Gruszka says StartupAUS has been working closely with the Department of Home Affairs to refine and finalise the introduction of the visa, which came into effect on 1 July, to allow start-ups some additional flexibility in recruiting key staff from overseas.
"The start-up stream offers access to five visas per year for authorised start-ups. These visas will have a lower salary threshold, the ability to use equity and other benefits to reach that salary and a path to permanent residency. The visas will also not be tied to an occupation list, so it will be much easier to hire highly specialised and cutting edge roles.
"Start-ups that are able to grow and scale will be able to transition to the established business stream as their staffing requirements increase. Start-ups will still be able to continue to apply for visas under the existing TSS (temporary skill shortage visas), so the GTS is specifically there to plug gaps and recruit people who are tricky to hire under the current system. It's all upside.”
“But this is also the first time anything like this has been tried in Australia, and as such it's up to us to make sure that the scheme is a success and the pilot leads to a permanent program."
Announcing the scheme in March, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge said it was recognition that global talent is in high demand and Australia needs to provide "pathways for Australian businesses to access this".
“We want to ensure that Australian businesses can access the best talent in the world, because this will underpin business growth, skills transfer and job creation,” he said.
“At all stages, Australians are prioritised for the jobs, but where the skills and experience are not available here, we want to be able to attract talent from overseas.
“This is part of the ongoing reforms to our skilled visa programs to ensure that Australians have priority for Australian jobs, but acknowledge that there are times when the skills are not available in the country.”
And Jobs and Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash says the new scheme will particularly help Australian employers in the growing innovation sector and help them to create more Australian jobs.
“Industry figures say globally mobile, highly skilled and experienced staff can act as ‘job multipliers’ in Australian businesses, helping them to hire more local staff and fill critical areas of need,” she said.