January 14, 2010

As Pro-Link GLOBAL Group 3, LLC previously advised in September and December 2009, the quest for change continues, as India adds yet more requirements to the ever growing list of Employment Visa “Must Have” documents.

Pro-Link GLOBAL has learned that the India Consulates in the USA, via their appointed outsourcing firm, have added two new forms to the ever growing list of documents to be provided when filing for an Employment Visa.

The first new form is called “For Application of Visa to India”. This form asks a series of questions including “Capacity of the Plant” and “Total Cost Involved”.  There is no guidance provided as to what the content should be if the employee is not going to a “Plant” , nor what monetary amounts are to be included in the “Total Cost Involved”.

The second new form, has no official name. It does however, repeat the same questions as asked in the form indicated above. It asks for example ” Total Cost”, again without any guidance as to what should actually be included in the answer.

It also asks a specific question namely, the purpose for which the visa is sought, and limits the answer to two ( 2) choices.

The first choice is “Construction” and the second choice is “Commissioning”. There is no other purpose listed on the unnamed form. This is clearly misleading and confusing, if your company is neither in Construction nor in Commissioning, which speaks to Engineering companies.

This is addition to the Tax Liability letter that was required in December 2009. This letter must be issued by the India Employer and must state and certify the following:

  1. Foreigners being hired will not exceed 1% of total workforce.
  2. Within 1%, Foreigners should not exceed more than 20 employees.

This means, that employers in India, who already have more than 20 foreign workers employed AND who exceed the 1% quota, will not be permitted to bring any more foreigners to India until further notice. There is a move within the MHA to increase the amount to 40 foreign workers for 2010, but that is still in flux currently.

In cases where the number of foreign employees is within 1% of the workforce, but more than 20, employers should set expectations appropriately with their employees, that there may be a delay in decisions made on the issuance of the visa.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.

Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with PLG | KGNM to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.