Introduction of new visa classes to attract innovative talent to Australia

On 7 December 2015, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, MP Peter Dutton announced the introduction of a new Entrepreneur visa, designed to attract innovative talent and individuals with unique skillsets, ideas and entrepreneurial talent to Australia.

As part of the larger National Innovation and Science Agenda announced on 7 December 2015, the new Entrepreneur visa gives permanent residency to migrants who start a successful business in Australia and is available to emerging entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing to develop these ideas.

Mr Dutton said, “The visa system is a key enabler of Australia’s ability to attract and capitalise on the expertise and ideas of foreign innovators within a global marketplace.”

“Australia’s overseas networks will be leveraged to actively encourage entrepreneurial and innovative talent to come to Australia, Mr Dutton said.

The second new visa subclass is aimed at retaining high achieving students in Australia with changes made to facilitate a pathway to permanent residence for foreign students who are recent graduates from Australian institutions with specialised doctorate-level and Masters-by-research qualifications.

Mr Dutton said, “We also want to retain highly educated, talented people whose knowledge based has been developed in Australia.”

The changes would assist graduates in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics or specified ICT and related fields.

Mr Dutton said, “These changes remove impediments in the visa system to facilitate entry and retention of highly talented people.”

“Innovation is an important building block for our nation’s growth and through these reforms we will ensure Australia can benefit from the expertise of the global marketplace, Mr Dutton said.

The reforms will be introduced in the second half of 2016.

Under the Coalition Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, innovators and entrepreneurs are encouraged to bring their ideas to Australia with visa reforms to attract talented and highly educated people. The aim is to boost jobs and economic growth and make it easier for post graduate researchers with qualifications in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and information technology to move to Australia as a pathway to permanent residency.

The National Innovation and Science Agenda focuses on four key pillars:

  1. Culture and capital
  2. Collaboration
  3. Talent and Skills
  4. Government as an exemplar

These initiatives which is worth $1.1 billion over four years are expected to drive smart ideas that create business growth, local jobs and global success for Australia.