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National Agenda

Australian businesses and startups to benefit from visa scheme

Trial visa scheme designed to lure highly skilled foreigners to Australia will be made permanent after a 12-month pilot. 
  • Established businesses with a turnover of $4 million can apply for up to 20 visas for foreign workers annually, while start-ups in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field can apply for five. 
  • Fewer than 30 of these visas have been issued under the pilot scheme  
  • The visas have been useful for companies seeking specific skills such as quantum engineering, rocket science and artificial engineering. 


Australia is in a “global war for talent”, with Australian business and startups competing for high-demand skills, especially those in the STEM fields. If Australia cannot find skilled recruits domestically, the only alternative is to look overseas. This is part of the development of the Australian economy as we move further into the digital and technological era.  

Source: The Australian Financial Review - Tech start-up visa scheme to stay