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India and Australia enjoy excellent historical bilateral relations. And this friendship has further strengthened with the recently signed Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, which will come into effect on 29 December. Citing the same, Fiona Wong, Partner at Gilton Valeo Lawyers and Corporate Immigration Lawyer, in an exclusive conversation with Mint said the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) open ups exciting immigration and visa possibilities in the coming years, and also hinted that hiring is likely to pick up.  “Migration is a key driver of Australia’s economic development, and will continue to be so," Wong says. Read the full interview here.

How India-Australia FTA is likely to open up new immigration possibilities between the two countries?

The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) includes mobility and immigration outcomes that will promote interpersonal connections and cultural exchange, support trade and business between Australia and India. Combining India’s technology, talent pool and manufacturing capability with Australia’s natural competitive advantages in land, agriculture & natural resources and infrastructure, the countries seem to be perfect match for one another.

The India-Australia FTA will likely:

  • Facilitate easier movement of skilled tech workers between the two countries
  • Promote Indian firms providing technical services to expand to Australia due to the amendment Australian domestic tax law
  • Provide new opportunities for graduates and working holiday makers to fill skill shortages, and contribute to tourism in Australia
  • Promote the reciprocal exchange of knowledge between countries

What are the key things to look forward to?

The AI-ECTA will provide support to both Australian and Indian skilled service providers, investors, skilled workers, business visitors, graduates and tourists. Some things to look forward to include:

  • Australia will grant 1,000 Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa per year to Indian citizens between the age of 18 – 31
  • Indian graduates with an Australian bachelor’s degree with first class honours will be extended from two to three years in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectors
  • Possible extension of visa validity period for temporary sponsored work visa
  • The outcome of these key immigration changes will contribute significantly to both workforce requirements and to tourism in the post-COVID recovery.
  • There is talk by our peak industry body that there may be labour market testing exemptions available, however this does not appear to be a negotiated point in the agreement.

Are we likely to see an increase in work visa issuance following the FTA?

Absolutely, migration is a key driver of Australia’s economic development, and will continue to be so in the decades ahead. Australia’s commitments to India in the AI-ECTA will provide enhanced mobility and certainty for Indian graduates, work and holiday makers, and business visitors.

Which sectors are likely to hire more if such an agreement is signed?

Technology, telecommunications, engineering, construction, tourism and business services.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanchari Ghosh

Sanchari Ghosh is a Deputy Chief Content Producer with LiveMint. She covers news, human interest, epidemiology and personal finance stories
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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