India-UK sign Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement to boost work visas for Indian nationals

New Delhi: India and the United Kingdom on Tuesday (May 4, 2021) signed a ground-breaking partnership migration deal that will boost work visas for Indian nationals. The landmark agreement will allow young Indian and British nationals to work and live in each other’s countries and accelerate the removal of illegal migrants.

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel signed the ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement’ which is aimed at supporting people to live and work in both countries while addressing long-standing problems of illegal migration from India to the UK.

“The living bridge between India and UK will get stronger as a result,” Jaishankar expressed.

Patel said, “This landmark agreement with our close partners in the Government of India will provide new opportunities to thousands of young people in the UK and India seeking to live, work and experience each other’s cultures. This agreement will also ensure that the British Government can remove those with no right to be in the UK more easily and crack down on those abusing our system.”

As per the UK’s Home Office, the agreement delivers on the UK Government’s fair but firm New Plan for Immigration – attracting the best and brightest and supporting people coming to the UK through legal routes, while stopping the abuse of the system and speeding up the removal of those who have no right to be in the UK.

“This professional and cultural exchange programme will work similarly to current Youth Mobility Schemes, with India being the first visa national country to benefit from this,” the UK said.

The historic agreement will also enhance and accelerate the processes to return Indian nationals with no legal right to stay in the UK and vice versa, and ensure greater co-operation around organised immigration crime.

In a first of its kind between India and the UK, both governments have agreed enhanced mobility provisions for young professional Indian and British citizens which will allow people to live and work in the two countries for up to two years.

The UK’s Home Office said that the deal builds on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s previous pledge to deliver a quantum leap in the UK’s bilateral relationship with India.

As per a report, over 53,000 Indian students came to the UK to study in 2020, a 42% increase from 2019. Also, nearly a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India.

The agreement came hours before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK PM Boris Johnson’s virtual summit.


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