Provident Fund is a compulsory investment scheme by the Indian Government for the employees. It is a compulsory retirement saving scheme managed and audited by the Government Authorities. The basic idea of this scheme is the betterment of the employees when are unable to work and are physically retired from work.

During October 2008, Employee Provident Fund extended its coverage from Domestic Workers to International Workers.


Para (2) (ja) of Employee Provident Fund Scheme states:-

“International Worker” means-

(a)   An Indian Employee having worked or going to work in a foreign country which India has entered into a Social Security Agreement and being eligible to avail the benefits under a social security program  of that country, by virtue of the eligibility gained or going to gain under the said agreement;

(b)   An employee other than an Indian Employee, holding other than an Indian Passport, working for an establishment in India to which the Act Applies.

Accordingly, an Indian Establishment, having its coverage under Employees Provident Fund & Misc. Provisions, 1952 employing Foreign Workers are covered under the same. The coverage of the International Workers shall be from 1st November 2008.


International Workers are exempted if the worker holds passport of the Country with which India has signed a Social Security Agreement and/or member is contributing to a Social Security Program of the Country with whom India has signed a Social Security Agreement.

Currently, India has entered into Social Security Agreement with following Countries:




Grand Duchy of Luxembourg



Republic of Korea





Czech Republic









The monthly pay shall be payable as per the Para 29 of the Scheme which includes Basic Wages, Dearness Allowance, Retaining Allowance and Cash Value of any food Concession excluding House Rent Allowance.

However, the pay of member exceeds INR 15,000.00 per month, the contribution payable to EPF Contribution account shall to be pay as per the Para 29 of the Scheme without any limit.

Settlement of Claims:

International Worker holding passport of the Country with whom India has not yet entered into Social Security Agreement can withdraw their money at the attainment of the age of 58 thorough their Indian Bank account or through their Employer’s Indian Bank Account. Moreover, pension withdrawal is only available to the Employees holding passport of Country having Social Security Agreement with India.

Author of this article is Sharan Shah, Paralegal at HMP Consultancy Services.