To address the issue of electronics companies facing skilled manpower shortages due to delays in getting visas for Chinese personnel, the government has decided to give six-month business visas to those executives who need to come for commissioning, installation, expansion, quality control, and maintenance of the manufacturing units.
Several companies had earlier written to the ministry of electronics and information technology (Meity) to help them secure visas for Chinese engineers. Their expertise was necessary to set up new manufacturing units for making smartphones and other electronic equipment. The demand for Chinese engineers will further expand with implementing production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for IT hardware and telecom.
“The visa issue has been sorted out. A six-month business visa will be given to personnel coming here for commissioning, installation, expansion, quality control, and maintenance of electronics manufacturing units. If the work requires more than six months, an employment visa needs to be taken,” said a source privy to the details. The source further said staff involved in operations won’t be given a business visa, and they need to get an employment visa. The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has shared the guidelines with concerned departments.
The expertise of Chinese engineers and technicians is necessary to set up manufacturing units as most of them are shifting from China. Over the last few months, there has been a surge in visa applications as companies ramp up production capacity to meet the PLI targets.
According to sources, most companies, barring Samsung, have failed to meet production targets for FY2020-21 for the smartphone PLI scheme due to lockdowns, stuck supplies of components, travel restrictions because of suspension of international flights, etc. The demand for rolling over their first-year production targets to second and third-year has still not favored the government.