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Indian Institutes of Technology ease visa barriers to attract foreign faculty

India’s government continues to advance internationalisation processes and it’s strive for world class institutions. This time round the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are supported in attracting and employing top talent from oversees to conduct teaching and research endeavours, via a relaxed regulatory regime for visa applications. According to several local news sources, including the Hindustan times and The Economic Times, foreign academics are now exempt from requiring prior visa clearance, previously needed from both the Ministry of external affairs (MEA) and Home Affairs (MHA), alleviating a hurdle that could cause lengthy delays ranging between six to 18 months.   

IIT’s had struggled with extensive approval procedures applied to every foreign faculty, arguably not only affecting the attractiveness of positions but leading international talent to decline research and teaching appointments. The relaxed rules in clearance procedures shall also apply to visiting academics and scientific conference attendees.

Negations are on the way to breaking down a further major barrier, that necessitates oversees faculty to meet a minimum annual income requirement of 16 lakh (aproximatly EUR 22 000). Decreasing the income threshold to about 9.1 lakh (approximately EUR12 500) to attain work visas, could very soon come into effect, making it easier for a diversity of institutes to hire foreign faculty across a range of professional levels.

These developments go hand in hand with a decision of the IIE council to systematically upscale the number of foreign academics. The relaxed visa regime should support the council's plans of attracting and identifying promising candidates, by incentivising those international graduates from top universities to make a career move at an Indian Institute of Technology.

Hindustantimes - Visa process for foreign faculty in IITs made easier to attract overseas talent