Consulates Request Labor Market Information on Visa Applications

18 Dec 13

INDIA

IMPACT – Medium

What is the change? Some Indian consulates are now requiring that companies sponsoring foreign nationals to work in India provide labor market information and additional supporting documentation for certain employment visa applications.

What does the change mean? When requested, employers must submit a letter with their application, certifying that the skills of the foreign worker are not available in India and, in some cases, prove that they tried to hire an Indian for the job.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment visas.
  • Who is affected: Companies and assignees applying at Indian consulates, particularly in the U.S., Canada and certain European and Middle Eastern countries, for employment visas.
  • Impact on processing times: While the impact on processing times is minimal, employers may have to provide additional documentation at the time of application when requested by consular officers.
  • Business impact: No immediate impact on business. However, the change in policy is one of many signals of tightening rules on foreign labor. Depending on how strictly they are applied, these rules may impact foreign assignments in India in the long run.
  • Next steps: Employers should be prepared to respond to labor market questions when submitting employment visa applications and to provide necessary supporting documentation.

Background: Indian consulates and embassies, particularly in the U.S., Canada and some countries in Europe and the Middle East, have started requesting labor market information upon submission of employment visa applications for foreign workers.

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs states in their “FAQs about Work-Related Visas Issued by India” that an “employment visa shall not be granted for jobs for which qualified Indians are available.”

To show that they are not supplanting a qualified Indian worker, employers applying for employment visas may be asked to submit a letter certifying that the foreign worker is a skilled professional, expert or management-level employee whose skills are not fulfilled by an Indian candidate. The consular officer can also ask for proof that the employer tried to hire an Indian worker for the position, such as a job advertisement.

BAL Analysis: Employers should be prepared to provide a certification letter regarding the applicant’s qualifications and to show job advertisements in case they are asked for additional proof beyond the typical supporting documents requested in the visa application.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in India. For additional information, please contact GlobalVisaGroup@balglobal.com.

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