India-Australia trade deal will bring major benefits to students, workers

Government intends to use the Australia ECTA as the basis during its trade treaty negotiations with the UK

The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement will give impetus to bilateral ties

The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA) signed on Saturday will provide thousands of young Indians with work and study opportunities Down Under.

As per the agreement, Australia will have an annual quota of 1,800 for Indian chefs and yoga teachers entering the country as contractual service suppliers. The agreement will permit temporary entry and stay for a period of up to four years, with possibility of further stay.

Additionally, work and holiday visas with multiple entry will be offered by Australia to 1,000 young Indians between the ages of 18 and 30 years, for a period of one year, wherein they can undertake study or training for up to four months or 17 weeks or undertake paid or unpaid employment for the entire duration of their stay, generally for up to six months with any one employer.

The agreement will also provide post-study work visas of two to four years for Indian students on reciprocal basis, depending on the courses.

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Australia has agreed to maintain certain opportunities for former students to live, study and work in the country temporarily after finishing their studies. 

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said detailed provisions to pursue mutual recognition of professional services and other licensed, regulated occupations (doctors and nurses) have been also been agreed upon.

“We are planning to finalise these mutual recognition agreements in the next 12 months,” he said.

Government officials described the visa concessions as a major gain for India, something that New Delhi has been seeking for years through its agreements with Asean, Japan and South Korea. 

Now the government intends to use the Australia ECTA as the basis during its trade treaty negotiations with the UK.

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