Though it is not mandatory for Indian workers to subscribe to the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme (EPFS), international workers are mandated to contribute 12% of their basic salary to the EPFS. Further, the employers are also required to match an equal amount as their contribution to the scheme.
So if you are an international worker, you need to enrol to the PF scheme from the first day of your employment. International workers drawing salary in any currency are to be covered.
Who is a global worker?
A global worker may be a foreign national or an Indian employee working in a foreign country that has a social security agreement (SSA) with India. Such Indian staff need not contribute under the social security programme of the said country on the basis of documents.
Any foreign national, with a working visa, is termed an international worker if he is working in an establishment in India to which the Employees' Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 applies. Typically, factories and establishments employing 20 or more people are covered under the PF Act. The PF rule would not be applicable to a foreign employee of an employer, which is not liable to paying PF.
The PF regulations will be applicable to total salary, irrespective of whether the salary is remunerated in India or outside India, split payroll, or multiple country sources. The exemption from making contributions for employees earning a salary above Rs6,500 per month does not apply to international workers. International workers from countries not covered by SSA will not be able to withdraw accumulated balance at the end of their employment in India until they attain 58 years or on prescribed medical grounds.