Over the past two decades, Australian governments have implementing a range of poorly developed visa programs with significant impacts on the Australian community.
The latest in line of low standard migration policy is the Global Talent Visa (GTV).
The Morrison Government launched the Global Talent Visa last year with the immigration minister boosting, “we are targeting the world’s most highly skilled migrants”.
The GTV program is now coming under public scrutiny with allegations of fraud.
Claims of visa scams
Due to the devastating Wuhan coronavirus and the resulting border closure, the 2020-21 permanent migration program underwent a radical redesign (see Table 1 below).
Initially the GTV started with a small quota but for the 2020-21 program it was tripled to 15,000 places.
However, visa integrity is now at stake. Concerns have been raised the GTV is a magnet for fraud. Reports of cash being offered for visa nominations in a range of ‘high growth’ industry sectors.
Ultra quick processing times (less than 1 week) have raised questions about the integrity of the scheme, and it’s not clear how proactive Home Affairs have been vetting applicants. The government are marketing the GTVs in Communist China, which implies robust vetting should be mandatory.
With so many loopholes in the GTV why was it given the green light?
The GTV does not require a skills assessment or an English language test. It’s not a points based visa, therefore questions arise; will it achieve its aim of targeting genuine gifted individuals? With no point’s assessment how will the Government instil confidence that the placements are taken up by genuine talented individuals?
Since the big rise in grants the GTV has been flooded with applicants. The Government processed 17 GTV’s per day in October 2020.
The GTV program is not set up to attract the majority of talent from individuals based in advanced economies overseas. In 2019-20, over 80% of the Grants were for Onshore Candidates based in Australia. Foreign temporary workers, already in Australia, are using the GTV as a pathway to permanent residency.
GTV employers are not required to make any payment to the Skilling Australia Fund. This is a mandatory requirement under all other visa programs for employers that nominate overseas workers. The portion of permanent GTVs has risen to 15,000 representing a substantial loss of training funds for Australia.
It is hard to see the benefits of such a large increase in GTVs. Not withstanding the allegations of visa fraud. It is questionable how this visa can be termed very high skilled when the candidates are no even required to pass Basic English tests. English literacy is critical for productivity, wage growth and to complement Australian workers.
|Table 1: Australia’s 2020-21 Migration program planning levels|
|Stream and Category||2020-21|
|Business Innovation & Investment program||13,500|
|Child (estimate; not subject to a ceiling)||3,000|
(Source: Department of Home Affairs, 2020.
 Jack Snape, ‘Visas Approved in Days for “World’s Most Highly Skilled Migrants”, Raising Concerns of Fraud’, 2020 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-11/global-talent-visa-nomination-integrity-fraud-growth/12971514> [accessed 11 December 2020].
 Jack Snape.
 Jack Snape.
 Abul Rizvi, ‘ABUL RIZVI. Global Talent Independent Visa: Permanent Residence in a Week or Two’, Pearls and Irritations, 2020 <https://johnmenadue.com/abul-rizvi-global-talent-independent-visa-permanent-residence-in-a-week-or-two/> [accessed 11 December 2020].
 Global Talent, ‘Global Talent Processing Rate Running At 17 Per Day In October’, Global Talent Visa, 2020 <https://theglobaltalentvisa.com.au/global-talent-independent/global-talent-processing-rate/> [accessed 13 December 2020].
 Global Talent, ‘Global Talent Migration Report – Analyzing The 2019-20 Program’, Global Talent Visa, 2020 <https://theglobaltalentvisa.com.au/global-talent-independent/global-talent-migration-report/> [accessed 13 December 2020].
 Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, ‘Migration Program Planning Levels’, 2020 <https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/migration-program-planning-levels> [accessed 14 May 2020].