In a bid to keep foreigners from working in non-specialised or technical jobs, India has made it clear that they would be taken only for highly-skilled work and provided they drew a salary of not less than $25,000 a year.
In an order, the home ministry has nullified a labour ministry circular capping the strength of foreign workforce to 1 per cent of the total strength in any project, with a minimum of five and maximum of 20 people.
According to analysts, the nullification would especially benefit power and steel projects.
"An employment visa is granted to a foreigner if the applicant is a highly skilled and / or qualified professional, who is being engaged or appointed by a company/organisation/ industry/undertaking in India on contract or employment basis," the Home Ministry guidelines say.
Also the ministry added that employment visa would not be granted for jobs which could be filled by qualified Indians and also for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.
"The foreign national being sponsored for an employment visa in any sector should draw a salary in excess of $25,000 per annum," the order says.
However, the income condition would not apply to ethnic cooks, language teachers (other than English), staff working for the Embassy/High Commission concerned in India.
The order makes it clear that employment visa applications would be entertained by Indian missions abroad only in case of foreign nationals being skilled and qualified professionals, technical experts, senior executives or in managerial positions and skills which are not available in India.