India to sign agreement with Switzerland on return of irregular migrants

India to sign agreement with Switzerland on return of irregular migrants

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) The Union Cabinet on Monday gave its approval for signing the technical arrangement between India and Switzerland to formalise the procedure for cooperation on the return of irregular migrants between the two countries.

The cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Conclusion of the Bilateral Technical Arrangement (BTA) has been linked to the Visa Free Agreement for holders of diplomatic passports as a package deal. The BTA essentially aims to formalise the existing procedure for cooperation on the return of irregular migrants between the two countries without introducing any additional obligations or exacting time frames,” an official statement said.

According to the statement, the estimated number of irregular migrants in Switzerland, who are thought to be from India, is less than 100. If the BTA with Switzerland is approved as proposed, it would offer an opportunity to use the same as a model template for negotiations on the subject with other European Union (EU) countries.

“It would also help to leverage the Readmission Agreement to liberalise visa and work permit regimes for legitimate Indian travellers. This has been envisaged as a key goal in the recently concluded India-EU Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM),” it added.

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