New Pathways for Professionals: MATES Program Launched by Australia and India
In a move aimed at fostering bilateral cooperation and skill exchange, Australia and India have unveiled the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES). This initiative comes as part of the broader Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA) signed between the two nations on May 23, 2023, aimed at facilitating legal and regulated migration while addressing concerns related to irregular movements.
1. Eligibility Criteria
- Open to Indian nationals aged 30 or younger.
- Must have proficient English language skills (overall IELTS or equivalent score of at least 6, with a minimum score of 5 for each of the four parts).
- Graduated within 2 years from an eligible educational institution.
- Hold a qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher) in specified fields such as renewable energy, mining, engineering, ICT, AI, FinTech, or AgriTech.
2. No Employer Sponsorship Requirement
MATES applicants do not require sponsorship from an Australian employer.
3. Permitted Activities
Participants can live and work in Australia for up to 2 years, with a focus on skills development and networking in designated sectors.
4. Program Capacity
MATES will commence as a pilot program with 3,000 places available for primary applicants per program year.
5. Dependent Allowance
Participants can apply to bring dependents (spouses and dependent children) who will have work rights in Australia and will not count towards the annual cap.
6. Duration of Stay
Visa holders will have 12 months to make their first entry into Australia and may stay for 24 months from the date of first entry, with multiple entry options.
7. Extension Possibilities
Participants may extend their stay in Australia by applying for another visa permitting temporary or permanent residence, subject to eligibility requirements.
8. Costs and Fees
Details regarding visa subclass and associated application fees are forthcoming. Applicants will bear costs related to English language testing and other application expenses.
9. Implementation Protocol
An Implementation Protocol is being developed to define the operational framework of MATES, ensuring diversity, fairness, and equity of access while supporting the integrity of the scheme.
10. Commencement Date
While there is no set timeframe for the implementation of MATES, anticipation is high for the opportunities it will bring to aspiring professionals from both Australia and India.
MATES stands as a promising avenue for Indian professionals to gain valuable experience and contribute to the workforce in Australia, further strengthening the ties between the two nations. Stay tuned for more updates on this innovative initiative.
- Department of Home Affairs, Australia