India

Who needs a visa?

All nationals travelling to India require a visa prior to entry, except the following:

  • Indian nationals.
  • Holders of Overseas Citizen of India card.
  • Holders of Persons of Indian Origin card.

Business Visa

Business Visas are issued to visitors travelling to India to attend business meetings and negotiations, conferences and seminars.

Type of visa

For those nationals who require a visa to travel to India on Business, an application for a Business Visa or “B” category visa will need to be submitted.

Application Process

Applications for Business Visas must be submitted in the applicant’s country of residence, to the relevant authority or Indian High Commission.

Processing time

Processing times for Business Visas vary according to the country where the application is submitted and the nationality of the applicant. Business Visa applications submitted in the UK are generally processed in 5 working days from the date of submission.

Validity

Business Visas can be issued for single or multiple entries and are normally issued for a period up to 3 months, 6 months or 1 year.

The issue of a visa and the period of validity are entirely at the discretion of the Indian authorities.

Work Authorisation

Work Authorisation is for travellers who intend to carry out work whilst in India, such as visiting business facilities and conducting classroom-style training.

Type of Visa

In respect of Indian Immigration, work authorisation is known as an Employment Visa (E).

Application Process

Obtaining an Employment Visa generally involves just one stage.  However, further in country procedures should also be considered.

  • Firstly, an Employment Visa application must be presented to the representing authority, or Indian High Commission, in the applicant’s place of residence.
  • Once the visa has been granted and the employee has arrived in India (depending upon the length of the Employment Visa granted and whether it is likely for the employee to be required to further extend their visa prior to expiry), the employee must apply to the Indian Income Tax Department for a Permanent Account Number (PAN).
  • The employee must also register with their local Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to obtain a Residence Permit.

Extensions of Employment Visas MUST be applied for in country, and prior to expiry of the current visa. To extend locally, the employee must have registered, as stated above and paid applicable taxes in India.

Processing time

Processing times for Employment Visas vary according to the country where the application is submitted and the nationality of the applicant.  Employment Visa applications submitted in the UK may be processed in 5 working days from the date of submission.

Validity

Employment Visas can be issued for single or multiple entries and are normally issued for a period up to 3 months, 6 months or 1 year.

The issuing of the visa and the period of validity are entirely at the discretion of the Indian authorities.

Family

The immigration status of a dependant is reliant on the type of permit, and the status of the main or principle applicant. A dependant will need to seek work approval in their own right.

Penalties for Non Compliance

Employer:

Employing a foreign worker who does not have the requisite Work Authorisation is an offence.  If convicted, the company may be fined.

Employee:

Foreign workers who do not comply with the immigration laws of India, or have not conformed to the tax laws, may be detained or removed.  Fines or imprisonment may also be imposed.

Points to Note

The employee and the company should be aware that the assignee must have:

  • A sponsoring entity in India.
  • Nationality, or at least 2 years residence in the country, where they submit their visa application.
  • An annual salary that exceeds 25,000 USD.
  • Educational qualifications, work experience, technical qualifications and/or specialist skills qualifying them for the proposed role.

 

The contents of this article are for information purposes only.  The information and opinions expressed in this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice or a comprehensive statement of law or current practice.  Immigration rules and requirements frequently change without notice.  You should not rely upon the contents of this document but instead should seek appropriate professional and legal advice in the light of your personal circumstances.  No liability is accepted for the opinions contained or for any errors or commissions. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further information.