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Labour Laws

ISMW Licence: Scope, Process, and Documents

calendar16 Dec, 2022
timeReading Time: 3 Minutes

ISMW stands for Inter-State Migrant Workers. ISMW Licence falls under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979. Every principal employer or contractor who deals with such a class of labour needs to secure this license without fail. Failing to do so can incur severe penalties for the defaulter. This blog will discuss the different aspects of the ISMW Licence in detail, including scope, norms, and procedure.

Scope of ISMW Licence and its Governing Act

  • The legislation applies to every establishment served by five or more inter-state migrant labourers employed any day of the past 12 months. The same rule is also applicable to the contractor.
  • The establishment employing labour from other states must register with the licensing officer appointed by the State/ the Central Government, as the case may be. On the same note, the contractors intending to employ the said labour class must register with the governing authority in the host state & home state of the workers.
  • The contractors are obligated to share the workers’ details with the concerned authority of both the host and home state in the prescribed format. Besides, every recruited workman should be provided with a passbook enclosing the employment details.
  • The wages payable to the migrant workers must come into effect from the date of their recruitment. In addition to such wages, the contractor must also pay the displacement and journey allowance, as and when required.
  • The contractor and principal employee shall be responsible for workplace hygiene and workers’ well-being. They are accountable for providing workers with residential accommodation, apt medical facilities, safety gear, and apparel to combat the diverse climatic conditions.
  • The inspecting officials appointed by the governing authority can vet the premises served by the migrant workmen to make some compliance checks.
  • Any migrant workman (serving the industrial sphere) has the right to file a case with a respective authority against those accountable for misconduct or prejudice he experienced during his employment. He can also choose to transfer proceedings to his home state after the completion of this employment tenure.

Documents required to apply for ISMW Licence

The following are the documents required for ISMW License:

For contractor

  • PAN of the Contractor
  • Agreement with the establishment where the migrant workers are working
  • GST certificate
  • Trade license (applicable in some states)
  • Aadhaar card

For principal employer

  • PAN of the principal employer
  • Incorporation certificate of the firm or partnership deed, depending on the legal structure.
  • Agreement with the contractor who is entitled to supply the migrant workmen
  • Tenancy document
  • GST certificate
  • Aadhaar card

How to apply for ISMW Licence online?

  • Head to the Shram Shuvida portal[1] and log in to the same.
  • Once the dashboard prompts on the screen, tap on the option- Apply for New License.
  • On the next window, check the box near the option “Inter-State Migrant Worker Act.”
  • Once the e-form prompts on your screen, start entering the contractor details such as name, address, email address, contact number,  PAN number,  etc. Hit the Next tab located at the bottom left of the e-form.
  • In the next section, enter the establishment details, such as
    • Registration certificate number
    • Establishment name
    • Name and address of the principal employer
    • Date of registration
    • Email and contact number of the principal employer

Click on the Next tab once you are done with this requirement.

  • Enter the following information in the next section, i.e., Contract with Details.
    • Nature of the work performed in the concerned premises
    • The date on which contract work is proposed to be commenced.
    • Name of the contractor’s manager
    • Location of work
    • Activities as per National Industrial classification
    • Details of Selected NIC code
    • Maximum no. of contract workers to be employed in the establishment on any day
  • Upload the mandatory documents as mentioned below in the acceptable format
  • E-sign the application via a digital signature and head to the payment gateway
  • Use the payment portal for the fee submission.

Penalties for breaching norms of ISMW licence and its governing legislation

Whomsoever breaches any norms concerning the employment of migrant workers or commits any default in relation to the ISMW  licence shall be punishable with a jail term of one year or with a monetary fine of Rs 2000 or with both.

Furthermore, a penalty of Rs 1000/day shall be imposed on those who continue to be in default even after being convicted by the authority.

If any individual breaches any norm for which a penal provision does not exist in the Act, the defaulter shall be subjected to the following penalties;

  • Jail terms of two years;
  • Monetary penalty of Rs 2000;
  • Or both


ISMW Licence is a must-have legal permit for contractors and principal employers dealing with the migrant workforce in India. Those who breach the norms of this license or its governing Act, i.e., the Inter-State Migrant Worker Act, shall face stringent penalties.

Read Our Article: Registration and Licensing of Factories under Factories Act, 1948

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