How do students & immigrants stand to benefit from India-Australia free trade agreement

Here’s how the historic trade deal between India and Australia becomes a boon for Indian students and immigrants:

On 02 April 2022, a significant free trade agreement with Australia marked India’s most comprehensive and ambitious deal. The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI ECTA) agreement creates new opportunities for workers and businesses in both countries while driving economic growth across multiple sectors and strengthening bilateral relationships.

The initial focus on immediate tariff cuts on more than 85% of Australian exports opens a big door of opportunities into the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Among the plethora of benefits included in the agreement, here are some that may be advantageous to our concerns.

  • Under the agreement, Canberra would deliver duty-free access in its market for over 6,000 broad sectors of India. Correspondingly, Australia will also unfold new prospects for Indians to migrate to the country, for study, and for work.
  • Canberra has also approved modifying its domestic tax law to stop the taxation of offshore income of Indian firms providing technical services in Australia.
  • Obtain easier and faster professional qualifications, licensing, and registration procedures for skilled professionals to work in both Australia and India with the possibility of further stay. Australian and Indian Architects, engineers, and accountants will be recognized in both countries. As per the new agreement, both countries have decided on acknowledging qualifications, licensing, and registration procedures between those professional services. This promises that those qualified will not need to go through lengthy exams and approval processes to practice in either country, thus opening more significant opportunities post-qualification.
  • To recover from the post COVID scenario: the agreement offers 1,000 working holiday visas to Indian citizens in the 18-30 age group, expecting to contribute to both workforce requirements and tourism industries.
  • Offer Indian students with a bachelor’s degree, postgraduates, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) specialists and Information and Communications Technology sectors holding first-class honors will now be offered an extended option for a longer post-study work visa.  This means top students will now be able to live and work in Australia for three years instead of the previously stated two years. This allows Indian students the right to live, work and undertake further study in Australia, subject to conditions and requirements.

The AI ECTA has thus provided new access for both Indian students and professionals and Australian citizens to benefit each other, securing a good relationship between both countries.

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