Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES)

The Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) is a new scheme, established under the Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA) between India and Australia. MATES gives Indian university graduates and early career professionals the opportunity to live and work in Australia for up to two years, and to gain employment and valuable experience in their areas of expertise.  The scheme will be 3000 places for primary applicants per program year. Primary applicants will be able to apply to bring dependents. Dependents will be provided work rights and do not count towards the annual cap.

The scheme has no set timeframe for commencement.

Eligibility:

MATES will be open to Indian nationals who:

  • are aged 30 or younger (inclusive) at the time of application;
  • have not previously participated in MATES;
  • 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);
  • have graduated within 2 years from an eligible educational institution at the time of application; and
  • hold a qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher) in one of the following:
    – renewable energy
    – mining
    – engineering
    – Information Communications Technology (ICT)
    – artificial intelligence (AI)
    – financial technology (FinTech)
    – agricultural technology (AgriTech).

There will be no requirement for sponsorship by an Australian employer to be eligible to apply for a visa as part of MATES.

MATES participants will be able to live and work in Australia for up to 2 years. Whilst there is no strict requirement for visa holders to work in their nominated field of study, it is designed to support young professionals expand their skills and networks, particularly in the sectors listed above.

MATES will commence as a pilot program with 3,000 places for primary applicants per program year.

Participants will be able to apply to bring dependants (spouses and dependent children). Dependants will have work rights in Australia, and will not count towards the annual cap.

Visa holders will have 12 months to make their first entry into Australia, and may stay in Australia for 24 months from the date of first entry. The visa will allow multiple entries to Australia.

Participants may extend their period of stay in Australia by applying for another visa permitting temporary or permanent residence, provided they meet all eligibility requirements for the visa. MATES participants are not eligible to take part in the Scheme more than once.

More information about the visa subclass and associated application fees will be available soon.

There may be an additional fee to add subsequent dependent family members to the MATES application. Applicants will be responsible for paying for other costs related to their application, including English language testing fees.

An Implementation Protocol is being developed. It will define the modalities of MATES, ensure diversity, fairness and equity of access, and support the integrity of the Scheme. There is no set timeframe for implementation of MATES.

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