Australia & India: New MATES Visa Pilot Programme

India and Australia signed a partnership known as the Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA) on 24 May 2023. As part of this Agreement, Indian nationals graduating from Australian higher education institutions, beginning on 1 Jul 2023, will be eligible for extended post-study work visa options for up to eight years.

Furthermore, a new pilot programme called the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) was introduced to encourage a mutually-beneficial skills and knowledge transfer. This programme has a quota of 3,000 visa places (for primary applicants), which will allow eligible Indian university graduates and early career professionals to stay temporarily in Australia for up to two years. Further eligibility for the visa includes:

  • Age: Applicants need to be aged 30 or younger at time of application (i.e. be below 31 years of age when they apply for the visa)
  • English: Applicants need to have at least proficient English (overall IELTS – or equivalent – score of at least 6, and no band less than 5 for each of the four test components).
  • University of Graduation: Applicants must have graduated within 2 years from an eligible and well-recognised Indian university at the time of application (list of recognised Universities yet to be confirmed).
  • Educational qualifications: The graduates must have at least a Bachelor degree or higher in one of the following eligible fields:
    • Renewable Energy
    • Mining
    • Engineering
    • Information Communications Technology (ICT)
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Financial Technology (FinTech)
    • Agricultural Technology (AgriTech)

Other benefits of the MATES visa includes no requirement for applicants to be sponsored by an Australian employer, and applicants are also permitted to bring their dependent family members.

The visa will allow applicants to live and work in Australia for up to two years. Although there will be no strict requirement for visa holders to work in their nominated field of study, the programme is intended to allow young professionals to develop their skills and networks in the eligible sectors listed above. Applicants can only participate once in the MATES programme but will be able to extend their stay should they be eligible for other visas.

It is expected that more information will be released about this pilot programme in the coming months, especially surrounding the legislative requirements, visa subclass, costs, conditions, and processing times. Once Ashton Legal has more information we will be sure to share it with our audience. In the meantime, if you have any migration queries, please get in contact with us.

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