Getting business and employment visa for India

A valid Indian passport and a valid Indian visa are the two essential requirements that a foreign national who intends to visit India must possess. Even a minor child of foreign origin must have a valid passport for traveling India. A Visa Certificate is in the form of a stamp marked certificate on the passport of the applicant by the immigration authorities of a country. The visa certificate indicates that the credentials of the applicant have been verified thereby granting him permission to enter the country of which the visa has been given.

Indian Visas are issued by the Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. The High Commission reserves the right on granting and deciding type/duration of visa. Grant of Visa does not confer the right of entry to India and is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Authorities. Citizens of Nepal and Bhutan do not require a visa for visiting India. India also provides 'Visa on Arrival' facility to citizens of 11 selected countries including Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Persons holding Diplomatic or Official passports and persons of the nationalities of Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Hungary, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Poland, Republic of Slovakia, South Africa and Uruguay are issued Gratis (free of charge) Visa.

How to Apply:-


One can obtain a visa application form from the office of Indian Embassy in the country where the NRI/PIO resides. Visa form for nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh are generally different. All NRIs/PIOs, including children need to apply for Visa in separate visa forms. Indian visa can also be applied online by visiting https://indianvisaonline.gov.in.

Work related Visas issued by India:-

There are two types of work related Visas issued in India:
  1. Business Visa designated as ‘B’ Visa
  2. Employment Visa designated as ‘E’ Visa


Business Visa

A Business Visa is given a foreign national who would like to make a business trip to India such as making sales or establishing contacts on behalf of a company outside of India. The validity of business visa extends for one year or more with multiple entries. Under the business visa category, the period for each stay in India is limited to six months only.

Essential Conditions for grant of Business Visa:

Following conditions must be fulfilled before applying for a business visa in India:
  • The foreign national must have a valid travel document and a re-entry permit, if required under the law of the country of nationality of the applicant.
  • The foreign national should be a person of assured financial standing.
  • The foreign national should not be visiting India for the business of money lending or for running a petty business or petty trade or for full time employment in India, etc.
  • The foreign national shall comply with all other requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc.
  • The Business Visa must be issued from the country of origin or from the country of habitual domicile of the foreigner provided the period of residence of that foreigner in that particular country is more than 2 years.
  • The grant of Business Visa is subject to any instructions issued by the Government of India on the basis of reciprocity with other foreign countries from time to time.


Eligibility for Business Visa

Any foreign national fulfilling the following eligibility criteria may apply for a work visa in India:

  • Foreign nationals who wish to visit India to establish industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture in India.
  • Foreign nationals coming to India to purchase/sell industrial products or commercial products or consumer durables.
  • Foreign nationals coming to India for technical meetings/discussions, attending Board meetings or general meetings for providing business services support.
  • Foreign nationals coming to India for recruitment of manpower.
  • Foreign nationals who are partners in the business and/or functioning as Directors of the company.
  • Foreign nationals coming to India for consultations regarding exhibitions or for participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business fairs etc.
  • Foreign buyers who come to transact business with suppliers/ potential suppliers at locations in India, to evaluate or monitor quality, give specifications, place orders, negotiate further supplies etc., relating to goods or services procured from India.
  • Foreign experts/specialists on a visit of short duration in connection with an ongoing project with the objective of monitoring the progress of the work, conducting meetings with Indian customers and/or to provide technical guidance.
  • Foreign nationals coming to India for pre-sales or post-sales activity not amounting to actual execution of any contract or project.
  • Foreign trainees of multinational companies/corporate houses coming for in-house training in the regional hubs of the concerned company located in India.
  • Foreign students sponsored by AIESEC for internship on project based work in companies/industries.
  • Foreign nationals coming as tour conductors and travel agents and / or conducting business tours of foreigners or business relating to it, etc.

Essential Documents:

A foreign national applying for a business visa must submit the following documents along with the application for a business visa:
  1. Duly completed application form
  2. A valid passport
  3. Proof of financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business
  4. Documents/ papers pertaining to proposed business activity
  5. Passport size photographs
  6. Proof of address
  7. Requisite fee

Duration for Work Visa:

The business visa may be issued for a term of five years or for shorter durations as per the requirement with multiple entries. A maximum of six months is allowed as the period of stay for each visit keeping in view the nature of the business activity for which such business visa is granted.

If a business visa is granted for a period less than one year, it may be extended for duration of five years depending upon the fulfillment of the eligibility criteria.

Essentials for Registration:

Foreigner nationals who possess business visa for India would not require registration with the concerned FRROs/FROs if duration of his/her stay does not exceed 180 days on a single visit. In case of stay is intended beyond 180 days on a single visit, the foreign national must get himself registered with the concerned FRROs/FROs before the expiry of 180 days. Registration is mandatory in cases where stipulation/ observation/ Special endorsement has been made by Indian mission/ Embassy on the Indian Visa.

Essentials for Registration:

A foreign national shall furnish such information in registration report, as may be in his possession for the purpose of satisfying the Registration Officer and shall, on being required, shall sign the registration report in the presence of the said officer. Thereupon the said officer shall issue a certificate of registration to the foreign national. Following documents must be submitted at the time of registration:
  • 4 recent passport size photographs;
  • Photocopy of photo page and valid Indian Visa page of the passport;
  • Proof of residential address in India; Documents of identification and;
  • Business related papers on the authenticity of the business, copy of permission from Reserve Bank of India and approval of Government of India in case of joint venture/collaboration;
  • Undertaking from one of the Directors.
  • Letter from AIESEC in case of internship.

Extension of Business Visa

1. Ministry of Home Affairs is the competent authority which can grant extension to business visa holder.

2. Approval has to be sought from the Ministry of Home Affairs before changing the type of Business.

3. Extension of stay up to 15 days on Business Visas in emergent cases such as illness, death, on-availability of flights etc, subject to production of confirmed onward journey ticket with applicable Visa fee.

Employment Visa

An Employment Visa is granted to a foreign national who is an employee or a paid intern of an Indian company. A person traveling to India for volunteer work with an Ngo is also granted an employment visa.

Essential Conditions for grant of Employment Visa:

The essential conditions for grant of employment visa to a foreign national who desires to come to India for the purpose of employment are:
  • The applicant is a highly skilled and/or qualified professional, who is being engaged or appointed by a company/ organization/ industry/ undertaking in India on contract or employment basis.
  • Employment Visa shall not be granted for jobs for which qualified Indians are available. Employment Visa shall also not be granted for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.
  • The foreign national seeks to visit India for employment in a company/ firm/organization registered in India or for employment in a foreign company/firm/organization engaged for execution of some project in India.
  • The foreign national being sponsored for an Employment Visa in any sector should draw a salary in excess of US$ 25,000 per annum. This condition of annual floor limit on income will not apply to ethnic cooks, language teachers (other than English language teachers) / translators and staff working for the concerned Embassy/High Commission in India.
  • The foreign national must comply with all legal requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc.
  • The Employment Visa must be issued from the country of origin or from the country of domicile of the foreigner.
  • The documents/ papers pertaining to the proposed employment will be thoroughly checked to decide the category of visa that may be issued to the foreigner.
  • The name of the sponsoring employer / organization shall be clearly stipulated in the visa sticker.

Eligibility for Employment Visa

A foreign national fulfilling the following eligibility conditions may apply for employment visa:
  •  Foreign nationals coming to India as consultant on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration.
  • Foreign artists engaged to conduct regular performances for the duration of the employment contract given by Hotels, Clubs and other organizations.
  • Foreign nationals who are coming to India to take up employment as coaches of national /state level teams or reputed sports clubs.
  • Foreign sportsmen who are given contract for a specified period by the Indian Clubs/organizations.
  • Self-employed foreign nationals coming to India for providing engineering, medical, accounting, legal or such other highly skilled services in their capacity as independent consultants provided the provision of such services by foreign nationals is permitted under law.
  • Foreign language teachers/interpreters
  • Foreign specialist Chefs.
  • Foreign engineers/technicians coming to India for installation and commissioning of equipment/machines/tools in terms of the contract for supply of such equipment/machines/tools.
  • Foreign nationals deputed for providing technical support/services, transfer of know-how/services for which the Indian company pays fees/royalty to the foreign company.

 

Essential Documents:

A foreign national applying for employment visa must submit the following documents along with the application form:
  • Duly completed application form
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business
  • Passport size photographs
  • Documents in proof of his employment of contract or engagement by the company / organization, etc. in India.
  • Proof of address
  • Requisite fee
Duration of an Employment Visa:

The validity of the Employment visa will be as follows:

  • A foreign technician/expert coming to India in pursuance of a bilateral agreement between the Government of India and the foreign government, or in pursuance of a collaboration agreement that has been approved by the Government of India, can be granted an Employment visa for the duration of the agreement or for a period of five years, whichever is less, with multiple entry facilities.
  • In the case of highly skilled foreign personnel being employed in the IT software and IT enabled sectors, the Missions/Posts can grant Employment visa with validity up to 3 years or the term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entry facility.
  • A foreigner coming to India for employment not covered in (i) or (ii) above can be granted Employment visa with validity up to two years or the term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entry facility.
  • In the case of Employment Visa issued for a period of 180 days or less, registration is not required with FRRO/FRO, the Missions/Posts may issue multiple entry Employment Visa for a period of 180 days or less. However, if the Employment visa is valid for a period of more than 180 days, it should carry an endorsement to the effect that the E-visa holder must register with the FRRO/FRO concerned within 14 days of arrival.
  • On registration, the FRRO/FRO concerned may issue Residential Permit for the validity of the visa period. However, if there is any change in the residential address, the foreign national concerned shall immediately report the change of address, in writing, to the FRRO/FRO concerned.
  • The Employment visa may be extended by the State Governments / UTs / FRROs /FROs beyond the initial visa validity period, up to a total period of 5 years from the date of issue of the initial Employment Visa, on an year to year basis, subject to good conduct, production of necessary documents in support of continued employment, filing of Income Tax returns and no adverse security inputs about the foreigner. The period of extension shall not exceed five years from the date of issue of the initial Employment visa.


Requirements of Registration:

Every foreign national possessing a long term (more than 180 days) Employment Visa must register himself with the concerned FRROs or District Superintendents of Police (FROs) within 14 days of their first arrival in India, irrespective of the duration of his stay.

Requirements at the time of Registration:

Every foreigner at the time of Registration, shall furnish, such information in registration report, as may be in his possession for the purpose of satisfying the Registration Officer and shall, on being required, shall sign the registration report in the presence of the said officer. The concerned officer shall thereupon issue the certificate of registration. The following documents are required to be submitted at the time of registration:
  • Registration form in triplicate (3 Copies).
  • 4 Recent passport size photographs.
  • Copy of Appointment letter/valid employment contract.
  • Copy of passport/VISA/arrival immigration stamp.
  • Request letter and an undertaking on a Company letter head
  • Copy of Form-16/Income Tax papers in case applicant is residing in India for more than a year.
  • Copy of proof of residence.
  • Duly filled in Registration Book
  • Passport in original.
Visa Extension:

  • Employment VISA holders may apply for extension of their visa at the office of the concerned FRRO/FRO/Superintendent of Police. The State Govt./UT/FRRO/FRO is empowered authorized to extend Employment visa on year to year basis upto a total period of five years from the date of issue of the initial employment visa subject to good conduct, production of documents in support of continual employment, filing of Income Tax Returns and no adverse report on the foreigner.
  • Dependent Spouse and Children of such foreigners holding entry visa, can also be granted extension on Co-terminus basis, subject to production of supporting documents.
  • A foreign national being sponsored for an Employment Visa in any sector should draw a salary in excess of US$ 25, 000 per annum. 

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