Australia will allow a total of 1,800 Indian chefs and yoga instructors a year to live, work and stay in the island nation for up to four years under the India Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which came into effect on Thursday.
“Temporary entry and temporary stay shall be granted for up to a combined total of 1,800 per year of qualified, professional Indian traditional chefs and yoga instructors entering as Contractual Service Suppliers of India. Temporary entry is for periods of stay up to 4 years, with the possibility of further stay,” said the document on the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade portal. This is subject to meeting relevant eligibility conditions.
The second such bilateral pact India has entered after the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in May this year, the pact with Australia is expected to boost India’s total bilateral trade with the country to more than $45-50 billion in five years from the $31 billion currently.
Additionally, over 1 lakh Indian students will benefit from post-study work visas of up to 4 years under the pact on a reciprocal basis. Former students can live, study and work in Australia temporarily after finishing their studies for up to 18 months of stay on completion of diploma or trade qualifications, up to 2 years upon completion of bachelor degree (including honours), up to 3 years for masters and up to four years for doctoral degrees.
Further, there is a provision for mutual recognition of professional qualifications and other licensed/regulated occupations. This will open up dialogues on Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in nursing, architecture and other professional services between the professional bodies of India and Australia which in turn will facilitate the movement of professionals in each other’s territory.
Australia will also allow up to 1,000 young Indians aged between 18 and 30 years to work while on holiday for a period of one year in the country through a Work & Holiday visa dubbed ‘backpacker visa’.
“The India-Australia trade pact is going to boost India’s export and increase the number of jobs in the labour-intensive sectors. This pact will be beneficial for the Indian youth pursuing master’s in Australia, making it easier for them to get a work visa and increase their job prospects. It’ll encourage more aspiring students to pursue their education in Australia, and the increase in foreign remittances will have a positive impact on India,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra – Managing Director and CEO of CIEL HR Services.
The pact with Australia will allow Indian goods on all tariff lines to get access to Australian market with zero customs duty. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations estimates that India’s goods exports to Australia will reach $15 billion by 2025 from $6.9 billion in 2021 by taking full advantage of ECTA, while services should move to US$ 10 billion by 2025 from $3.9 billion.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President A Sakthivel said services has got the best ever treatment in any agreement as Australia has made commitments in around 135 sub-sectors with Most Favoured Nation (MFN) in around 120 sectors. “Australia has also provided additional market access and mobility facility for Indian professionals including chefs and yoga teachers. Post-study work visas ranging from 18 months to 4 years will benefit over 1 lakh Indian students. The commitment to pursue Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in next 12 months will greatly benefit the professionals on both sides,” he said.
Also read: ‘Money indeed bought me happiness’: This Indian-origin Australian exec’s story will move you to tears
Also read: Young chefs are drawn back to India for its rich food, says MasterChef Australia Gary Mehigan