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UK and India Sign New Migration Agreement

A new migration and mobility partnership, announced by the Home Office on 4th May, will provide a “bespoke route” for young working professionals from India and the UK to work and live in the other country for up to two years.


Young professionals set to benefit

The programme, which is similar in nature to the Youth Mobility Schemes offered to young professionals from countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, will be limited to 3,000 people per year, who are under the age of 30.

Indian applicants wishing to move to the UK under the scheme will need to have more than £2,530 in savings, and must also demonstrate that they can support themselves in the UK.

The agreement comes in light of the UK’s new points-based immigration system, which encourages the best and brightest to come to the UK based on their skills and talent, rather than their place of birth.

According to Home Office statistics, some 53,000+ students arrived from India to study in the UK in 2020, a 42% increase on the previous year. The Home Office says that a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India.


Illegal immigrant crackdown

The new migration and mobility agreement will also streamline the ease by which illegal immigrants can be returned to the respective countries, with the Home Office noting that the deal will “enhance and accelerate the processes to return Indian nationals with no legal right to stay in the UK and vice versa”, and also “ensure greater co-operation around organised immigration crime”.

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 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.

“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 UK more easily and crackdown on those abusing our system.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed the deal as it was announced, noting that it will “mark the beginning of a new era in the UK-India relationship.”

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