NEW DELHI: From 1,800 chefs and yoga teachers, who can hope to get a quick entry, or students, who can now stay for up to four years on post-study work visas, and 1,000 millennials who can mix work and pleasure, thousands of Indians are set to get easy access to Australia with the signing of the bilateral trade agreement with India. This is in addition to opening the doors further for Indian IT professionals and managers who can get up to four-year visas, either as contractual workers on an onsite job or as part of intra-company transfers. Besides, mutual recognition agreements for professionals such as nurses and doctors will ensure that the qualifications of Indian medical professionals will be recognised in Australia. “We are planning to finalise these mutual recognition agreements in the next 12 months,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said after the signing of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) with Australia on Saturday.
Government officials described the visa concessions as a major gain for India, something that India has been seeking for years through its agreements with Asean, Japan and South Korea, but did not make sufficient headway. Now, the government intends to use the Australia ECTA as the basis during its trade treaty negotiations with the UK. On their part, the UK and Australia have agreed to a similar dispensation on visas.