South Australia Talent & Innovators Program

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The South Australian Government recently announced the opening of the Talent and Innovators program which provides opportunities and pathways for highly skilled migrants who can contribute to South Australia’s critical priority sectors.

The Talent and Innovators program allows the state to nominate applicants under one of the following four streams.

  • Employment stream: For highly skilled migrants who are working for South Australian businesses
  • Start up and small business stream: For entrepreneurial skilled migrants who have started their own business in South Australia
  • High performing graduate stream: For high performing graduates who have completed their qualification at a South Australian higher education institution
  • Independent talent stream: For high calibre applicants seeking state nomination

Successful applicants will need to demonstrate how they bring new ideas, skills and innovation to South Australia and can create local jobs

Eligibility requirements

General

  • All applicants must meet the Department of Home Affairs requirements for the subclass 491 or subclass 190 visa.
  • Only applicants currently residing in South Australia can apply. Applicants from other Australian states and territories may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Employment stream

This stream is for highly skilled migrants working for South Australian businesses.

Your employers must:

  • Be a business in one of South Australia’s priority Growth State industry sector, or is an integral part of the supply chain supporting these priority sectors. The priority sectors include tourism, international education, defence industry, food, wine and agribusiness, hi-tech, health and medical industries, energy and mining, space industry, creative industry.
  • Be an existing business for at least 12 months, and have a premise located and operating in South Australia for the last 12 months
  • Have annual turnover of at least $4 million:
  • start-up companies may be exempt from the annual turnover requirement
  • businesses who operate in  outer regional South Australia may be exempt from the annual turnover requirement
  • Be a business of good standing and there must be no adverse information about the business.

As the applicant:

  • You must be earning a high base salary threshold commensurate with the expectations of the talent program (at least $80,000 full time). An exemption to the salary threshold may be available for highly skilled applicants who are:
    • working for a start-up
    • working for a business in outer regional South Australia
    • a recent graduate
  • You must be in South Australia on an existing temporary visa, working for the business already
  • You are expected to have Proficient Plus English levels (IELTS 7), however lower English levels may be considered in exceptional cases
  • You are expected to have considerable relevant work experience in the field, however limited experience may be considered in some cases
  • Your employer must provide a short business case (maximum 2 pages) demonstrating how you, as the applicant:
    • have the qualifications, specific skill set and relevant experience commensurate with the job
    • will bring new ideas, skills and innovation to South Australia and can support local job creation
    • will contribute to South Australia’s priority Growth State industry sectors.

Start Up and Small Business Stream

This stream is for entrepreneurial skilled migrants who have started their own business.

Eligibility criteria with demonstrated evidence includes:

  • Your business must be established in South Australia and operating in South Australia for the last 12 months and you must have resided in South Australia for at least the last 24 months
  • If you are an existing SISA visa holder you must have an established business in South Australia for the last 6 months and resided in South Australia continuously during this time
  • Your business must be able to give you a personal income that would meet the minimum taxable income requirement set by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Businesses aligning with the priority Growth State industry sectors, will be favoured
  • Businesses employing at least two employees (other than the applicant) on an ongoing full-time basis will be favoured
  • You must provide a business case (maximum 2 pages) with:
    • evidence of thorough research into, and understanding of the relevant industry conditions in South Australia
    • how the business will be innovative, contribute to South Australia’s economic growth and can support job creation for South Australians.
    • how the applicant’s previous experience and qualifications will help the applicant successfully build their business in South Australia over at least 3 years
  • Self employed applicants must apply through this stream
  • Only the business owner can apply through this stream. Business structures can include sole trader, partnership, company, and trusts
  • Franchise businesses are ineligible for this stream.

High performing graduate stream

This stream is for high performing graduates who have completed their qualification at a South Australian higher education institution.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • You must have completed the relevant Bachelor or higher qualification at a South Australian higher education provider in the last two years
  • A minimum of 50% of your qualification must have been completed in South Australia
  • Your South Australian qualification must be in the same field as your skills assessment and nominated occupation
  • You must currently reside in South Australia and you must have continuously resided in South Australia post-course completion
  • Applicants are expected to have at least Proficient English overall, unless specified higher for your occupation
  • Your field of education will be taken into consideration. Applicants who have undertaken study in a health or natural or physical sciences field of education may be prioritised
  • Your previous study and work experience may be taken into consideration
  • You must provide a short summary of your skills and expertise (maximum 2 pages) demonstrating:

how your area of study can contribute to South Australia’s research and commercialisation agenda

  • If you have completed a PhD or Masters by Research degree:
    • you can apply once your degree has been conferred
  • If you have completed a Masters by Coursework degree:
    • your Masters degree must be at least 78 CRICOS weeks
    • your Grade Point Average will be taken into consideration
    • a Grade Point Average of 6.0 or higher is generally required unless specified differently for your occupation. Please check your occupation for specific GPA requirements. Applicants with higher GPAs will be prioritised.
  • If you have graduated with First Class Honours in a dedicated Honours year:
    • your Honours year must have followed the completion of a 92 CRICOS week Bachelor degree in South Australia
  • If you have graduated with a Bachelor degree:
    • your Bachelor degree must be at least 92 CRICOS weeks
    • your Grade Point Average will be taken into consideration
    • a Grade Point Average of 6.0 or higher is generally required unless specified differently for your occupation. Please check your occupation for specific GPA requirements. Applicants with higher GPAs will prioritised.

Independent Talent Stream

Eligibility requirements with demonstrated evidence for this stream include:

  • You must be residing in South Australia
  • You are expected to have at least 95 points (including state nomination points) in your Expression of Interest (EOI) on SkillSelect, however lower points may be considered in exceptional cases
  • You are expected to have Proficient Plus English levels, however lower English levels may be considered in exceptional cases
  • You are expected to have considerable relevant work experience in your field, however limited experience may be considered in exceptional cases
  • You must submit a business case (maximum 2 pages) demonstrating:
    • How your skills and experience can make a contribution to South Australia, particularly the priority Growth State industries
    • Your knowledge of South Australia’s employment or business opportunities relevant to your occupation and field of expertise
    • Additional details of any skill sets, courses, qualifications, experience or awards relevant to your field of expertise
  • Applicants who meet the critical skills and sectors listed by the Commonwealth Government will be prioritised.

The Talent & Innovation program is opened to all occupations on the Skilled Occupation List, regardless of the occupation status through the standard program.

For more information please visit https://migration.sa.gov.au/skilled-migrants/supporting-information

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