India – New dialogue with government on spouse employment20 May 2013
This week, Permits Foundation will hold a Round Table meeting with government Ministries in Delhi to promote a simple visa system by which spouses of intra-company transferees can work in India.
Two years ago, the Ministry of Home Affairs Foreigners Division acknowledged our concerns with a guideline on the Conversion of ‘X’ (Entry) visa of the spouse of an employee on intra-company transfer into Employment (E) Visa. This created a special sub-category of X Visa holders, the spouse of an intra-company transferee, and removed the requirement for them to return to the home country to apply for an Employment Visa. While we welcomed this as a first-step, it falls short of the best practice in a growing number of countries where the spouse may take up employment or self-employment for the duration of the assignment.
The Indian Employment Visa is conditional on an offer of a highly skilled job with a minimum salary of $25,000 per year. This continues to be a barrier for professional spouses who wish to take temporary or part-time project work or self-employment. Such spouses may not have a job offer or even a single employer as foreseen in the visa norms. As a result, a number of spouses fail to qualify for an Employment visa and highly skilled employees continue to have reservations about accepting an assignment in India.
Permits Foundation believes the time is right to move to a system where spouses of intra-company transferees are simply permitted to work or be self-employed througout the assignment. There are now 29 countries that have such a system, which benefits Indian families when they transfer abroad.
The foundation has written to the ministries of Home Affairs, External Affairs, Commerce and Industry, and Human Resource Development to seek support for the change. Read also our formal representation.
The Round Table Meeting, which will take place on 23 May, will bring together representatives of the ministries, sponsors of Permits Foundation and other global and Indian international companies, international organizations and business councils.
If you can contribute to this discussion, please contact:
Kathleen van der Wilk-Carlton email@example.com or
Supriyo Gupta firstname.lastname@example.org.
For current information on employment visas in India, see our Country Info page.
Read more about our previous work with India: