Distinguished Talent Visa (858 & 124)

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The distinguished talent visa (subclass 858) is a permanent visa for exceptionally talented people who are in Australia and have an internationally recognised record and outstanding achievement in a sport, the arts, academia and research or a profession.

This is a permanent visa. With this visa, you can:

  • Work in Australia

  • Study in Australia

  • Apply for citizenship if you meet the citizenship requirement

  • Sponsor eligible relatives permanent relative for permanent residence in Australia

  • Access to Medicare

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria.

  • You must be in Australia at the time of application and when the visa is granted.

  • You must have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievements in one of the following fields.

    • A profession

    • A sport

    • The arts

    • Academia and research

  • You are prominent in your area of expertise.

  • You would be an asset to the Australian community.

  • You can show that you would have no difficulty in obtaining employment in Australia.

  • You must be nominated by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, or Australian organisation with a national reputation in your area of expertise.

  • Meet health and character requirement.

The Department will consider the following when deciding if the applicant meets the international recognition category:

  • The international standing of the country where the applicant’s achievements were realised.

  • The standing of the achievement in relation to Australian standards.

  • The standing of the achievement in relation to international standards.

For example, an individual who holds a senior position in a universally recognised international organisation would be likely to meet the ‘internationally recognised’ threshold.

This is not defined in the regulation; thus, the ordinary meaning of the words applies. Exceptional and outstanding achievement is the act of accomplishing something extraordinary that places the individual above the average.

Depending on the field of expertise, the Department will consider different criteria. This list is not exhaustive.

A profession

  • National and international industry awards

  • References from current and past employers

  • Statements from prominent industry peers and business

  • Academic degrees

  • Newspaper and magazine articles

A sport

  • National and international rankings

  • Membership of national sporting teams

  • Results in international tournaments

  • Newspaper and magazine articles

The arts

  • Awards received

  • Statements from national and international artistic bodies

  • Newspaper and magazine articles

  • Galleries in which works are displayed

  • Recognition by peers

The Department will look into some of the following indicators to assess the prominence of the applicant:

  • Information on recently completed projects

  • Information on recent publications

  • Details of currently held position in the organisation

  • Evidence of recent national or international awards

  • Reference letter from a university or employer

An applicant is likely to be an asset to the Australian community if they meet the criteria:

  • Increase Australia’s technical and/or academic standards internationally

  • Introduce and/or transfer skills to Australia

  • Elevate Australia’s competitiveness and reputation in sports and the arts; or

  • Make a significant positive social or cultural impact on the Australian community.

The Department can consider a combination of the following when assessing this criterion:

  • employment contracts or offers

  • evidence of self-employment or opportunities to establish a viable business within the area of achievement;

  • evidence of sponsorships, scholarships, grants or other payments intended to support the applicant

  • demonstrated track records of previous employment in their area of achievement

  • evidence of academic qualifications

  • evidence of high scores during the completion of the academic qualifications.

A nominator must be:

  • an Australian citizen; or

  • an Australian permanent resident; or

  • an eligible New Zealand citizen; or

  • an Australian organisation.

In most cases, it would be your industry bodies or peers with a national reputation.

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