What is MATES- Special Visa for Indians

Feb 05, 2024 4 min read
MATES Special Visa

Key Takeaways: 

  • MATES, part of the Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA), is a bilateral initiative between Australia and India promoting talent exchange and addressing migration issues.
  • MATES visa holders have 12 months to make their first entry and can stay in Australia for 24 months from their initial entry, with multiple entry options.
  • MATES' launch awaits an Implementation Protocol to ensure fairness, equity, and integrity, with no set timeframe yet.

What is MATES- Special visa for Indians 

  • Introduction 
  • Eligibility Criteria 
    • Age 
    • No Prior Participation 
    • English Proficiency 
    • Recent Graduation 
    • Qualifications 
  • The Perks 
    • Employer Sponsorship: No longer needed 
    • Permitted Activities 
    • Places applicable 
    • Inclusive of families 
    • Duration 
    • Extension 
    • Visa Cost 
    • Time of Commencement 
  • Steps to Apply for MATES 
    • Step 1: Eligibility Check 
    • Step 2: Mastering English 
    • Step 3: Skill Assessment 
    • Step 4: Express Your Interest (EOI) 
    • Step 5: The Golden Ticket - Invitation to Apply (ITA) 
    • Step 6: Assembling Your Application 
    • Step 7: Take Flight to Australia 
  • Role of Academically 
    • 1. English Language Proficiency Preparation: 
    • 2. Skill Assessment Guidance: 
    • 3. Academic Support: 
    • 4. EOI and ITA Assistance: 
  • Conclusion 
  • FAQs 

Introduction

In a landmark agreement signed on May 23, 2023, Australia and India set the stage for a new era of collaboration through the Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA). 

At this bilateral framework lies the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme, known as 'MATES.' 

This groundbreaking initiative seeks to facilitate the temporary mobility of Indian graduates and early career professionals, fostering a vibrant exchange of skills and knowledge between these two nations.

Eligibility Criteria 

MATES is a gateway to opportunity, open to Indian nationals who meet the following criteria:

Age

Applicants must be 30 years old or younger at the time of application. This age inclusivity reflects the program's commitment to nurturing young talent.

No Prior Participation

To ensure that as many individuals as possible can benefit from MATES, previous participation in the program is not allowed.

English Proficiency

Proficiency in English is vital. Applicants must achieve an overall IELTS score of at least 6, with a minimum score of 5 in each of the four parts. This requirement ensures effective communication and integration into Australian society.

Recent Graduation

To stay current, applicants should have graduated from an eligible educational institution within the past two years.

Qualifications

Holding a Bachelor's degree or higher in specific fields is a key eligibility criterion. These fields include renewable energy, mining, engineering, Information Communications Technology (ICT), artificial intelligence (AI), financial technology (FinTech), and agricultural technology (AgriTech).

The Perks

Employer Sponsorship: No longer needed

One of the most attractive features of MATES is the absence of a requirement for Australian employer sponsorship. This eliminates a significant barrier to international opportunities, enabling aspiring professionals to explore and expand their horizons in Australia independently.

Permitted Activities

Under the MATES program, participants can live and work in Australia for up to two years. While there's no strict requirement to work in their nominated field of study, the program is designed to support young professionals in enhancing their skills and expanding their networks.

Places applicable

MATES will start as a pilot program with 3,000 places available for primary applicants each program year. 

Inclusive of families

Participants need not embark on this journey alone. They have the option to apply to bring their dependents, including spouses and dependent children. Importantly, these dependents will have work rights in Australia and won't count towards the annual cap, promoting family unity.

Duration

Visa holders are granted a year to make their initial entry into Australia, followed by a stay of up to 24 months from the date of their first entry. This flexible visa also allows for multiple entries, enabling participants to explore and immerse themselves in Australian culture.

Extension

If the participants wish to extend their stay in Australia, they have the opportunity to apply for another visa that permits temporary or permanent residence, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. However, it's essential to note that individuals can only participate in the MATES Scheme once.

Visa Cost

Details regarding the visa subclass and associated application fees will be released shortly. Additionally, an extra fee may apply for adding dependent family members to the MATES application. 

Time of Commencement

The exact launch date of MATES remains uncertain, as an Implementation Protocol is currently under development. This protocol will define the program's modalities, ensuring diversity, fairness, and equitable access while supporting the integrity of the Scheme.

Steps to Apply for MATES

Step 1: Eligibility Check

Before you dive in, ensure you meet the basic eligibility criteria:

  • You're aged 30 or under.
  • You haven't previously participated in MATES.
  • Your English language skills are up to par (IELTS score of at least 6).
  • You've graduated from an eligible institution within the last two years.
  • You hold a Bachelor's degree or higher in specified fields.

Step 2: Mastering English

MATES requires proficiency in English. Don't skip this crucial step—book and take an English language proficiency test to secure the required scores.

Step 3: Skill Assessment

Depending on your qualifications and field of expertise, you might need a skills assessment. Ensure you have this essential credential to showcase your expertise.

Step 4: Express Your Interest (EOI)

Prepare to share your ambitions. Register your Expression of Interest (EOI) through the designated platform. This step demonstrates your keenness to participate in MATES.

Step 5: The Golden Ticket - Invitation to Apply (ITA)

The coveted Invitation to Apply (ITA) is your ticket to the next stage. This is where your application gets real. Patience is key; wait for your ITA.

Step 6: Assembling Your Application

Once you receive your ITA, it's go-time. Gather all required documents and meticulously complete your application.

Step 7: Take Flight to Australia

Congratulations! You've successfully navigated the application process. Now, pack your bags and prepare to embark on your Australian adventure. You'll have 12 months to make your first entry into the country, followed by a 24-month stay.

Role of Academically

Academically is an ed-tech company that will guide you through the journey of procuring your visa. Here’s how Academically comes into play:

1. English Language Proficiency Preparation:

Academically offers comprehensive courses tailored to master English language proficiency exams like IELTS, PTE, or OTE. These courses include practice tests, interactive lessons, and speaking exercises to enhance fluency.

2. Skill Assessment Guidance:

Certain MATES applicants may need to undergo a skills assessment to validate their qualifications. Academically provides guidance on the assessment process.

3. Academic Support:

For recent graduates, academic support through Academically can be invaluable. Academically provides access to study materials, academic resources, and online tutoring, ensuring that applicants remain up-to-date with their chosen fields of study.

4. EOI and ITA Assistance:

Understanding and navigating the Expression of Interest (EOI) and Invitation to Apply (ITA) processes can be daunting. Academically offers guidance and even creates comprehensive step-by-step guides to help applicants successfully complete these stages.

Conclusion

The Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) holds immense promise, offering a unique opportunity for Indian graduates and early career professionals to elevate their skills, broaden their horizons, and contribute to the dynamic landscapes of both Australia and India. 

As we await the program's official launch, stay tuned for updates on this transformative initiative set to shape the careers and futures of young professionals from India and foster enduring bonds between these two nations.

FAQs

Q. How do I apply for MATES in Australia?

Ans. To apply for MATES in Australia, check your eligibility, get required language and skills assessments, register an Expression of Interest (EOI), receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), submit your application, and once approved, prepare to fly to Australia.

Q. What is the MATES scheme in Australia?

Ans. The MATES Scheme in Australia, or the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme, allows Indian university graduates and early career professionals to work and live in Australia for up to two years, promoting skills and knowledge transfer between the two countries. It's part of the Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement between Australia and India and is open to eligible Indian nationals under 31 years old with specific qualifications in fields like engineering and information technology. Notably, it doesn't require Australian employer sponsorship.

Q. What is the full form of MATES?

Ans. MATES is Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme.

Q. Which country has introduced the MATES Scheme?

Ans. Australia has introduced the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme for Indian professionals who want to work in Australia.

Sheenu Sharma
Sheenu Sharma
about the author

Sheenu Sharma is a seasoned writer with several years of experience curating content in the EdTech and healthcare sectors. She believes in delivering information and facts to the readers by crafting compelling stories. Through the platform of Academically, she aims to help global healthcare professionals in their career aspirations and dreams!