relates; or

                                        (B)  if paragraph (2)(a) applies–the Foreign Affairs student visa most recently held by the applicant related; or

                                        (C)  if paragraph (2)(b) applies–the last substantive visa held by the applicant related; or

                             (ii)  another course approved by the AusAID Minister , the Foreign Minister or the government of the foreign country that provided financial support to the applicant, as the case requires, in substitution for that course; and

                     (b)  has spent at least 2 years outside Australia since ceasing the course.

             (5)  The applicant meets the requirements of this subclause if:

                     (a)  the applicant has the support of the Foreign Minister or the government of the foreign country that provided financial support to the applicant, as the case requires, for the grant of the visa; or

                     (b)  the Minister is satisfied that, in the particular case, waiving the requirement of paragraph (a) is justified by:

                              (i)  compelling circumstances that affect the interests of Australia; or

                             (ii)  compassionate or compelling circumstances that affect the interests of an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

             (6)  In this clause:

“cease” has the same meaning as in regulation 1.04A.

“Foreign Affairs student visa” has the same meaning as in regulation 1.04A.

If you falls within the cohort of applicants covered by 5010 (1), you might be eligible for the visa grant if:

1) if the relevant course of study or training as registered on CRICOS is 12 months or less in duration, or

2) you have spent at least two years outside Australia since ceasing their course of study or training at the time of the 858 visa decision, or

3) if the course is over 12 month or you had not spent 2 years offshore since the completion of their course, then you may still be eligible for the grant of the 858 visa, if

  • the Foreign Minister or the foreign government that provided the financial support for the course of study or training supports the grant of the visa or
  • the delegate is satisfied that waiving the requirement that the Foreign Minister or foreign government supports the grant of the visa is justified by:
    • compelling circumstances affecting the interests of Australia or
    • compassionate or compelling circumstances affecting the interests of an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

This should be pre-emptively addressed when submitting the visa application.

Massive numbers of EOIs submitted

16 November 2020

The following is a screenshot of the FOI outcome released by the Department of Home Affairs.

As of 20 August 2020, there were 4,210 EOIs on hand for assessment.

Between 1 June 2020 to 20 August 2020, a total of 4,088 EOIs had been submitted.

Suggestion :

  1. prepare a well documented application so it is competitive
  2. if you are eligible, put in your well documented EOI earlier than later.

New Design Form 1000 – Distinguished Talent Visa

16 November 2020

A new form 1000 has been designed by the Department for use with nomination under the subclass 858 visa application, including those applying through the global talent independent programme.

The new form asks more specific questions regarding the nominee’s expertise, currency/prominence and them being an asset to Australia.  It also asks about the nominee’s earning capacity.

I suspect all new application must be accompanied by the current Form 1000 (Design date 11/20).


Health Waiver & Distinguished Talent Visa

15 November 2020

From 14 November 2020, the Australian government has made it possible for applicants (main applicant or their member of family units) who has serious health conditions to apply for and be granted the subclass 858 Distinguished Talent Visa (whether it is through the Global Talent Independent Programme or otherwise).

Prior to 14 November 2020, the applicants must meet public interest criteria 4005 (PIC4005) for the visa to be granted.

Currently, the legislation has been amended so that applicants only need to satisfy PIC4007 for the visa to be granted.

PIC4005 does not provide a health waiver, meaning if the main applicant or a member of the family unit (migrating or not) has a health condition which will result in significant costs to the Australian community, the visa cannot be granted.

PIC4007, on the other hand, provides a waiver where even a significant cost will occur, the applicant may be able to information and evidence to the Department for consideration that the visa should still be granted despite of the significant costs.

If the applicant or a member of the family unit (whether migrating or not) has a serious health condition, we recommended you to include detailed submission with supporting documents as part of the visa application (not at the EOI stage) for the Department to assess whether PIC4007 waiver can be exercise in your favour.


The “new” 858 visa (through the Global Talent Independent Programme)

14 November 2020

Subclass 124 – Distinguished Talent Visa (offshore) is not longer accepting new applicants.

All applications will now go through Class BX Subclass 858 visa, regardless of the location of the visa applicant. There is also no restriction as to where the applicant must be at the time of the visa grant.

Further, additional amendments have been made so an application can be made by any qualified onshore applicant who has a substantive visa or a bridging A, B or C visa.

This makes it easier for onshore applicants who previously weren’t able to apply because they were holding certain excluded visas or they were schedule 3 affected.

If you need any assistance with your GTIP EOI, Nomination and Visa Application, please reach out to us.

Can my nominator change between when I submit an EOI (and receive a UI) and when I lodge my 124/858 visa (GTI stream)?

Yes. At the moment, there is no legislative requirement that the Nominator that candidates put down in the Expression of Interest stage be the same Nominator who completes the Form 1000 for the visa application stage so long as the selected individual or organisation meets the requirements to nominate the candidate.

For example, some candidates might of put down ACS as a nominator (without understanding the ACS nomination process) in their EOI, wait to receive a UI, and then apply to ACS for nomination only to be refused by ACS. You can secure a new, eligible nominator, who completes the form 1000, and lodge this with your visa application.

I have applied for a General Skilled Migration visa (489/491/189/190), what’s taking so long? Should I look at GTIP as an option?

Yes, if you are currently studying or working in the key industry sectors, you should get in contact with us as we will need to assess your eligibility, especially if you are onshore and holding a bridging visa. Please see some information under the question: “Things to look out for when applying onshore – subclass 858 Distinguished Talent visa”.

Not only has the government reduced the quota for the points-tested General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa program by about 80% this financial year (meaning only 10,000 places available), they have also introduced priority arrangements for processing GSM visas as of 31 August 2020.

This means that the following points-tested skilled migration visas are subject to processing priority arrangements:

  • Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) (Points-tested stream)
  • Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated)
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))

For the above listed visa subclasses, the current processing priorities (with the highest priority listed first) are:

  1. Visa applications for any points tested subclass where the Department has determined that the applicant has an occupation within a Critical Sector.
  2. Subclass 491 (non-Critical Sector) – applicants are in Australia
  3. Subclass 491 (non-Critical Sector) – applicants are outside of Australia
  4. Subclass 489 (non-Critical Sector)
  5. Subclass 190 (non-Critical Sector)
  6. Subclass 189 – Points tested stream only (non-Critical Sector)

The current processing priorities came into effect from 31 August 2020 and apply to applications lodged with the Department on or after this date and to applications that had been lodged previously with the Department and have not been finalised including those in the final stages of processing.

General processing times for points-tested GSM visas are between 9 – 19 months.

I have submitted an EOI and it’s been 3, almost 4, months now, and I haven’t received anything from the Global Talent Team. Should I submit a new EOI?


You should not submit a new Expression of Interest (EOI) via the Global Contact Form if you have already submitted an EOI that has been unfinalised. The Global Talent team is experiencing significant delays due to the increasing number of EOIs submitted and the ‘popularity’ of the visa program. You should wait until you receive a response from the Global Talent team. They will send you an email to notify you of the outcome of your EOI.

GTIP Global Talent Independent Programme EOI not Successful – WHY

In addition to the most recent statistics

The above FOI outlined the reasons why some candidate’s EOI were not successful:

Since 4 November 2019, non-invitations have been sent for Expressions of Interest where the applicant did not demonstrate:

  1. they have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievements;
  2. they are prominent in their field of expertise;
  3. they would be an asset to the Australian community;
  4. they would have no difficulty in obtaining employment, or becoming established independently, in Australia in their area of talent;
  5. they have an organisation or individual in Australia with a national reputation in the same field, who can attest to their record of
  6. their application has been made in relation to one of the following target sectors, or a related sector:
    Cyber Security
    Space and Advanced Manufacturing
    Energy and Mining Technology
    Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT; or
  7. they meet onshore qualifying visa requirements including Schedule 3.

A fully documented EOI is important – although it is free, it takes time to prepare and submit on the part of the candidate, but also on the part of the Delegate; although one can submit a further EOI, it is better to get it right in the first place.

Things to look out for when applying onshore – subclass 858 Distinguished Talent visa

Where the applicant is onshore when applying for the distinguished talent visa, they must ensure that they hold an eligible substantive visa and also if they hold a bridging visa, their last substantive visa is an eligible visa and it had not expired more than 28 days ago at the time of the 858 visa application.

The subclass 858 visa (onshore Distinguished Talent visa) is subject to various schedule 3 requirements and there is no legislative provision for a waiver of the schedule 3 requirement.

If you have any specific issues regarding the applying onshore, please contact us.


The lastest Statistics EOI Global Talent Independent

GTIP EOI Stats as of 10 October 2020

For the period 1/7/2020-10/10/2020, a total of almost 4,000 EOIs were received, this makes a daily submission of almost 57 EOIs (business days).

Of the 1,640 EOIs that had been decided, about 44% was ‘not invited’, this is a slight increase on the most recent satistics for non-invitation (around 30%).

Quantum information, advanced digital, data science and ICT sector invitees took up about 33% of the total invitation, with MedTech sector had the next highest number of invitations.

The FOI outlined the reasons why some of the candidate did not successfully secure coveted invitation, these were outlined on page 2.

Please refer to our Linkedin post.

Why ACS does not nominate me?

Many candidates have encountered difficulties in securing a nomination from the Australian Computing Society.

As they are the skills assessing body for most ICT related occupations (for general skilled migration programme), they receive and consider thousands of applications from ICT professionals.  They maybe harder to impress, when it comes to ‘sustained international record of exceptional and outstanding achievements’.

ACS will not just nominate you because you have received an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs.

We think it might be better to seek endorsement from a suitably qualified Australian ICT professional than through the ACS.


Does the nominator assume any liability in nominating a 124/858 candidate?

In the context of a subclass 124 or 858 Distinguished Talent visa, the visa applicant must be nominated/endorsed by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen, does that person assume any liability or obligation by nominating the visa applicant?

In short, the answer is no.

The nominator is provide her or his subjective assessment of

  1. the candidate’s record of achievements
  2. whether the achievements are current and prominent, and
  3. whether the candidate would be an asset to Australia

These are their opinion, albeit a professional one.   There is no personal liability on the part of the nominator, i.e., they are not offering the visa applicant a position (unless that is the case) or provide any guarantee that the applicant will contribute to Australia in any particular way.

Nevertheless, it is important that the nominator’s area of expertise should relate to the visa applicant’s claimed area of expertise.

Should you need any further assistance, please contact us.

Including Nomination with EOI or Secure Nomination After EOI

The Departmental Procedure Instruction (which provide guidance for case officers when they assess the EOI and the visa application) talks about the importance of the Form 1000.  It is an at the time of visa application requirement, without this the application is invalid.  It is not an ‘at the time of EOI’ requirement, so legally, you don’t have to provide this.

Nevertheless, when the candidate has secured a nomination, it is a key indicator to the decision maker that the candidate would meet the following criteria:

  1. international record of achievements
  2. current prominence; and
  3. becoming an assets to Australia

As the decision makers are not experts in your claimed area of expertise, the decision whether you should receive the coveted unique identifier and whether you should be granted the visa, would be heavily influenced by the fact that you have been endorsed by an Australian expert who shares the same expertise as the candidate’s.

Of course, the decision maker would consider other evidence you include in your application.

We highly recommend candidates to include the Form 1000 as part of the EOI submission, even though it is not legally required.

Please get in touch with us should you need any assistance with securing the Form 1000 prior to the EOI submission.

What occupations are suitable under the Global Talent Independent Visa?


Misconception – if I have worked in an GTIP occupation, I will qualify for the Global Talent Visa – not quite so.

Many potential candidates are holders of Temporary Skills Shortage visas (subclass 482) and it is their employers’ corporate policy that they do not sponsor employees on permanent basis (even though a lot of the 482 visa holders are nominated under the medium-long terms occupations list, which can transition to the 186 visa after three years).

This is a common theme among highly skilled Information Communication Technology 482 visa holders.

Some candidates think that because they work for large company and their occupations under the 482 are related to the ICT sector, they would be eligible under the Global Talent Visa.

This is not the case.

There is no occupation list for the global talent visa, and having worked for an international company as a 482 visa holder in an ICT related occupation, on its own, does not qualify the candidate for a Distinguished Talent Visa.  The question regarding the occupation in the visa application form is only there for data collection purpose (I presume), as this does not related to any of the visa grant criteria.

The intention is to attract candidates with sustained international record of achievements in a target sector under the GTIP.  Work experience, albeit in a senior role, in an international company alone may not satisfy the international record of achievements criteria, and with the increasing number of applications being received by the Department, the competitiveness is likely to result in the threshold being increased (due to the subjective nature of the assessment for the above criteria).

Please get in touch with us if you need any assistance to ascertain your eligibility.

EOI Invitation – Processing Time

I have some candidates reaching out to us asking how long it takes for the Department of Home Affairs to assess the Expression of Interest for the Global Talent Independent Visa.

That depends on a few factors:

  1. where the candidate is located
  2. what the claimed area of expertise is
  3. how well prepared the EOI is

In our experience, onshore candidates are processed faster than offshore candidates.  Certain targeted sectors received further prioritised assessment within the already fast-tracked Global Talent Independent Programme, such as Fintech and Medtech, as they are deemed more critical/relevant by the Australian government, in the context of the advent of COVID19.

It is also important that the EOI is well documented.  In particular, it should address the sustained international record of achievement criteria so when a delegate assesses an EOI, she or he does not have to request further information from the candidate, which will inevitably delay the assessment.  Sometimes, the response to an RFI (Request for Information) are put back in a waiting queue before it is considered by the delegate.

If you need any assistance in preparing a good quality EOI, please reach out to us to book a consultation.

Global Talent Independent – When to Get A Nominator

Why do we need a nominator?

The law requires the visa applicant to be endorsed by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen who has a national reputation in the same area of expertise as the visa applicant.

The nomination is done using a Form 1000 and this must accompany the visa application.  If it is not received at the time of the visa application, the visa application is not valid and can be refused.

How many nominations does the applicant need?

Only one – the others can be in the form of reference letters, and don’t have to be Australian citizen/permanent resident.

Should I include a nomination/Form 1000 in the EOI submission?

Although not specifically required, we think being endorsed (evidenced by a Form 1000) is strong indication to the assessor that you are considered to be of high calibre by an Australian expert in your claimed area of expertise.

Freedom of Information – EOI Processing Status (04/11/19-04/08/20)

Please refer to my linkedin post regarding the FOI outcome regarding the EOI and the Visa Grants under the Global Talent Independent Programme.

According to the data release by the Department of Home Affairs under the Freedom of Information Act,

Between 04/11/2019 – 04/08/2020, a total of 7,444 EOIs were received under the Global Talent Independent Programme.

There were 3,826 EOIs waiting to be assessed as of 04/08/2020.

Out of the 3,618 assessed, 1,105 was closed/not invited.  This is a ‘refusal’ rate of 30%.

The stats also provided a breakdown of the targeted sectors of those invited.

2020/2021 Federal Budget – Immigration Programme 2020/21 for Global Talent Visa

With the budget for 2020-21 financial year, the Hon Alan Tudge MP released the following media release:


A carefully managed Migration Program is an important part of Australia’s economic recovery and will create jobs and bring high value investment to help Australia rebound from COVID-19.

In 2020-21 the planned ceiling for the Migration Program will remain at 160,000 places.​

The program will have a strong focus on attracting the best and brightest migrants from around the world, with a tripling of the Global Talent Independent program allocation to 15,000 places and an increase in the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to 13,500 places. The BIIP will also be streamlined and reformed to ensure that investments are targeted at Australian venture capitals and emerging small and medium size businesses to support the economic recovery.

The Family stream plan​​ning level has been set at 77,300 places, including 72,300 within the Partner category.

While overall the government has placed greater emphasis on the family stream, most of these are people already in Australia. Of the new permanent residents coming into the country, we still anticipate that approximately two thirds will be in the skilled stream and one third from the family stream.

There will be 13,750 places allocated for the Humanitarian Program. The Government will continue to invest to improve settlement and employment outcomes for humanitarian entrants, including through previously announced reforms to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), and developing a reform program for settlement services and the Community Sponsorship Program.

The Government will also offer Visa Application Charge (VAC) refunds, waivers or visa extensions to visa holders who have been unable to travel to Australia due to COVID-19. This includes waiving the VAC for Working Holiday Makers and Visitors to boost tourism once the borders re-open.

What does it mean

In the context of the Distinguished Talent Visa under the Global Talent Independent Programme – although a tripling of the quota allocated is a vote of confidence in the programme by the government, it is important to note that this includes all secondary applicants, and we consider that it will continue to become more and more competitive as the government promotes this programme across the globe.

We urge suitably qualified client to submit a well documented EOI, supported by strong evidence, to maximise the chances of securing a Unique Identifier, and subsequently the visa grant.

If you need any assistance, please get in touch with us : – please email us your CV for a complimentary preliminary assessment.

What happens after I get the Distinguished Talent Visa (124/858)?

If you are in Australia 

You are now a permanent resident of Australia.

If you are outside Australia

You and other visa holders should make the ‘initial entry’ to activate your permanent residency. You should note the ‘first entry’ date on your visa grant letter.  Given COVID19, the Department is being more flexible, however, if you are not able to enter Australia before the ‘first entry’ date, it would be prudent to reach out the the visa processing section for further guidance.

Child born to Australian permanent resident 

If a child is born to an Australian permanent resident parent and the child is born onshore, the child will become an Australian citizen by birth.  If the child is born offshore to an Australian permanent resident parent, she or he must apply to become an Australian permanent resident though a child visa.

Becoming an Australian citizen 

A permanent resident visa holder (124/858) is eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after meeting

  1. residence requirement; and
  2. character requirement

This means there is no consideration in relation to  health as the case was when you apply for the permanent resident visa.

Child born to Australian citizen

Child born to an Australian citizen parent offshore can apply to become an Australian citizen by descent.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

How long does it take to assess Global Talent EOI? EOI Processing time.

One common question we have from candidate is how long it is now taking for the EOI to be assessed – EOI Processing time.

EOI processing time would depend on a few factors:

  1. location of the candidate – onshore applicants usually get faster assessment.
  2. what target sector is the candidate’s expertise in.
  3. whether the candidate’s credential has a ‘wow’ factor
  4. if there is any reason for urgent assessment
  5. the quality of the EOI, i.e., whether a delegate can make a decision without asking for additional information (Request for Information)

We have candidate’s EOI approved within three business days of submitting (in August 2020) but also EOIs which had been submitted in June still awaiting outcome.

Given the popularity of the Global Talent Visa Programme, immigration receives a increasing volume of EOIs.

Further, given there is a quota allocated to the each visa subclass, the Department will not be granting all the applications in one go to prevent the quota being exhausted very shortly after the start of the programme year.

Please contact us for detailed advice.

Why is Global Talent visa the best visa that is available now?

The Global Talent Independent visa is a direct, one-stop, pathway to Australian permanent residency (PR) and is under the Minister’s directive for priority processing. At the moment, it is the fastest way to get PR. Additionally, and unlike the General Skilled, Employer Sponsored or Business Investment visa pathways, there are no points test, skills assessments, or mandatory English or work experience requirements. This makes the GTIP the quickest and most efficient pathway to Australian permanent residency. This program, however, is only currently available until 30 June 2021, so act fast! If you think you may qualify, get in contact with Ashton Legal for a thorough consultation and assessment of your eligibility now!

What if I’m currently earning less than AU$153,600?

Current earning is only an indicator about your earning potential, we will work with you to demonstrate to the delegate that you do have the potential to meet the salary threshold of AU$153,600. Please book a consultation with us if you require assistance meeting the salary threshold requirement.

How long does it take to receive a Unique Identifier from the DOHA?

Get a good quality Expression of Interest (EOI) in early!  There are no statistics on the number of EOIs received, however, given the effort of the government promoting this programme, and the time it is now taking for EOI to be assessed, it is safe to presume an increasing number of EOIs are received. At the moment, you can expect the EOIs to be allocated to a delegate for assessment within 4 months of submission. Ashton Legal will assist in preparing a well-documented EOI, supported by evidence, to demonstrate your ability to meet the priority process requirement under the Global Talent Intendent Visa. Don’t risk an EOI being refused outright because the assessing officer deems it to be too weak. Get in contact with us and we will help ensure you have the best possible chance to receive a Unique Identifier.

If I am not eligible under the Global Talent stream (GTIP), should I/can I still apply under the normal Distinguished Talent visa?

Yes. If you fall short of the Global Talent requirements but you may still be eligible under the normal Distinguished Talent visa criteria, Ashton Legal will make this determination and advise you accordingly. We will assist you in with the process. Please get in contact with us for more details.

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