All foreign nationals, including children, require a visa to enter India. The only exceptions are nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who can enter India without a visa.
Validity of the visa begins from the date of issue and not the date of arrival in India.
Certain areas in India have been designated as protected or restricted areas and foreigners can visit these areas only after obtaining a valid PA/RA permit in additon to their visa.
Foereigners travelling through yellow fever countries on their way to India must posess a valid vacciniation certificate on arrival in India.
There are two types of visas aviable to foreigners for work related activites, these are:-
'B' visa - business visa
'E' visa - employment visa
'B' visa - is granted to foreign nationals who want to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture, to explore possibilities to set up a business venture, for consultation, general meetings and training. The visa is granted subject to the following conditions:-
- the applicant is a person of expertise in their field
- the applicant has sufficient funds to support themselves for their stay
- the visa must be issued from the country of origin, or from the country of domicile of the foreigner, provided the period of permanent residence of that applicant in the particular country is for more than 2 years
A business visa is issued for multiple entry facilities for a period of up to 5 years or shorter as deemed necessary by the Indian authorities.
'E' visa - is granted to foreigners who wil be employed in India, subject to the following conditions:-
- the applicant is a skilled and qualified professional or person who is being engaged or appointed by a company in India on a contract or employment basis at a senior level, skilled position or in a managerial position.
- employment visas are not granted for jobs for which there are a large number of qualified locals
- employment visas are not granted for administration/clerical positions
- the employment visa must be issued from the country of origin, or from the country of domicile of the foreigner provided the period of permanent residence of that applicant in that particular country is more than 2 years
- the Indiain employer is responsible for the good conduct of the foreigner and ensuring they depart Indian at the end of their assignment
An employment visa may initially be granted for up to one year. If an extension is required, this would be applied for in India and these can be granted for an extended stay of up to 5 years. Foreigners on employment visas are requried to be registered with the FRRO/FRO within two weeks from the date of their arrival.
The applicant must submit a valid travel document, the application form, letter of offer and copies of qualifications.
Dependents - of applicants applyng for a 'B' visa (business) or an 'E' visa (employment) are usually granted an 'X' visa in line with the stay of the main applicant.
For foreign employers contemplating sending their employees to work in India it is important to note that until October 2009, it was common practice for employers to send employees to India on business visas whose intention it was to work on projects or short -term assignments. In October 2009, The Ministry of Home Affairs issued an FAQ which clearly listed acceptable activities under a business visa plus those activities which were no longer able to be granted a business visa and were therefore deemed to have to apply for an employment visa. Project work, even if for a short duration was deemed to require an employment visa (E).
Please note that Indian visa requirement are known to change at very short notice and without sufficient communciation. Visa Executive recommend that you check with the relevant authorities before lodging a visa application to enter India, either for business or employment.
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