Positive changes to Australia’s global talent visa in the global talent independent program

The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) has recently made several changes to Distinguished Talent Visa (subclass 858 visa). This is a permanent visa for people who have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in an eligible field.

The changes for the Distinguished Talent Visa are:

  • The removal of the subclass 124 visa allowing applicants both and offshore to apply for the subclass 858 visa.
  • Increasing the number of visa classes that an applicant can lodge a visa application from.
  • Changing the health criteria to allow applicants with significant health conditions to be granted a subclass 858 visa.

Prior to these changes an applicant had to choose a visa subclass based on their location. For example, a subclass 124 visa for people outside of Australia and a subclass 858 visa for those applying while inside Australia.

Going forward the applicant can apply either onshore or offshore It no longer matters where your family members are in the world. You can all be included on one visa application.

Applicants are also allowed to apply when holding a Bridging Visa A, B, and C holders to apply while in Australia. It also removes a bar on visa holders on the following visas applying for the 858 visa:

  • Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
  • Visitor (sponsored and unsponsored) including subclass 600
  • Tourist
  • Subclass 400 visa (Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist)
  • Subclass 456 (Business (Short Stay)
  • Maritime Crew (Temporary)
  • Superyacht Crew (Temporary)
  • Special purpose visa.

As a result, the subclass 858 visa is brought into line with most other skilled visas and removes hurdles to eligibility for potential applicants.

One of the most important changes is subclass 858 visa has moved from Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4005 to PIC 4007.

This is significant as the PIC 4005, does not allow applicants to be granted a visa where:

  • The health care and community services they (or that of a dependent) require is a significant cost [significant cost is currently assessed at AUD$49,000 over a lifetime]; or
  • They would prejudice Australians accessing health care or community services.

The substitution of PIC 4007 into the subclass 858 visa allows the above health criteria to be waived if the applicant can show the costs are not undue in all the circumstances.

PIC 4007 is uncommon in most permanent visas to Australia. This clearly indicates applicants for this visa are considered job creators who can mitigate much of the potential medical costs they or their family members may incur in the future.

Whilst this is a significant step forward it is still important to seek expert advice before you lodge your visa. Our team at FC Lawyers has extensive experience in both the Global Talent Program and health waivers.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your migration options.

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