- Australia and India have entered into a landmark Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA).
- The MMPA has been specifically designed for India, aiming to encourage the bilateral mobility of students, graduates, academic researchers, and business people.
- A pilot program called MATES (Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early Professionals Scheme) will offer temporary visas to 3,000 young professionals.
The ‘enhanced cooperation on migration issues’, inked during the second official Australian visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is said to benefit both countries.
Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland greets India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) as he arrives at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Monday, May 22, 2023. Credit: DAVID GRAY/AAPIMAGE
“The MMPA will support the Australian government’s migration priorities, including by attracting some of India’s best and brightest young talent to Australia and providing a strong platform for Australia and India to cooperate to prevent and respond to irregular migration,” a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson told SBS Hindi.
“The MMPA reaffirms the existing visa options that facilitate mobility and migration between our two countries, including pathways for visitors, students, graduates, academic researchers, business people and other professionals,” they added.
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The latest arrangement will include a pilot program called Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES).
MATES will offer a new mobility pathway for Indian graduates and early career professionals with knowledge and skills in targeted fields of study to live and work in Australia for up to two years.
Eligible fields include renewable energy, mining, engineering, information and communication technology, artificial intelligence, financial technology and agricultural technology.
MATES will commence as a pilot program with 3,000 places for primary applicants per program year, who may bring dependants.
MATES will allow for a multiple entry visa for a period not exceeding 24 months.
The MATES program is yet to be implemented and the process for application and other details are yet to be released.
The MMPA will also increase visa validity for Indian nationals from up to three years to up to five years for the Visitor (Business stream) (Subclass 600) visas.
“Over 60 per cent of engineers in Australia are born overseas,” Ms Madew told SBS Hindi.
Romilly Madew is CEO of Engineers Australia.
“Those originating from India make up the largest portion of qualified overseas-born engineers in Australia,” she said.
The Associate Vice Chair of the Australia India Business Council, Ashok Mysore, echoed similar sentiments.
Ashok Mysore is National Associate Vice Chair of Australia India Business Council.
“Australia needs over a million digital workforce to deliver on its 2030 Digital Strategy Roadmap. The MATES agreement will provide access to some of the top talent amongst India’s 1.5 million engineering graduates produced each year,” Mr Mysore said.