April 28, 2010

Effective immediately, all applications for employment visas to India must be supported by a “justification letter” from the Indian employer.  This letter must justify why a foreign national employee is being hired over an Indian national.  It should include details of the proposed employee’s specialized skills and qualifications, or technical expertise.  If the employee is in a managerial position, this should also be noted.  The letter should also explain why employer has been unable to find a resident worker in India with the relevant skill set.

Background 

The new requirement follows extensive changes to Indian immigration which started in October 2009, when India’s government cracked down on foreign nationals working in India on business visa status, asking thousands of workers to leave the country.  Since then, a raft of changes have been introduced, along with new forms and a quota system for employment visas.  This latest requirement for a “justification letter” is a logical progression from Section B, 5 (i), (ii) and (iii) of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ “Frequently Asked Questions” document, first issued in late October 2009.  That publication is available at this link http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/work_visa_faq.pdf.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

Pro-Link Global is already working pro-actively with all our clients who have been affected by this latest new requirement.  We are offering assistance with the drafting of all required “justification letters”.  We will continue to advise our clients on a case-by-case basis.

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 our PLG |KGNM Correspondent Office in India to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.