Article explaind Types of Indian visas, Conditions to be fulfilled for grant of a Business visa, Eligibility for a Business Visa, Duration of a Business Visa, Documents to be submitted along with application for a Business Visa,  Conditions to be fulfilled for grant of an Employment visa, Other categories of foreign nationals eligible for Employment visa, Duration of Employment Visa/ Registration requirements / extension of Employment Visa (Other than Japanese nationals), Specific provisions relating to the grant of Employment visa to Japanese nationals, Documents required to be submitted along with application for Employment Visa and Conversion of Employment Visa.

Work Visa

Types of Indian visas –

S. No. Type of Visa Relevance Max. Duration
1 Employment Visa Highly skilled Individuals intending to take up employment 5 years/period of contract (Extendable in India)
2 Business Visa Visiting India for a business purpose 5 years (Extendable in India)
3 Project Visa For executing projects in the Power and Steel sectors 1 year or for actual duration of the project/contract
4 “X”/ Entry visa For accompanying families of foreign nationals 5 years (Extendable in India)
5 Tourist Visa Visiting India for tourism 30 days (Not extendable in India)
6 Research Visa Pursuing research in any field 5 years (Extendable in India)
7 Transit Visa Travellers passing through India 15 days (Not extendable in India)
8 Conference Visa International seminars/ seminars held by Govt./ PSUs/NGOs Duration of Conference
9 Medical Visa For seeking medical treatment in India at recognized and specialized hospitals and treatment centres 1 year

There are two (2) types of work related Visas, namely:-

1. Business Visa designated as ‘B’ Visa

2. Employment Visa designated as ‘E’ Visa

Citizens of 169 countries including Japan are eligible for the eVisa (electronic Visa) for India. Foreign travellers who wish to visit India for tourism, business purposes or short-term medical treatment can apply online for their electronic Indian visa.

Part A : Business Visa

Conditions to be fulfilled for grant of a Business visa

  • 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 foreigner must submit proof of his/her financial standing and documentation in support of intended business visit to India.
  • 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 documents/ papers pertaining to proposed business activity such as the registration of the company under the Companies Act, proof of registration of the firm with the State Industries Department or the Export Promotion Council concerned or any recognised promotional body in the relevant field of industry or trade etc. will be thoroughly checked to decide the category of visa applicable to the foreigner
  • 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 a Business Visa

A Business visa may be granted to a foreigner for the following purposes:-

  • 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.

Duration of a Business Visa

A Business Visa with multiple entry facility can be granted for a period up to five (5) years or for a shorter duration as per the requirement. Indian Missions can grant Business Visa with 10 years validity and multiple entry facility to the nationals of the United States of America. This visa should be issued with the stipulation that the stay in India during each visit shall not exceed six (6) months.

Documents to be submitted along with application for a Business Visa 

  • The foreign national must have a valid travel document and a re-entry permit, if required under the law of the country concerned.
  • Proof of financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business.
  • Documents/ papers pertaining to proposed business activity such as the registration of the company under the Companies Act, proof of registration of the firm with the State Industries Department or the Export Promotion Council concerned or any recognised promotional body in the relevant field of industry or trade etc.

Part B : Employment Visa

Conditions to be fulfilled for grant of an Employment visa

  • 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 16.25 lakh INR per annum. However, this condition of annual floor limit on income will not apply to: (a) Ethnic cooks, (b) Language teachers (other than English language teachers) / translators and (c) 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 provided the period of permanent residence of the applicant in that particular country is more than 2 years.
  • The documents/ papers pertaining to the proposed employment, like the registration of the company under the Companies Act, proof of registration of the firm in the State Industries Department or the Export Promotion Council concerned, or any recognised promotional body in the field of industry and trade etc 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.

Other categories of foreign nationals eligible for Employment visa

Subject to the fulfillment of the conditions enumerated above, the following categories of foreign nationals will also be eligible for Employment visa:-

  • Foreign nationals coming to India as consultant on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration (this may not be in the form of a monthly salary).
  • Foreign artists engaged to conduct regular performances for the duration of the employment contract given by Hotels, Clubs, 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 Circus Artists
  • 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.
  • Foreign journalists, who intend to travel to India to work in Indian media organizations.
  • Employees / Managers coming to India for non-journalistic activities within media organizations.

Duration of Employment Visa/ Registration requirements / extension of Employment Visa (Other than Japanese nationals) 

(a) Duration of Employment Visa

Category Duration of Employment Visa
(i) 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 Duration of the agreement or for a period of five years, whichever is less, with multiple entry facilities
(ii) Highly skilled foreign personnel being employed in the IT software and IT enabled sectors Up to three years or term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entry facilities
(iii) Foreigner coming for employment not covered in (i) or (ii) above Up to 2 (two) years or the term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entry facility

(b) Registration: If the Employment visa is valid for a period of more than 180 days, the foreign national concerned should register with the FRRO/FRO concerned within 14 days of arrival. In the case of Employment Visa issued for a period of 180 days or less, registration is not required with FRRO/FRO.

(c) Extension of Employment Visa: The Employment visa may be extended by the FRRO / FRO concerned 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 a year to year basis.

Specific provisions relating to the grant of Employment visa to Japanese nationals

(a) Duration of Employment Visa

Category Duration of Employment Visa
(i) Japanese technicians or experts coming to India in pursuance of bilateral arrangements between the Government of India and the Government of Japan or in pursuance of arrangements between non-governmental organizations that have been approved by the Government of India. Duration stated in the arrangement or for a period of five years, whichever is less, with multiple entry facilities
(ii) Japanese applicants who are not covered under (i) above but are highly skilled and qualified professionals employed by a company, organization or industry in the IT software and IT enabled sectors in India. Three years with multiple entry facility
(iii) Japanese applicants who are highly skilled and qualified professional coming to India for employment by a company, organization or industry in India or engaged in an undertaking in India on contract not covered in (i) and (ii) above. Three years with multiple entry facility

(b) Extension: An extension of the period of stay for 2 more years beyond the initial 3 years may be granted to those Japanese applicants who entered India with visa mentioned in (ii) above, in accordance with the procedures determined by the GOI. In respect of Japanese applicants covered by (iii) above, an extension of the period of stay for 2 more years on a year to year basis beyond the initial period of 3 years may be granted subject to provision of necessary documents. 

(c) A multiple entry dependent visa may be issued to the family members (spouse and children who are dependent on the applicant and forming part of the same household) of the nationals of Japan mentioned in (a) above.

(d) Japanese nationals holding Employment (E) Visa and their dependents holding dependent Visa may be granted Residential Permit co-terminus with the validity of the Employment/ Dependent Visa as the case may be. Japanese nationals who are required to register with the FRRO/ FRO concerned need not be present in person in the FRRO/ FRO for initial registration or for subsequent extension of visa/ Residential Permit and this may be done through an authorized representative.

Documents required to be submitted along with application for Employment Visa 

  • The foreign national must have a valid travel document and a re-entry permit, if required under the law of the country concerned.
  • The foreign national must submit proof of his/her employment of contract or engagement by the company / organization, etc. in India.
  • The foreign national must submit documentary proof of his educational qualifications and professional expertise.
  • The foreign national must submit documents/ papers pertaining to the proposed employment, like the registration of the company under the Companies Act, proof of registration of the firm in the State Industries Department or the Export Promotion Council concerned, or any recognised promotional body in the field of industry and trade etc.

Conversion of Employment Visa:

Employment Visa will be non-convertible to any other type of visa except in specific cases. Regarding conversion of Employment visa to other categories of visa, please see the general policy guidelines relating to Indian visa on this website.

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