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Expats Working in India

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: January 2015

Permission to Work

To work in India, you will need proof of prospective employment and a valid employment or business visa. You may be required to produce a negative AIDS test result before you are permitted to have a residence permit.

A business visa will allow you to conduct business in India for up to six months, but only for a foreign company. For longer-term employment with an Indian firm, or to do voluntary work in India, you will need an Employment (E) visa. This visa is valid for a maximum of five years, though it may be possible to extended it after this period.Note that the visa validity may not be the same as that of your empouyem,tn contract. A recently introduced additional requirement to obtain an Employment visa is a minimum anticipated salary of US$25,000. Applications must be made in your home country; typically the application process will be outsourced to a private company.


Working Conditions

In India, working conditions for expats differ significantly depending on whether you work for an international business based in India or for a local business - and even at local level, there are considerable differences from one employer to another.

International companies usually offer the same benefits to their employees as the ones employees would, for example, receive in the USA or Europe, depending on the ownership of the company. This means that employees can expect to receive the same salaries and benefits as they would if they worked in the USA or Europe. International businesses often also offer additional benefits such as housing allowances, paid trips home once or twice a year, and full healthcare coverage.

Expats working for Indian companies are likely to receive lower salaries than they would in comparable companies in Europe or in the USA. So, to avoid any disappointments, make sure to get enough information on the salary and living costs in India prior to your move. Note also that all Indian states have provisions for minimum wages. To check the current minimum wages in the area of your choice have a look at the Paycheck website.

Generally, employees in Indian companies get a minimum of 1 day of paid leave for each 20 days worked. In addition to that, there are around 15-20 public holidays, depending on which state you live in. Certain employees grant additional leave to expats to travel home once a year. Employees are normally also entitled to sick leave and maternity leave, yet regulations differ according to the state you work in and according to your income.

For more information on working conditions in India have a look at the PayCheck website and consult the website of the Labour Department of the respective Indian state you will be living in. See for example, the Labour Department of Delhi or Labour Department of Maharashtra.

Wages for most positions will probably be lower than you will be used to, at about a quarter of those in the West. However, relatively speaking, the cost of living is lower still, so you should have no problem living comfortably. Meanwhile, senior management position can earn you as much as US$100,000, allowing you to live very comfortably.

This page gives details on the working conditions and the immigration procedures necessary to obtain work in India. For more information about working in India, see our Employment and Business articles.




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