Foreign Nationals Seeking Indian Employment Visas Must be Paid in India | Changes Announced at Certain Posts
Foreign nationals seeking Indian employment visas must now be paid their salaries in India. Changes to this effect were introduced in the document requirements by Indian Consular posts or their third-party document support entities (VFS and BLS) in the United States, Germany and Hong Kong (SAR). Applicants in these jurisdictions are required to submit proof that they will receive their salary in India. It is not clear that the sponsoring entity must pay the salary, or it would suffice if the salary was received in India. We have also learned anecdotally that the FRRO in Chennai is asking for such proof for employment visa extensions.
Previously, foreign nationals could be paid either by the home or the sponsoring entity and proof that the foreign national would receive or has received (for extensions) an adequate salary that would be subject to Indian income tax was sufficient irrespective of where they received the salary or which entity paid the salary. We now expect that the affected consular posts will not only review the minimum salary threshold (of INR 1,625,000 per year) but will also confirm that the salary will be paid by the sponsoring entity in India.
On seeking confirmation from certain Consular posts in the U.S. and the VFS we received no response or responses that neither confirmed nor clarified the position. The Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi, that formulates visa policies, has not made any announcement to this effect as yet.
It appears that these changes were made in the second week of August, but there is no definitive date. Also, it is important to that that in the meantime, employment visa applications filed during the past two weeks, at Indian consular posts in the U.S., have been approved even though the applicants will remain on the home country payroll. We are monitoring the situation and will provide further updates as they become available.