December 2020 updates for GTI Program

Global Talent Independent Program Eligibility update

The Global Talent Independent Program which provides permanent residency under the Subclass 858 Visa has undergone a few changes in December 2020. These changes are described under the Ministerial Direction 89. Refer to our step-by-step guide for GTI Visa for a detailed discussion on all eligibility requirements.

New updates to GTI program

1. GTI target sectors have been expanded.

When the GTI program was launched in 2019, applicants under seven target sectors were accepted. These sectors were as follows:

  • AgTech
  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  • FinTech
  • Energy and Mining Technology
  • MedTech
  • Cyber Security
  • Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT

As per Ministerial Direction No. 89 – Order of Consideration – Subclass 858 and Subclass 124 visas, these target sectors have now been expanded to ten and include the following:

  • Resources;
  • Agri-food and AgTech;
  • Energy;
  • Health industries;
  • Defence, advanced manufacturing and space;
  • Circular economy;
  • Digitech;
  • Infrastructure and tourism;
  • Financial services and FinTech;
  • Education.

2. Updates for Masters and Bachelors with honours graduates

As of 20 January 2021, Masters and Bachelors with honours graduates are no longer eligible for invitation on the basis of their qualifications. Previously recent graduates with Masters and Bachelors with honours could qualify for the GTI Program on the basis of high GPA (>80). This option has now been repealed.

This does not mean that recent graduates with Masters or Bachelors with honours cannot apply for the GTI program. They can still apply, however, they will be evaluated with other professional stream candidates and will not be given special treatment for having high GPAs.

PhD graduates can still qualify under the PhD stream of the GTI program.

3. Order of consideration of appliations

Ministerial Direction No. 89 also outlines the order in which Immigration would consider the GTI visa applications.

  • Highest priority will be given to applications 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) i.e. AUD 153,600
  • Next priority is to applications where the primary applicant's current earnings is an amount equal or greater than the FWHIT
  • After this, Immigration will look at applications where there is evidence the primary applicant is to likely attract a salary that is equal to or greater than FWHIT
  • Last priority will be given to all other applications.

Which sector of GTI Program are you applying under? Post in the comments below along with any questions that you might have.

Atul Pandey

Atul has spent half his life migrating from one country to another. He moved from India to the US on a student visa to pursue his Master of Science from Penn State University. After spending a decade in the US, Atul migrated to Australia as a Permanent Resident. He is an entrepreneur and is the founder of Atul is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN:2016128). Reach him via email:

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