Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Sunak approves 3,000 UK visas for Indians hours after meeting PM Modi

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has given approval for 3,000 visas for young professionals from India to work in the UK each year.

According to the British government, India is the first visa-national country to benefit from such a policy, demonstrating the importance of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership signed last year.

“Today the UK-India Young Professionals Scheme was confirmed, offering 3,000 places to 18-30-year-old degree-educated Indian nationals to come to the UK to live and work for up to two years,” the UK Prime Minister’s Office said in a tweet.

This announcement in the Downing Street readout came hours after Sunak met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 17th edition of the G20 Summit. This was their first meeting after the first Indian-origin British PM assumed office last month.

“Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @RishiSunak in conversation during the first day of the @g20org Summit in Bali,” PM Modi’s Office said in a tweet.

Under the new UK-India Young Professionals Scheme, the UK will offer 3,000 places annually to 18-30-year-old degree-educated Indian nationals to come to the UK to live and work in UK for up to two years. The scheme will be reciprocal.

“The launch of the scheme is a significant moment both for our bilateral relationship with India and the UK’s wider commitment to forging stronger links with the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen both our economies,” Downing Street said in a statement.

According to the report, the United Kingdom has more ties with India than virtually any other country in the Indo-Pacific area. India accounts for over a quarter of all international students in the UK, and Indian investment in the UK supports 95,000 employment across the country.

The United Kingdom is now negotiating a trade agreement with India; if reached, it will be India’s first agreement of its sort with a European country. The trade agreement would expand on the UK-India commercial relationship, which is now worth 24 billion pounds, and would allow the UK to capitalise on the opportunities given by India’s expanding economy.

In addition to the mobility collaboration with India, the British government stated that it is improving its capabilities to deport immigration violators.

“A landmark Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the UK and India in May 2021 aimed at increasing mobility between our countries, returning those with no right to be in the UK and India respectively and sharing best practice on organised immigration crime,” the UK PMO added. 

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