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Tech Visa Scheme Stymied By Canberra Turmoil: Report

The Federal Government’s “innovation visa” scheme for importing highly-skilled international tech workers appears to have come to a standstill, following the recent political turmoil in Canberra. 

No visas at all have been issued under the scheme, more than a quarter of the way into its 12-month pilot plan, according to an Innovation Oz report.

The so-called “Global Talent Scheme”, offering four-year visas for skilled tech workers from around the world, was launched in July.

Meant to replace last year’s shock axing of the 457 visa, it was supposed to offer visas for up to four years, with a pathway to permanent residence. There were to be two streams, one for businesses with an annual turnover of at least $4 million, and one for tech and STEM start-ups.

But InnovationAus.com claims the recent leadership changes and ministerial reshuffles have delayed the scheme, with no visas at all yet issued  – and none on the near horizon.

BlueChilli head of people Claudia Barriga-Larriviere, who is said to work closely with start-ups looking to bring in international talent, said the delays are troubling.

“Everything from partner visas to skilled visas are being delayed and with no certainty as to when we’ll actually see anything move,” she said. “It is very concerning …We are very dependent on these external factors, and speed and time is of the essence for any start-up.”

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