India – Permits Foundation continues to campaign for right to work for spouses of intra-corporate transferees16 December 2016
Permits Foundation has written again to the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Kiren Rijiju, to follow up on our proposal for a new intra-corporate transfer visa that would also allow accompanying spouses to work during an assignment to India.
At a previous meeting in June 2016, together with a delegation of international companies, we updated the Minister on the positive consultations we have had with the Foreigners’ Division and other interested ministries on our proposal. Similar meetings in 2015 with the Minister of State for Home Affairs and the Minister of State for External Affairs indicated broad support for the visa policy change, which would help to make India a preferred destination for global talent, in line with the Prime Minister’s goal to attract more foreign investment to support economic growth. However, despite the consensus that this would be a progressive step, action still has to be taken.
We are continuing to keep abreast of deliberations and hope to see a green light for policy change in 2017.
Internationally, 30 other countries now grant a right to work for spouses of intra-corporate transferees or other highly skilled staff and Indian families benefit from these measures when assigned abroad. Brazil is the latest country to adopt best practice this year, allowing the family members of temporary work visa holders to work or be self-employed.
We believe it is essential that India keeps pace with the trend of allowing accompanying spouses to work if it wants to attract talent and investment. This is also an important issue for international employers who experience work permit difficulties for spouses as a hurdle to mobility of their globally assigned staff.