IT industry body National Association of Software and Service Companies has approached the European Union for a single work permit for IT workers, a development that would facilitate free movement of high skilled workers across 27 member states in EU.
"We have submitted our presentation with the EU. We have proposed a creation of a harmonised EU wide fast track single application procedure to issue a single permit (combining work permit, visa and residence permit) for the IT workers temporarily assigned there," Nasscom vice-president, global trade and development, Ameet Nivsarkar said.
He further argued that 'they have a common currency and a common tourist visa, then why not have a single work permit.'
At present, no harmonised set of admission rules and procedures apply across the European Union.
EU has some 27 member states and each state has different regimes for work permit application, making the movement of high-skilled and specialised workers of a company within EU cumbersome.
If an individual working for an IT firm X, which has presence in two or more EU member states, then the person has to seek work permit from all the member states where he intends to work.
"This variety presents obstacles for companies active in global trade in services activities, as complying with national rules and procedures is often onerous, costly and time consuming," he said.
The issue of common work permit assumes significance as despite current global uncertainties, it is expected that the Indian IT-BPO sector would experience further substantial growth in 2009, with an expected growth of 13 per cent in Europe.
India and EU are important trade partners. In 2007, EU services exports to India 2007 stood at 6.7 billion pounds.
Consequently, about 30.10 per cent of Nasscom's business in 2007 was related to Europe -- an increase of 55 per cent in comparison to 2004.
The Nasscom presentation asks the European Commission to consider a common work visa for intra-corporate transferees (ICT).
Describing the difference between migrants and ICTs, Nasscom said in the presentation that "in contrast to economic migrants, ICTs are linked to the business of the company they work for."
The deployment of ICTs, who are typically specialists, senior managers or project managers, is dependent on a company's proprietary framework for carrying out business projects.
The demand for ICTs also correlates with the performance of the EU's economy: in times of economic growth, the demand of certain service and need for ICTs goes up; in times of recession the demand naturally goes down."