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EIG Week in Review (March 21, 2014)

March 21, 2014

Highlights

  • Belgium and Luxembourg Increase  Salary Requirements for Blue Card Program
  • India Imposes Additional Requirements on Foreign Companies in Hyderabad 
  • Potential Improvements to Welcoming Conditions at French Prefectures

Belgium and Luxembourg Increase Salary Requirements for Blue Card Program

Belgium increased the annual gross salary threshold requirement for its European Blue Card program from €49,995 to €50,974.  Foreign nationals submitting initial and renewal Blue Card applications that fail to meet the new minimum salary will be rejected.   The Federal Public Service of Employment and Labor performs an annual review of minimum salary requirements for Belgian work authorization programs and adjusts the minimum salary accordingly.  The regional employment agency where the work permit application is filed enforces compliance with salary requirements.

Luxembourg also increased the minimum annual gross salary requirements for its European Blue Card program from €67,842 to €69,858. Foreign nationals submitting initial and renewal Blue Card applications that fail to meet the new threshold will be rejected.   The Ministry of Employment adjusts the minimum salary for Blue Card holders annually, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the work permit application is filed, enforces compliance with salary requirements.


India Imposes Additional Requirements on Foreign Companies in Hyderabad 

Foreign companies with a registered office in India are now required to provide Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals for registration and extension applications at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Hyderabad.   All foreign companies that establish a local office in India must apply for approval and maintain record of the approval with the legal or secretarial department of its Indian office.

If the FIPB approval is not available, a copy of the Reserve Bank of India approval for the sponsoring Indian office may be acceptable, but this decision is ultimately at the discretion of the FRRO.  At this time, the FRRO has not imposed new or additional documentary requirements for Indian companies.


Potential Improvements to Welcoming Conditions at French Prefectures

The French Ministry of Interior recently drafted a Directive aimed at improving the welcoming conditions and reducing the number of times foreign nationals are required to go to French Prefectures.  This document shows willingness on the part of the French government to better welcome foreign nationals in France, but the implementation of the Directive remains dependent upon the good faith practice of the Prefectures and allocated resources.