The launch of the UK-India Young Professionals Scheme by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak soon after talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, is dubbed a “significant moment” for the bilateral relationship and the diaspora living bridge.
Under the scheme, agreed last year and to be launched in early 2023, 3,000 18-30-year-old degree-educated Indians will be granted visas every year to live and work in the UK for up to two years. The scheme will be reciprocal and see British nationals living and working in India as well as part of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) signed by former UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Sunak said: “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 British Indian Prime Minister’s announcement is seen as a welcome move to bolster ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, which are now expected to run until at least March next year. Downing Street says such an FTA will be the first deal of its kind India has made with a European country and would build on the UK-India trading relationship worth £24 billion annually.
MORE LIKE THIS…
The UK has more links with India than almost any country in the Indo-Pacific region as 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, it pointed out.
“The Indo-Pacific is increasingly crucial for our security and our prosperity. It is teeming with dynamic and fast-growing economies, and the next decade will be defined by what happens in this region,” said Sunak.
MORE LIKE THIS…
In parallel to the mobility partnership with India, Downing Street said the government is strengthening its ability to remove immigration offenders.
“A landmark memorandum of understanding (MoU) 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,” it added.