An Indian foreign ministry official said that Britain and India signed an accord on migration and mobility on Tuesday, as they look to deepen economic, cultural and other ties following the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The deal will provide enhanced employment opportunities for 3,000 young Indian professionals annually, in return for India agreeing to take back any of its citizens who are living illegally in the UK, Sandeep Chakravorty told a news conference.
The deal comes after the two countries announced $1.39 billion of private-sector investment. Talks on a full trade deal are due to begin in the autumn.
“It is our solemn duty that Indian nationals who are undocumented, or are in distress abroad and not being given nationality or residence permits, have to be taken back,” Chakravorty said.
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 there were as many as 100,000 Indians living illegally in the UK, though New Delhi disputes this figure.
New Delhi has complained about a lack of employment opportunities available for tens of thousands of Indians who study in the UK each year.
Johnson said he faced some “legal hurdles” but was committed to extraditing the pair back to India as soon as possible, Chakravorty added.