What should you look for in a nominator for GTI Visa?

The Global Talent Independent Program is a fairly new visa program that was announced last year by the Australian Government. We have written a step-by-step guide for the GTI visa to help you learn more about the various eligibility requirements.

One of the key requirements for the GTI visa is having a nominator who is also internationally recognised in your field. This nominator must be an Australian PR, citizen or Australian organisation.

What to look for in a nominator for GTI Visa?

A number of factors may be considered to gain insight on the nominator’s reputation, which may attribute to the credibility of the nominator’s attestation to your achievements. These factors may include the nominator’s:

  • solid track record of achievements;
  • evidence of high calibre;
  • leadership in the relevant field of expertise;
  • professional associations with lead organisations and industry bodies;
  • current and previous employment history;
  • their participation at conferences both in Australia and internationally; and
  • their contribution to a number of international journals which would be utilised by researchers, academics and organisations undertaking work in the same field of research.

Is someone associated with a reputed national organisation a good nominator?

The answer is yes. In assessing the national reputation of a nominator, Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) will consider your nominator's professional associations with organisations / industry bodies renowned in the field. For example, an individual employed as a lecturer at a university recognised internationally for teaching excellence and cutting edge research would be taken to have satisfied requirements around national reputation. An individual nominator employed by a lead ICT company as an ICT professional would be assessed as having a national reputation if that company is a multi-national technology company, one of the world’s largest employers, or a leader in creating technological innovations.

What if the nominator is an Australian PR or citizen living abroad?

If a nominator has a leading international reputation that would be of national significance to Australia this would be considered acceptable. This broad interpretation of ‘national reputation’ ensures that the program is not excluding quality Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen nominators living abroad. For example, a nominator living abroad would be considered to have satisfied the requirement to have a national reputation if they have a strong international record of achievement thereby making them reputable at a national level.

Which organisations can act as nominators for GTI Visa?

The term ‘Australian organisation’ may be given a broad interpretation and includes any organisation registered in Australia or authorised to carry on business in Australia. It also includes an Australian organisation operating outside Australia.

Organisations operating a business in Australia will have an Australian Business Number (ABN) that is registered with the Australian Business Register. Officers can conduct a simple search on the ABN Lookup website at https://abr.business.gov.au/ to determine the existence of the organisation.

Australian organisations which operate both in and outside Australia will have an ABN. If the organisation only operates overseas but not in Australia, they must have been established by an Australian parent company, or an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident who continues to operate the business, in order to be considered an Australian organisation.

Australian Computer Society (ACS) as a nominator for applicants with a predominantly technology focus

For most applicants who have a predominantly tech background, Australian Computer Society (ACS) is a good option for a nominator.

DoHA accepts GTI nominations from ACS and considers it as an organisation with a national reputation in the following target sector groups under the GTI program:

  • Cyber Security
  • Quantum Information/Advanced Digital/Data Science/ICT
  • FinTech (candidates with a predominantly tech focus)
  • MedTech (candidates with a predominantly tech focus)
  • AgTech (candidates with a predominantly tech focus)

Drawback of using ACS as a nominator

  • Long wait time – Lately, it seems that due to the high number of applications that ACS has received for GTI nomination, it can take 4-5 weeks to get a nomination from them.
  • Costs money – Another disadvantages is that it costs around AUD 500 to get a nomination from ACS. You can potentially save this amount by reaching out to your network and finding someone who has a national reputation in Australia.

Engineers Australia as a nominator for applicants in Engineering fields

Recently, Engineers Australia (EA) announced that the Department has accepted it as a nominating organisation for the GTI Program. EA is a peak body for almost all engineering related professions. Until now Australian Computer Society (ACS) was the only option for most applicants who did not personally know a reputed Australian individual or organisation. With EA in the mix, there are now more nomination options.

The nominaiton request process for EA is slightly different from ACS. Engineers Australia may consider nominating candidates in all the ten priority sectors for GTI if they fulfil requirements and can provide evidence of their excellence. The candidate must first complete a self-assessment to check if they are eligible for GTI nomination assessment. If they are eligible then they can apply to Engineers Australia to support their nomination.

Should you look for a nominator before submitting EOI?

Having a nominator is strongly recommended at the EOI stage. At Wisekangaroo, we always like to submit a decision ready application. This means that, we encourage our clients to have a nominator ready before they even start the EOI preparation process.

Can you pay someone to nominate you?

In September 2021, the Department released a newsletter where they mentioned the following about paying someone to nominate GTI candidates:

We anticipate that candidates with internationally recognised records of exceptional and outstanding achievement will have contacts within the sector in Australia willing to attest to their achievements, and anticipate that a nominator would draw from a professional relationship with the applicant.
The evidentiary value of a nomination may be lower if the nominator is unfamiliar with the applicant’s achievements, or has received a payment for completing Nomination for Global Talent Form 1000 (216KB PDF).
Australian peak bodies may charge an administration fee. We may accept a nomination if satisfied that the organisation has conducted appropriate enquiries to verify that the candidate has an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in the sector in which the peak body has a national reputation.
Agents are strongly discouraged from recruiting and paying nominators who are unfamiliar with the achievements of Global Talent visa applicants.

The language used in the newsletter is indeed quite strong. Does this mean that if you do not have a professional relationship with an Australian nominator then you have no chance of getting the GTI visa? .. Not quite.

The newsletter guideline does not prohibit you from approaching nominators in Australia whom you may not have worked with professionally. It simply states that the value of such a nomination may be lower as compared to a nominator with a history of having worked with you.

If you are having trouble looking for a nominator for your GTI Visa in your own network or would like to get some advice on the eligibility of your chosen nominator, get in touch with us so that we can help you.

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 Wisekangaroo.com. Atul is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN:2016128). Reach him via email: atul@wisekangaroo.com

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