India and the United Kingdom have signed a migration agreement that will allow people to live and work in both countries.
NRI Affairs Correspondent
British Home Secretary Priti Patel and India’sIndia’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar signed the Migration and Mobility Partnership agreement to address long-standing problems of illegal migration from India to the UK.
“The historic agreement delivers on the UK Government’sGovernment’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,” UK’sUK’s Home Office said in a statement.
According to the agreement, India has to take back illegal migrants to the UK in return for employment opportunities for 3,000 young Indian workers annually.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said, “I am committed to delivering for the British public a fair but firm New Plan for Immigration that will attract the best and brightest talent to the UK through our new points-based immigration system, whilst clamping down on those who are abusing the system. This ground-breaking new agreement with India is an important milestone in delivering on this pledge.”
The pact will also ensure that “the British Government can remove those with no right to be in the UK more easily and crackdown” on those abusing the system. The British government could easily take steps to make it easier for Indian nationals to be identified and returned.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously pledged to deliver a ”quantum leap in the UK’sUK’s bilateral relationship with India.” The two countries also agreed on 1 billion pounds ($1.39 billion) of private-sector investment.
A similar deal had collapsed in 2018 when the two countries failed to reach an agreement. Britain claims that as many as 100,000 Indians live illegally in the UK, a figure with which New Delhi disagrees.
In return for accepting these illegal migrants, India has achieved a deal for its young migrants who go to the UK for higher studies and work.
“The new bespoke route for young professionals will allow 18-30-year-olds to work and live in the other country for up to 24 months. 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 Home Office said in a statement.
According to the British government, more than 53,000 students from India came to the UK to study in 2020, up 42% from the previous year.
Nearly a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India.