The United Kingdom (UK) and Pakistan have finalised an agreement for the return of illegal immigrants and the sharing of data on criminals.

The agreement, aimed at tackling migration, was finalised during UK Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft’s “productive two-day visit to Pakistan”, according to a statement.

Rycroft and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Shahzad Akbar finalised negotiations on the UK-Pakistan Readmissions Agreement which will ensure the return of illegal migrants who have no lawful basis to remain in the country.

It was decided that the agreement will be presented to the federal cabinet in the coming weeks in order to be implemented by the end of the year, subject to cabinet approval.

The ground-breaking agreement will enable the sharing of criminal records between the UK and Pakistani authorities to support effective law enforcement cooperation between the two countries.

“The UK is committed to working with Pakistan to develop an effective partnership on migration as part of a deep and mutually beneficial relationship,” the statement issued by the British High Commission in Pakistan read.

During his visit, Rycroft also spoke about the UK Home Office’s new immigration system that will level the global playing field to those wishing to come to the UK, it said, adding Pakistani students will benefit from new graduate routes, providing an excellent opportunity for Pakistani students to enter into skilled roles in the UK job market.