New Delhi: An agreement between India and Switzerland was approved on Monday on the return of ‘irregular migrants’. The estimated number of irregular migrants who are thought to be from India in Switzerland is less than 100.
Conclusion of the Bilateral Technical Arrangement (BTA) has been linked to the Visa Free Agreement for Diplomatic passport’s holders as a package deal.
The BTA essentially aims to formalise the existing procedure for cooperation on the return of irregular migrants between India and Switzerland without introducing any exacting time frames or additional obligations.
If the Bilateral Technical Arrangement with Switzerland is approved by the government as proposed, it would offer an opportunity to use the same as a model template for negotiations on the subject with other EU countries. These countries have been raising the issue regularly with India.
After the meeting of the Cabinet, an official said that 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).