Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first prime minister of Indian origin, has given the go-ahead for 3,000 visas for young professionals from India to live and work in the UK each year.
The British government stated that India is the first visa-national country to benefit from such a scheme, highlighting the strength of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership agreed last year.
I know first-hand the incredible value of the deep cultural and historic ties we have with India. I am pleased that even more of India’s brightest young people will now have the opportunity to experience all that life in the UK has to offer – and vice-versa – making our economies and societies richer,” the UK Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Worth mentioning here is that the announcement came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his British counterpart, their first face-to-face interaction since Sunak assumed power last month, on the sidelines of the 17th edition of the G20 Summit
“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 here 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 mentioned in a statement.
The UK has more links with India than almost any country in the Indo-Pacific region. Nearly a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India, and Indian investment into the UK supports 95,000 jobs across the UK.
The UK is currently negotiating a trade deal with India – if agreed it will be the first deal of its kind India has made with a European country. The trade deal would build on the UK-India trading relationship, already worth £24 billion, and allow the UK to seize the opportunities presented by India’s growing economy.
In parallel to the mobility partnership with India, the UK government said it is also strengthening our ability to remove immigration offenders.
In late October this year, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said New Delhi’s proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with Britain is well on track, adding that politicians and businesses across the board in the UK recognised that it is “very” important for them also to do an FTA with India.