India to restrict job visas to highly skilled foreigners

In an order, the Home Ministry nullified a Labour Ministry circular which allows one per cent foreigners among the total work force in any project with a minimum of five and maximum of 20 people.

"An employment visa is granted to a foreigner if the applicant is a highly skilled and/or qualified professional, who is being engaged or appointed by a company/organisation/ industry/undertaking in India on contract or employment basis," according to the Home Ministry guidelines.

Besides, the ministry made it clear that employment visa shall not be granted for jobs for which qualified Indian are available and also for routine, ordinary or secretarial/ clerical jobs. "The foreign national being sponsored for an employment visa in any sector should draw a salary in excess of USD 25,000 per annum," it says.

However, this condition of annual floor limit on income will not apply to ethnic cooks, language teachers (other than English), staff working for the Embassy/High Commission concerned in India.


The Labour Ministry had ordered that visa applications could be cleared by the Indian missions abroad at their level if the foreign national is skilled and qualified professional, technical experts, senior executives or in managerial positions and those kinds of skills which are not available in India.

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