Indian Employment visas to skilled/highly skilled foreign workers in the IT software and / IT enabled services sectors: exempt from quota

Jul 11

Indian Employment visas to skilled/highly skilled foreign workers in the IT software and / IT enabled services sectors: exempt from quota
Government of India has issued new guidelines for issuance of Indian Employment visas to skilled/highly skilled foreign workers in the IT software and / IT enabled services sectors exempting them from the Indian employment visa quota subject to fulfilling certain conditions. For details please see:
Here is the detailed official text regarding the same:
Criteria to be adopted for issuance of employment visas to skilled/highly skilled foreign workers in the IT software and / IT enabled services sectors.
Visas policy guidelines for issue of employment visa were circulated in the form of advisory prepared by Ministry of Home affairs to all Missions/Posts in July and October, 2009. These guidelines inter-alia fix ceilings for issue of E-visas to the extent of 1% of the total persons employed on a project subject to a maximum 20 employees. The ceiling was subsequently increased to 40 for Steel and Power Industry in December, 2009.
Employment Visas are usually issued to Foreign Workers who come to India to work. Illustratively, this work could be (a) Existing employees of an organisation coming to work in India on a transfer or secondment/deputation; (b) Employees who are recruited overseas and are posted to India for purposes of working here; (c) representatives of customers for whom service delivery happens from India and a need exists to have a senior representative from the customer’s side to oversee the delivery; etc.
Following a review of existing guidelines and in supersession of the abovementioned advisories issued in July and October 2009, it has been decided to adopt the following criteria for the IT software and IT enabled services sectors for issuance of employment visas:
The following three conditions should be satisfied for issue of an Employment Visa to skilled/highly skilled foreign workers in the IT software and IT enabled services sectors:
1. The Sponsor must declare that they are an IT/ITeS company (under the broadly accepted definition of IT / ITeS. Some illustrative examples are provided as an Annexure), AND
2. The Sponsor must confirm that they are an EOU or an STPI Unit or an IT unit delivering services from an SEZ (IT SEZ or an IT unit in an Multi Product SEZ), AND
3. The Foreign Worker that is being sponsored for an Employment Visa draws a salary in excess of USD 25,000/= per annum.
If the above three conditions are satisfied and the applicants are not from PRC countries, the Mission/Post concerned may issue employment visa without prior reference to any authorities in India subject to the following:
i) The Mission/Posts may grant Employment Visa for a period up to 3 years or the term of assignment, whichever is less.
ii) Further extension for a maximum period up to 5 years from the date of issue of initial visa may be granted by the State Governments/UTs/FRROs/FROs, subject to submission of documents relating to extension of Employment Contract, filing of IT returns nothing adverse having come to notice against the foreign national and no local objection.
iii) If the Employment Visa is granted for a period of more than 180 days, it should carry an endorsement to the effect that the Employment Visa holder must register with the FRRO concerned within 14 days of arrival.
Guidelines issued by MHA with respect to security vetting would continue to apply even in respect of such visa applications.
Business Services
Business services comprises: basic voice; specialised voice; basic data; rules-based decisioning; research and analytics; and knowledge services. These segments have been defined based on requisite skill sets. It should be noted that a business service can include multiple or all these segments.
Detailed definitions of each are as follows:
1. Basic voice: These are voice processes which are typically scripted; most of the answers to the queries are found in the database, system and work-flows. These processes require minimal training. Examples include answering credit card queries of customers, customer verification.
2. Specialized voice: These are processes with more complicated interactions, and are unscripted, require trouble-shooting and substantial process and contextual training. Examples include late stage credit card collections, answering queries on term deposits.
3. Basic data: These are processes involving simple data entry and data conversion from one electronic format to another. Examples include updating static data, entering customer request for a new credit card in the system.
4. Rules-based decisioning: This refers to data processing activities based on business rules and guidelines; almost 70 to 80 per cent of the processing is governed by business rules. Examples include payments reconciliations, insurance claims processing.
5. Research and analytics: These refer to activities requiring problem solving, synthesis, data analysis and research skills. Examples include financial ratio analysis for corporate loan, writing industry and company research reports.
6. Knowledge services: These are services not governed by standard rules and require professional skills to execute. Examples include underwriting of insurance policies, risk management in retail finance, medical diagnostic services etc.
Finance & Accounting (F&A;)
F&A; includes activities such as general accounting, transaction management (account receivables and payables management), corporate finance (e.g., treasury and risk management, and tax management); compliance management and statutory reporting.
Technology Serv
Technology services comprises the following nine segments: RIM; application maintenance; custom application development; systems integration, package software implementation and Detailed definitions of each segments are as follows:
1. Remote Infrastructure Management: RIM services consist of remote (outside the physical premises of a company’s facilities) monitoring and managing of infrastructure components. This is done through a combination of offshore/near-shore/global delivery centre, where skilled staff of a service provider monitors and manages the infrastructure, ensuring uptimes and availability. These services cover the entire spectrum of IT infrastructure, such as helpdesk, desktops, server and storage, databases, telecom, networks and security, as well as infrastructure consulting.
2. Application maintenance: These services are generally technical support, break/fix services or minor enhancements that are delivered for specific software products or applications. These services include revenue derived from long-term technical support contracts or pay-as-you-go, incident-based support. Application maintenance services typically include remote troubleshooting capabilities, installation assistance and basic usability assistance.
3. Custom application development: Custom application development creates new software applications or major enhancements to support any added functionality required by clients. These applications are customized for individual clients.
4. Systems integration, package software implementation and support: Integration services are detailed design, implementation and management services that link applications (custom or prepackaged) to each other, or with the established or planned IT infrastructure. Specific activities might include project planning, project management, detailed design or implementation of application programming interfaces. These also includes installation and ongoing maintenance of software packages (e.g., ERP or CRM solutions) and covers services such as migration, upgrades, global rollouts, installation, ongoing production support.
5. IT & Management consulting: These are advisory services that help clients assess different technology strategies and, in doing so, align their technology strategies with their business or process strategies. These services support customers’ Management & IT initiatives by providing strategic, architectural, operational and implementation planning.
6. Embedded systems: Include services such as chip design — ASIC, Mechatronics — integration of electronic and mechanical design, embedded software design, board design, testing and prototyping. Major industries that use such services are communication systems — handsets and infrastructure, computing and storage and medical equipment.
7. Plant engineering: Include services such as plant layout, plant design, including detailed design, material flow simulations, process simulation, process automation and optimization. Oil and gas, food processing, chemical industries and consumer packaged goods are some of the major industries where such services are required
8. Product design: Includes services such as two- and three-dimensional design (including design conversions), detailed design, other kinds of engineering design services, production engineering — tooling, fixtures, assembly line design, etc.; and testing, rapid/final prototyping. Key skills required to deliver such services are CAD, CAM, human simulation, virtual testing (FEA, CFD, CAE) and physical testing. Major industries that use such services are automotive, aerospace, industrial products and construction equipment.
9. Products: Development of multi-client software products, thereby taking on the responsibilities of all aspects of the product lifecycle — R&D;, prototyping, development, testing, maintenance, support and development of next generation of the products.

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