Starting July 1, 2023, Indian graduates from Australian tertiary institutions can apply to work in Australia for up to eight years. The new visa rule is an outcome of a bilateral agreement signed between India and Australia last month. A key feature of this agreement is the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES), a programme that will open up 3,000 spots annually for young professionals from India to spend two years in Australia without needing a visa sponsorship.
As part of the migration deal, Australians aiming to conduct research in India can now apply for an S-5 visa, granting them a stay in India for up to three years or for the duration of their research project.
The MATES visa is a temporary visa programme that accommodates recent pass-outs or graduates from established and recognised Indian universities with degrees in specialised fields of study. The fee and visa processing time for the MATES visa has not been announced yet.
The eligible fields for the MATES visa include:
• Financial technology
• Artificial intelligence
• Information & Communication Technology
• Agricultural Technology
• Renewal Energy
Eligibility for MATES visa are:
• Candidate must be below the age of 31
• Must have graduated from a recognized and verified university
• Must be a recent pass-out
• Must be at an early stage of their career.
From July 1, 2023, international higher education graduates with eligible qualifications will be granted an extra two years of post-study work rights. This extension will give eligible international higher education graduates an additional two years on their Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). The extension is in addition to the existing additional one to two years of work rights for eligible students who study, live and work in regional areas.
New work cap for Australian student visa holders from July 1
In Australia, student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and completely removed in January 2022, to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages.
However, from July 1, work restrictions for all student visa holders (except those in aged care sector) will be re-introduced and capped at the increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight. This ensures that student visa holders are able to focus on their education, while remaining able to support themselves financially, gain valuable work experience, and contribute to Australia’s workforce needs.
The student visa holders already working in the aged care sector as on May 9, 2023, can continue to work unrestricted hours in the aged care sector until December 31, 2023.
Even though there is flexibility in the number of hours international students can work, students will have to:
• maintain their course enrolment
• ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
• ensure satisfactory course progress.
Student visa holders who cancel their enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, may be in breach of their visa conditions.
Permanent Migration Programme 2023-24
Last month, the Australian government had announced that the planning level for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Programme has been set at 190,000 places. The programme has been designed to address persistent and emerging skills shortages and to attract people with specialist skillsets that are difficult to find or develop in Australia.
The permanent Migration Programme is only one component of net overseas migration (NOM) that been set to 315,000 in 2023–24.
The 2023-24 permanent Migration Programme comprises:
• Skill stream (137,100 places): Comprising approximately 72 percent of the programme, this stream has been designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia. The programme has allocated 30,375 places for Skilled Independent visas and is comparable to the 2022-23 program allocation of 32,100 places.
• Family stream (52,500 places): Adding up to approximately 28 percent of the programme, this stream is predominantly made up of partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas and provide them with pathways to citizenship. Of this stream, 40,500 partner visas are estimated for 2023-24 for planning purposes, noting this category is demand driven and not subject to a ceiling; 3,000 Child visas are estimated for 2023-24 for planning purposes, noting this category is demand driven and not subject to a ceiling.
• Special Eligibility stream (400 places): This stream covers visas for those in special circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia after a period overseas.
• Global Talent Visa category: Besides the above, the 2023-24 permanent Migration Programme has also allocated 5,000 places for the Global Talent Visa (GTV) Program.
• BIIP Category: The Australian government has reduced the planning level for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) from 5,000 visas in 2022-23 to 1,900 visas for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Programme.