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India to take back illegal migrants to Britain in exchange for visas for young workers

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a bilateral meeting during the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. Jeff J Mitchell / Pool via REUTERS

Britain and India signed an agreement on migration and mobility on Tuesday, an Indian Foreign Ministry official said, as it seeks to deepen economic, cultural and other ties after the UK leaves the European Union.

The pact will provide expanded employment opportunities for 3,000 young Indian professionals a year, in exchange for India agreeing to take back all its citizens living illegally in the UK, Sandyip Chakravorti told a news conference.

The migration pact comes after the two countries announced £ 1 billion ($ 1.39 billion) in private sector investment. Negotiations for a full trade deal are set to begin in the autumn. Read more

“Our solemn obligation is to return Indian citizens who are undocumented or in distress abroad and have not received citizenship or residence permits,” Chakravorti said.

A statement from the British Home Office said the deal was aimed at attracting “the best and brightest and to help people coming to the UK legally, while stopping the abuse of the system and speeding up the removal of those who do not. right to be in the United Kingdom “.

Migration has long been a source of friction between the two countries, with a similar proposal collapsing in 2018 due to disagreements.

At the time, London claimed that 100,000 Indians were living illegally in the United Kingdom, although New Delhi disputed that figure.

Tens of thousands of Indians study in the UK each year, and New Delhi complains about the lack of job opportunities available to them when they graduate.

Earlier on Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed his British counterpart Boris Johnson during telephone conversations over the status of two Indian fugitive tycoons Vijay Malia and Nirav Modi, who are wanted by New Delhi on fraud charges and are believed to be are in the UK.

Johnson said he faced some “legal hurdles” but was determined to extradite the couple back to India as soon as possible, Chakravorti added.

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