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Visas & Skills Recognition Discussed In Australia-UK Trade Negotiations

Trade Ministers for Australia and the United Kingdom, Dan Tehan and Liz Truss, met for the final round of trade negotiations that aim to remove barriers around mutual recognition of skills and increased visa access for young people and professionals.

Dan Tehan CANZUK
Australian Trade Minister, Dan Tehan, travelled to London for the final round of UK trade talks (photo: The Australian)
Written by James Skinner
James is the Founder & Chief Executive of CANZUK International in Toronto, Canada


Tehan indicated during the negotiations that he did not want to fly back to Australia empty handed when two days of talks wrapped up, raising the expectations of a draft deal being close to completion.

“It’s a big commitment to fly across the world, to come here for two days and head back into two weeks of quarantine,” he said, “so I’m very keen to make sure we make as much progress as we possibly can.”

Talks have centered on the removal of tariffs and other barriers to commerce, but a major part of the deal that will set the stage for future CANZUK arrangements includes the recognition of skills between each country and the free movement of people.

The finalized deal will secure special visas for professionals (with potential for fast-tracked applications and approvals), increased mobility for young people and working professionals, and the recognition of qualifications and credentials between each country. The deal will then become a template for greater CANZUK developments in the near future.

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“We’d like to see as much as possible the free flow of people in the professional services space,” Tehan said. “Youth mobility is another area that we’re looking at.

“I think [the UK] also want to see the free movement of people. It’s a matter of how you make these arrangements.”

The UK is Australia’s eighth-largest trading partner, with two-way trade estimated to be worth around $32 billion. Britain is also the second-largest source of total foreign investment in Australia.

Plans are well advanced for the deal to be formally signed when Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits the UK in June for the G7 summit of world leaders.

CANZUK International looks forward to the finalized trade deal between the UK and Australia, and the provisions therein which will provide a platform upon which free movement and trade across all CANZUK countries can develop.

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