For businesses expanding globally, it can be a challenge to find the best local talent. In a recent survey, 40% of global employers reported a talent shortage. With more jobs than workers, employers must work harder to get a qualified candidate into the right role. If you’re looking abroad, the work authorization process can add more complications.
Many businesses look in other countries for workers to combat this issue, specifically in India. However, they have to navigate a complex visa system. Here is a brief primer on how to obtain work authorization in India.
Eligibility for Work Authorization in India
The Indian government issues an “E” visa for foreigners trying to become employed in the country. It is important to note that the individual applicant must have an employment contract directly with the Indian entity.
Categories of workers eligible for an “E” visa include:
- Consultants who are getting paid a fixed sum versus a monthly salary
- Independent consultants in highly skilled fields such as engineering, accounting, and medicine
- Individuals who provide training or knowledge transfer to an Indian company for which the company pays a fee or royalty to the employer of the individual
- Senior management or specialists who are transferred to India for a specific project or management assignment
Just because someone is able to work in one of these areas does not guarantee acceptance. Each applicant should also be able to prove:
- The worker is a highly skilled professional working with a contract in a technical job, managerial position, or senior executive
- The job offered to the foreign worker cannot be filled by a local worker
- The worker will make more than US$ 25,000 (with additional exceptions)
The Application Process
To apply for a visa in India, an applicant begin with an online application form, which then goes to the local Indian consulate. Through the online application, the system automatically directs applicants to make an appointment and pay the necessary fees. It also generates an ID number that applicants should keep for all future correspondence.
The applicant then attends a meeting at the local consulate and must provide supporting documentation. The consulate requires a minimum of three days to process the visa; however, be prepared for possible delays.
Receiving Work Authorization in India
An “E” visa offers multiple entries and can be extended annually. While a visa is usually valid for one year, there are ways to obtain a visa for a longer term. For example, foreign technicians may have a visa for up to five years or the length of a bilateral agreement between India and another country. Workers in the IT sector can get a visa for up to three years.
Once in India, foreign workers that have visas valid for more than 180 days must register with the Foreign Registration Office within 14 days of arrival. They will issue a residential permit for the length of the visa.
Utilize the Expertise of an International Partner
If you’re hiring employees in India and need to better understand the work authorization process, our team can help. With services including immigration, recruiting, and International PEO, Velocity Global helps to streamline the global expansion process – wherever you go. Get in touch with us today to learn more.