Canberra: Innovators and entrepreneurs will be encouraged to bring their ideas to Australia with visa reforms to attract talented and highly educated people under the Coalition Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. A new Entrepreneur Visa will be introduced to attract innovative talent and changes will be made to retain high achieving foreign students in Australia.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said ideas, skills and talent were essential to a high performing economy.

“The National Innovation and Science Agenda will change the way Australians work together to shape the nation,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Agenda includes initiatives to foster new startups, help businesses to grow, and prepare young Australians for the opportunities of the future.

“The visa system is a key enabler of Australia’s ability to attract and capitalise on the expertise and ideas of foreign innovators within a global marketplace.

Minister Peter Dutton

“We also have a strong interest in retaining highly educated individuals to contribute to a thriving knowledge economy.”

Mr Dutton said the new Entrepreneur Visa would attract individuals with unique skillsets, ideas and the entrepreneurial talent to Australia.

“It will be available for emerging entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing to develop their ideas in Australia”.

“Australia’s overseas networks will be leveraged to actively encourage entrepreneurial and innovative talent to come to Australia”.

“We also want to retain highly educated, talented people whose knowledge base has been developed in Australia.

“We will make changes to facilitate a pathway to permanent residence for foreign students who are recent graduates from Australian institutions with specialised doctorate-level and Masters-by-research qualifications,” Mr Dutton said.

The changes would assist graduates in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics or specified ICT and related fields.

“Innovation is an important building block for our nation’s growth and through these reforms we will ensure Australia can benefit from the expertise of the global marketplace. These changes remove impediments in the visa system to facilitate entry and retention of highly talented people,” Mr Dutton said.

The reforms will be introduced in the second half of 2016.


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