India and Visas When Foreign Nationals Change Employers
India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (”MHA‟) has amended the Frequently Asked Questions (”FAQ‟)1 on work-related visas and has inserted detailed guidelines on the change of employer by a foreign national in India.
• MHA may approve a change of employer only if the foreign national holds a senior/skilled position.
• Applications would be considered for approval by MHA only if the change is between the:
Ø registered holding2 company and its subsidiary or vice versa;
Ø subsidiaries of a registered holding company.
• In other cases, where the foreign national desires to change employer, he or she will be required to return to his or her home country and obtain a fresh EV in the name of the new employer.
• The application for a change of employer should be supported by a certificate of holding/subsidiary relationship, a justification letter, and a ‘no objection’ certificate.
• A change of employer may be permitted only once during the tenure of five years of the original EV. Further, five years of residency on an EV would be counted from the original date of issue of the EV and not from the date of change of employer.
The detailed guidelines issued by MHA have resulted in transparency with regard to the rules on changing of employers by foreign nationals in India. This has come as a welcome relief for many foreign nationals in senior positions, as they may not be required to go back to their home countries and obtain a fresh EV if they intend to change their respective employer in India.