The Union Ministry of Labour & Employment & Training has
recently issued revised guidelines in relation to Employment
Visa's ("EV") issued to foreign nationals. The
guidelines are intended to stem the influx of unskilled labour into
India, thereby giving the Indian workforce a greater chance for
employment opportunities. The gist of the guidelines is to restrict
the issuance of EVs to 1% of the total number of workers working on
a project with a minimum of five workers and a maximum of twenty
workers, except in the case of the power and steel sector. In the
case of the power and steel sector, the maximum limit has been
temporarily increased to forty workers till June 2010.
This change in process is causing consternation amongst
companies concerned with staffing needs whilst bearing in mind the
quota restrictions. The application process is also being tightened
up with much more information required to be divulged to the Indian
High Commissions and Embassies/Consulates abroad. There is no clear
indication that this quota system is meant to apply only to
specific sectors or certain categories of workers. Further
clarifications are expected by the Indian Government to answer
these queries and streamline the process.
On the flipside, communication from the Indian Government
suggests that rules may be relaxed that prohibit foreigners on
B-visas from working in India for the multi billion dollar IT
sector that requires foreign expertise to operate smoothly.
Observing some merit in the demands of the IT industry, the Indian
Government is in the process of streamlining activities such as
training which would allow foreign nationals on B-visas to work for
short periods even without permits.
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In response to growing demands to introduce dual citizenship from its overseas diaspora,
India introduced the concept of the person of Indian origin (a "PIO") in 2002 and an overseas
citizen of India (an "OCI") in 2006 as categories of persons who enjoy certain legal rights in
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