File IW-1 Return- International Worker Monthly Return Under EPFO

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • January 18, 2024
file IW-1 return

This comprehensive guide elaborates on the crucial filing of monthly returns (IW-1) for international workers to the EPFO. It explains the step-by-step process of filing through the Employer e-Sewa portal. Besides, realizing the significance of accurate and timely filing, the blog also discusses potential consequences arising due to the non-filing of the IW-1 returns. It aims at giving employers a clearer picture of this EPFO compliance discussing all its requirements at great length. Read further to enhance your knowledge.

The employer of an establishment to which EPF Scheme applies is required to send a consolidated return of international workers within 15 days of application, and a monthly return indicating workers qualifying to become members and leaving service. The return should include basic wage, retaining allowance, dearness allowance, and food concession details. The employer must send a ‘Nil’ return if there are no international workers. The EPFO reviews the progress based on the monthly return, and the employer is directed to state whether any international worker is employed or sends a ‘Nil’ return.

What is the IW-1 Return Filed to the EPFO?

IW-1 is a monthly return that employers in India are required to file with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) for their international workers. The IW-1 return must be filed in Form 5 within 15 days of the close of each month and includes details such as the names, nationalities, and Universal Account Numbers (UANs) of international workers who are eligible to become members of the EPF for the first time during the preceding month.
Additionally, the return must include declarations in Form 2 furnished by qualifying international workers, as well as a list of international workers who have left the employer’s service during the preceding month. Employers must also provide details of the basic wage, retaining allowance (if any), dearness allowance, and cash value of any food concession paid to each international worker.
Employers must file accurate and timely IW-1 returns to ensure that their international workers can avail the benefits of the EPF scheme without any hassle. The EPFO reviews the progress based on the monthly return filed by the employer. If there are no international workers, the employer is required to send a ‘Nil’ return.

Step-by-Step Process to File the IW-1 Return

The IW-1 return for international workers in India is filed online through the EPFO’s Employer e-Sewa portal. Begin by logging in at Once on the dashboard, navigate to the “Monthly IW-1 (International Workers)”, access the form and fill in the requisite details. Upload necessary documents to complete the process. The step wise guide below will help you in your endeavours:
  • Visit the Employer e-Sewa portal (
  • Log in to the portal using your employer credentials.
  • Click on the “Monthly IW-1 (International Workers)” option under the “Monthly Contribution” tab on the dashboard.
  • Enter the required details, such as the month and year for which the return is being filed and select the establishment and the international workers eligible to become EPF members.
  • Upload the necessary documents, such as Form 5 and Form 2 declarations for each eligible international worker, along with the list of international workers who have left the employer’s service during the month.
  • Verify the details and submit the return.

Consequences of Not Filing IW-1 Returns

Timely and accurate filing of IW-1 returns is paramount for employers, serving as a vital compliance measure under EPF regulations. Failure to meet the due date leads to adverse consequences, including penalties from the EPFO and other legal actions, varying with delay periods and the number of international workers. A few of these consequences have been listed below to help you get a clear picture of the necessity of IW-1 return filing.
  1. Penalty: The EPFO can impose a penalty on the employer for not filing the IW-1 return on time. The penalty amount may vary depending on the period of delay and the number of international workers involved.
  2. Legal action: The EPFO may take legal action against the employer for non-compliance with EPF regulations. This can result in fines, imprisonment, or both.
  3. Inconvenience to international workers: Non-filing of the IW-1 return can cause inconvenience to international workers who are eligible to become members of the EPF scheme. They may not be able to avail the benefits of the scheme, such as retirement savings and pension, due to the employer’s negligence.

Filing IW-1 monthly returns is pivotal for employers as it ensures compliance with EPFO regulations and facilitates seamless benefits to international workers. While the process may seem intricate, our step-by-step guide makes it easy to understand and follow. Timely and accurate IW-1 submissions not only fulfill regulatory obligations but also contribute to the smooth functioning of the EPF scheme. Need any assistance? Feel free to contact us today!



Q1: Why is filing IW-1 returns to EPFO important for employers?

Filing IW-1 returns is crucial as it ensures compliance with EPF regulations, allowing international workers to access benefits seamlessly. It also helps employers avoid penalties, legal actions, and potential inconveniences for their workforce.

Q2: What is the IW-1 return filing process?

IW-1 return filing process includes:
  1. Visiting the Employer E-Sewa Portal
  2. Logging In with your credentials 
  3. Accessing the IW-1 form 
  4. Attaching Documents 
  5. Paying the Prescribed Fees
  6. Submitting IW-1 Returns online

Q3: What happens if IW-1 returns are not filed on time?

Delayed IW-1 filings can result in penalties imposed by the EPFO, varying based on the period of delay and the number of international workers involved. Non-compliance may escalate to legal actions, impacting employers with fines, imprisonment, or both.

Q4: Can filing IW-1 returns benefit international workers directly?

Absolutely. Timely and accurate IW-1 submissions ensure international workers can avail themselves of EPF scheme benefits without hindrance, promoting their financial security and well-being, including retirement savings and pension.

Q5: Are there any tools or platforms to simplify the IW-1 filing process for employers?

Yes, the IW-1 filing process is streamlined through the Employer e-Sewa portal provided by the EPFO. You can access the portal via this link:

2 thoughts on “File IW-1 Return- International Worker Monthly Return Under EPFO”

  1. Wow, what a post, I am really happy to read your blog. I had no idea about IW-1 returns for international workers. Thanks for breaking it down! I’ll make sure to file them accurately and on time to avoid any penalties.

  2. This step-by-step guide is super helpful! Filing IW-1 returns seemed daunting at first, but now I feel more confident navigating the process through the Employer e-Sewa portal.

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