IKAN report: are you eligible to work in India?

With multinational organisations setting up in India the numbers of relocations there are on the rise. What are the eligibility requirements for relocating families to work in India?

Travelling to India
A foreign national planning to work in India and hence become a resident needs to meet various criterias and fulfil a number of statutory compliances.India, unlike other countries, does not have a work permit system – instead has an Employment Visa which needs to be acquired at the closest Indian embassy or conulate. Closest is defined as the nearest destination to the current city of residence of the applicant.

Conditions to meet for an Employment Visa 

However, to be granted an Employment Visa, usually for one year, the following conditions are to be met first:
  1. The applicant should be a highly skilled and/or qualified professional, who is being engaged or appointed by a company, firm, organisation, industry or undertaking in India on contract or employment basis
  2. Employment visas shall not be granted for jobs for which qualified Indians are available, as well as for routine or secretarial/clerical jobs
  3. The foreign national should be seeking to visit India for employment in a company, firm, organisation registered in India or for employment in a foreign company/firm/organisation engaged for execution of a project in India
  4. The foreign national being sponsored for an Employment Visa in any sector should draw a salary in excess of USD 25,000 per annum. However, this condition of annual floor limit on income will not apply to: (1) Ethnic Cooks, (2) Language Teachers (other than English Language Teachers) and Translators, (3) Staff Working for the concerned Embassy, High Commission or consulate in India, and, (4) Honrary work with the NGOs regsitered in India, without salary. Except for these exempted catogories, Employment Visa applications will entirley be rejected if they do not meet the minimum salary conditions
  5. Foreign Nationals coming to India are required to possess a genuine and valid national passport or any other internationally recognised travel document establishing his or her nationality and identity and bearing photograph of the foreigner
  6. The foreign national must comply with all legal requirements such as payment of tax liabilities, etc.
  7. The foreign national must submit proof of his or her employment, contract or engagement letter, issued by the employing company, firm or organisation in India. In addition proof of educational qualifications and professional expertise must be submitted
  8. The documents or papers pertaining to the proposed employment, like the registration of the company under the Companies Act, proof of registration of the firm in the state Industries Department or the Export Promotion Council concerned, or any recognised promotional body in the field of industry or trade etc. will be thoroughly checked to the decide the category of visa that may be issued to the foreigner
  9. The name of the sponsoring company, firm, employer or organisation shall clearly be stipulated in the Employment Visa sticker

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Foreign nationals eligible to work in India

In addition, following are the categories of foreign nationals eligible to work in India: 
  1. Foreign nationals coming to India for employment in a company, firm or organisation registered in India or for employment in a foreign company, firm or organisation engaged for execution of some project in India
  2. Foreign nationals coming to India as consultant on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration (this may not be in the form of a monthly salary)
  3. Foreign artists engaged to conduct regular performances for the duration of the employment contract given by Hotels, Clubs, other organisations
  4. Foreign nationals taking up emploment as coaches of national or state level teams or reputed sports clubs
  5. Foreign sportsperson, who is given a contract for a specified period by the Indian Clubs or organisations
  6. Self-Employment, Foreign nationals coming to India to provide engineering, medical, accounting, legal, or such other highly skilled services in their capacity as independent consultants provided the provision of such services by foreign nationals is permitted under law
  7. Foreign Lanugage Teachers or Interpreters
  8. Foreign Specialist Cooks
  9. Foreign Engineers or Technicians coming to India for installation and commissioning of equipment, machines or tools in terms of the contract for supply of such equipment, machine or tools
  10. Foreign nationals deputed for provided technical support/services, transfer of know-how/services for which the Indian company pays fees/royalty to the foreign company

Family visas and extensions

Accompanying family members of these foreign nationals can also apply for Dependent Visas and these would be granted co terminus with the Principal Employment Visa.Once an Empoyment Visa is secured, it can subsequently only be extended within India. The foreign national must be in compliance to get an extension, which can be secured for an additional year and subsequently year on year to a maximum of five years only. Some of the critical compliances are: 
  • Residential permit.
  • PAN card
  • Tax returns and advance tax receipts.
The Indian government may also introduce the requirement and provision of the foreign national resident in India to have an AADHAR card, which is a unique Identification number.Information provided by IKAN Relocation Services.
Read more about current issues facing global mobility professionals in the Winter issue of our magazine.
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