Luxembourg may ease visa restrictions for Indian professionals

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Luxembourg, a major financial hub of Europe, has hinted it would ease visa restrictions for Indian professionals in specific areas of employment.

"We will look at relaxing visa rules in specific sectors," said Luxembourg's Economic Minister Jeann Krecke. His statement was in response to criticism from visiting Indian journalists who pointed out that the overall visa regime in Europe was not friendly toward movement of Indian professionals, particularly in the Information Technology sector.

Access to the service market in Europe has been a sore spot between New Delhi and the European Union. However, Luxembourg's Ambassador to India, Paul Steinmetz, recently commented that India could provide valuable accounting services. India's largest software and services company, Tata Consultancy Services, has already set up shop in Luxembourg and plans to expand operations.

Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said the Luxembourg government will consider upgrading the Luxembourg Embassy in Delhi so it can issue visas. It currently does not have that ability. Asselborn will pay a five-day visit to India on 19 February where the topic of movement will be a key issue in talks with Indian officials.

There is hope that Luxembourg could take a lead in changing European visa difficulties for India. The country is no stranger to foreign workers ... many thousands of people cross the border every day from neighboring Germany, France and Belgium to work.


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