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India and Austria to sign migration and mobility agreement

  • Published
    2nd Jan, 2023
Context

India is going to sign a “Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement” (MMPA) with Austria during External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to Vienna. Along similar lines, India has also signed agreements with other European countries namely, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Finland.

About MMPA:

Objective:

  • It aims at the facilitation of mobility of students, academics, and researchers, migration for professional and economic reasons, and abiding by equal treatment of nationals of both Parties in a similar situation.
  • The provisions of this Agreement will be without prejudice to the application of national laws on the stay of foreigners on all the points that are not dealt with in this Agreement.

Significance:

  • To curb illegal migration: India is keen to finalise these agreements with European countries as a stepping stone to resolving issues over the long-pending India-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement and facilitating Indian professionals working in these countries, the European countries also see them as a way to curb illegal immigration from India.
  • Skill development: The agreement will regulate multiple entry visas for professionals and student exchange programmes, and will be reviewed regularly by a Joint Working Group (JWG).
  • Need:
  • In view of the sharp increase in illegal migration, Austria was confronted with last year, including over 15,000 illegal migrants from India with practically no chance of asylum.
  • The agreement is now a useful tool to combat illegal migration together, as it enables the swift return of illegal migrants.

Recent developments:

  • India-Germany mobility agreement: India-Germany agreement on Migration and Mobility partnership to foster the exchange of skills, and talents.
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