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3,000 UK visas for Indians under new Young Professionals scheme

The aspirants, of the age 18 to 30 years, will live and work in each other's country for a period of up to two years. The plan has similarities with the existing Youth Mobility Scheme.

NEW DELHI, Nov 16: The British Government has announced it will issue 3,000 visas every year for Indian professionals on a reciprocal basis following a meeting between UK's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Wednesday at Bali in Indonesia where they are attending the G20 summit.

The agreement aims at increased mobility of young people from both countries. The UK will take 3,000 young people of the age 18 to 30 years from India to live and work for a period of up to two years there. In return, an equal number of Britons will arrive in India.

Starting next year, the plan has similarities with the existing Youth Mobility Scheme. However, applicants under the new Young Professionals scheme will have to hold a diploma or degree equivalent to at least three years of higher education and need to have proficiency in the language of the host country. It also requires a job offer from an employer in the host country.

“I know first-hand the incredible value of the deep cultural and historic ties we have with India,” said Sunak, Britain’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister.

“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,” he said.

Later, the British Government said India is the first visa-national country to benefit from such a scheme. A statement from the Prime Minister's Office 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.

"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," it added.

The statement said, "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."

At the same time, the UK Government also said it is strengthening its ability to remove immigration offenders who overstay.

The Downing Street anouncement followed the Sunak-Modi meeting at G20 summit. A quarter of all international students in the UK are from India. Indian investment into the UK supports 95,000 jobs across the UK.

Last year on May 4 the UK and India had signed a new migration partnership that helps both Indian and British professionals to work in each other's country. The Then UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had signed the ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership’. The groundbreaking scheme was meant to facilitate the to and fro movement of talents.

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