Like any Australian visa, the Australian Distinguished Talent visa (subclasses 124 and 858), can be challenging to navigate. We previously wrote a comprehensive article on the Distinguished Talent Visa with all the finer details and stipulations, which you can use as a reference.
However, the goal of this article is to give you a clear idea of precisely what is required to apply for a DT visa and if you qualify.
A Distinguished Talent Visa is an option for the exceptionally talented, with an internationally recognised record of achievements or qualifications. You have to be internationally recognised in your profession, academia, the arts, entertainment, sports or the sciences. In some circumstances, a combination of these will be considered.
Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a Distinguished Talent Visa and if you are eligible to apply:
What The Distinguished Talent Visa Lets You Do
The DT Visa is a permanent residence visa which allows you (and any member of your family granted) to:
- Stay in Australia indefinitely
- Work and study in Australia
- Apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
- Sponsor eligible relatives for residency in Australia
- Enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
- Travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after which you will need a suitable return resident visa or similar visa to return to Australia)
What Is the First Thing You Need?
Before getting started with this visa, you need to understand that you will require a Nomination to apply. This can be from an individual or an organisation in Australia, and they must:
- Have a reputation in the same field as you are applying for. If you’re claiming a unique skill as a ballet dancer, a dairy farmer in Australia can’t necessarily endorse you for ballet skills.
- The organisation or person nominating you must be one of the following:
- an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen; or
- An Australian organisation (academia, government or private business)
A Nominator, in this case, is not the same as a sponsor. It is a nomination, not sponsorship with the DT visa.
You Have To Earn Above The High-Income Bracket
You must have written communication from an Australian employer offering employment in Australia with an annual salary equivalent to or higher than the Fair Work high-income threshold.
At the time of writing this article, the High-income is currently AUD $153,600 and above; however, please note that it is subject to change without notice.
Income from employment which is not related to the area of achievement, cannot satisfy the requirements of the visa, even if this only comprises part of your overall income.
You Need To Be Exceptional, Prominent (Relevant) & Internationally Recognised
What is Considered Exceptional?
Applicants should be at the top level, division, grade, echelon of their field. You need to demonstrate extraordinary or remarkable abilities putting you in a position of superiority above others in your area. In short, you need to be better than the competition, and you have to demonstrate why this is the case.
What is Considered Internationally Recognised?
Internationally recognised in this context means you have or would be acclaimed as outstanding or exceptional in any country where the relevant field is practised. You must have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in a profession, a sport, the arts, or academia and research—specifically more than one country but realistically anywhere in the world.
What Is Not Considered Exceptional?
A single achievement which appears as the only significant achievement, in this case, won’t be regarded as an ‘exceptional or outstanding’ achievement unless you’re an Oscar-winner. Jokes aside, you would need a record of sustained achievements that are unlikely to diminish or lose value over time.
Any national achievements in your country will not be considered exceptional if that achievement is not practised in other countries, including Australia, and has or would attract similar acclaim in those countries. If you’re the yodelling champion in your village, it could be hard to claim that as an international achievement.
In short, if you’re not at the top of your field, it will likely fall outside exceptional or outstanding.
You Must Still Be Prominent And Relevant In Your Field
You will not be assessed on your past performance or merits alone, but must be considered as still actively prominent in your field. If you were a professional athlete a year ago but you’re not competing anymore, you likely fall outside the distinction of currently prominent.
You need to show that you would be of benefit to the Australian community, socially, economically or culturally, or by raising Australia’s sporting, artistic or academic standing internationally. This means you would contribute to the nation as a whole — not just a local community.
If you’re claiming to be distinguished in a particular area, you must have been actively involved in this field for over two years, or you will be regarded as prominent in your field.
The information you provide regarding prominence is subject to assessment on a case to case basis. But, you would be expected to give evidence and be able to demonstrate your current prestige or distinction in your field.
Other Visa Requirements That Also Apply to The DT Visa
Health Requirements – there are health requirements that need to be met, and you will likely need to submit for certain health examinations and tests.
Character Assessment – as with all other visas in Australia, character is essential and can generally be satisfied by international police checks and clearance certificates depending on your country of residence. This will need to come from the country you are currently residing in and not necessarily your home country.
Identity Documents – this should be a given but, identity documents for you and any subsequent family members will need to be certified either in Australia or the country you’re applying from overseas.
Supporting documents – the DT visa application requires a large number of supporting documents. These also need to be certified, and this visa and require physical delivery to the Department by yourself or a proxy.
The Distinguished Talent Visa can be suitable for a wide range of professions. In the past applicants have included designers, musicians, dancers, sports coaches and administrators, artists, jockeys, philanthropists, doctors, authors, scientists, IT gurus, chefs, filmmakers, actors, and many more.
For more information on the DT Visa please read:
Highly Skilled in Your Field? The Distinguished Talent Visa is For You