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  • Writer's pictureElan Rysher

New Opportunities for UK Citizens: The Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP)

The Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) has paved the way for a new initiative known as the Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP). This program opens doors for UK citizens seeking professional experience in Australia. Let's delve into the details of this new visa path.

IECSEP in a Nutshell

The IECSEP recognizes the significance of skills mobility and innovation for both the Australian and UK economies. Australian employers will gain access to innovative UK professionals, while UK organizations can provide career development opportunities for their key staff through international experience.

  1. Early Careers Skills Stream: This stream allows participants to engage in short-term placements, secondments, or intra-corporate transfers in Australia, lasting up to one year. These opportunities should align with their field of work in the sending organization.

  2. Innovation Stream: For highly experienced and skilled UK citizens who have made significant contributions to innovation, this stream offers opportunities in Australia for up to three years. Innovation areas include Research and Development, Renewable Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Medical Technology, FinTech, AgriTech, and Audio-visual and Cultural industries.

Limited Opportunities, High Impact

The IECSEP has commenced with a quota of 1,000 visas available in 2023-2024 and 2,000 in 2024-2025, during which the program will be reviewed. This exclusivity emphasizes the importance of selecting candidates who can make a meaningful impact during their stay in Australia.

First Application Round Open

The first IECSEP application round opened on September 25, 2023. It will close on Monday 20 November 2023. Both the Early Careers and Innovation streams are available for applications in this round.

Who is Eligible?

All IECSEP applicants must be able to demonstrate UK citizenship, and that they have adequate financial means to support themselves for the duration of their stay in Australia ($5,000 plus the fare to where the applicant is going to after Australia).

All IECSEP applicants must have a confirmed job in Australia to be eligible to participate in the IECSEP. Applicants will need to provide DFAT with either a letter of employment offer, or a copy of an employment contract, to prove their prospective employment in Australia when they submit their application. This document needs to contain specific information in order for DFAT to accept it.

To be eligible for the Early Careers stream applicants must:

  • be aged between 21 and 45 (inclusive) at the time of application

  • hold tertiary qualifications

  • have worked for at least 3 months in their current role, and the prospective employment in Australia must be relevant to the applicant's field of work in their current role

  • have prospective employment in Australia in an occupation defined at the ANZSCO Skill Levels 1, 2 or 3

To be eligible for the Innovation stream applicants must:

  • have a demonstrated contribution to innovation

  • be highly skilled and experienced

  • have prospective employment in Australia in an occupation defined at the ANZSCO Skill Level 1

The Application Process

Applicants for the IECSEP can submit their applications online through the dedicated form on DFAT's website, by 20 November 2023. DFAT may close this application round with respect of one or both IECSEP streams on a date before this advertised time. Successful IECSEP applicants will need to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a Temporary Work (International Relations) subclass 403 visa Government Agreement stream. DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) will issue successful applicants with a Letter of Support, which must be presented to the Department of Home Affairs when applying for this visa.

A New Chapter

The IECSEP promises to be a transformative journey for professionals and organizations alike. If the IECSEP aligns with your aspirations or the goals of your organization, now is the time to explore potential opportunities.

Stay tuned to ImmiUpdates for news on upcoming application rounds and further details about this program.

For more information please Contact Us or email

Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Elan has many years of experience working in immigration, finance and health. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.


Information (or the lack of it) contained in ImmiUpdates should not be relied on as immigration assistance or advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services.


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