Under Indian law, the legal rights and the restrictions imposed on Japanese nationals depend on whether they are categorized as residents or non-residents.
Entry into India generally requires a valid visa granted by an Indian Mission (that is, consulate of the Indian embassy) abroad. Furthermore, foreign nationals who enter India must register themselves with the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival if they intend to reside in India for a consecutive period of more than 180 days.
The entry, stay and exit of foreign nationals into India are primarily governed by the following laws (among others):
Visa-on-Arrival is granted to a Japanese national who is visiting India for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes. This facility shall not be available to the citizens of Japan if the person or either of his / her parents or grandparents (paternal or maternal) was born in, or was permanently resident in Pakistan. This facility shall not be available to holders of Diplomatic/Official passports and UN Passport holders having Japanese nationality.
Procedure for applying for Visa-on-Arrival
Japanese nationals would be required to fill an application form and approach the “Visa Counter” at the designated airport on arrival. After checking the eligibility criteria and payment of fee, the Immigration officer would then stamp Visa-on-Arrival on the passport.
Visa-on-Arrival is provided to Japanese nationals only at 6 designated international airports namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Validity of Indian Visa for Japanese Nationals
The Immigration officer may grant a double entry Visa-on-Arrival valid up to 60 days to the citizens of Japan.
Conditions for Visa-on-Arrival
Visa-on-Arrival shall be non-extendable and non-convertible to any other type of visa except in specific cases. Regarding conversion of Visa-on-Arrival to other categories of visa, please see the general policy guidelines relating to Indian visa on this website.
Fee for Visa-on-Arrival for Japanese Nationals
A fee of Rs 2000/- or equivalent in foreign currency per passenger (including children), will be charged from each Japanese national.
An Employment visa is granted to a Japanese national who is a highly skilled and/or qualified professional. Employment Visa shall not be granted –
(i) for jobs for which qualified Indians are available and
(ii) for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.
Employment visa is not granted to a citizen of Pakistan.
The foreign national being sponsored for an employment visa in any sector should draw a gross salary in excess of Rs. 16.25 lakhs per annum. However, this condition of annual floor limit on income will not apply to:
(a) Ethnic cooks employed by foreign Missions in India (this will not apply to ethnic cooks employed in commercial venture),
(b) Language teachers (other than English language teachers) / translators (this will not include teachers employed to teach particular subjects in foreign language),
(c) staff working for the concerned Embassy/ High Commission in India,
(d) Japanese, eligible for ‘E’ visa for honorary work with the NGOs registered in the country without salary,
(e) Japanese teaching faculty employed in the South Asian University and the Nalanda University, and
(f) Circus artists.
Duration of Employment Visa
|Category||Duration of Employment|
|(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|
A Business visa is granted to a Japanese national for the following purposes –
(i) Japanese nationals who wish to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up an industrial/business venture, other than Proprietorship Firms and Partnership Firms, in India.
(ii) Japanese nationals coming to India to purchase/sell industrial products or commercial products or consumer durables.
(iii) Japanese nationals coming to India for technical meetings/discussions, attending Board meetings or general meetings for providing business services support.
(iv) Japanese nationals coming to India for recruitment of manpower.
(v) Japanese nationals who are partners in the business and/or functioning as Directors of the company.
(vi) Japanese nationals coming to India for consultations regarding exhibitions or for participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business fairs etc.
(vii) Japanese 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.
(viii) Japanese 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.
(ix) Japanese nationals coming to India for pre-sales or post-sales activity not amounting to actual execution of any contract or project.
(x) Japanese trainees of multinational companies/corporate houses coming for in-house training in the regional hubs of the concerned company located in India.
(xi) Japanese nationals coming as tour conductors and travel agents and / or conducting business tours of foreigners or business relating to it, etc.
(xii) Japanese academicians/experts coming under GIAN (Global Initiative for Academic Networks).
(xiii) Crew members of scheduled/non-scheduled flights operated by scheduled airlines, nonscheduled and chartered flights operated by non-scheduled airlines and special flights.
(xiv) Japanese nationals intending to visit India to participate in cultural events/activities with remuneration. [Such Japanese nationals intending to visit India to participate in cultural events/activities for short duration without remuneration may be granted Entry (X-Misc.) Visa.]
(xv) Japanese nationals who are engaged in commercial sports events in India on contract (including coaches) like Indian Premier League, Indian Soccer League, etc. with remuneration. They may be granted ‘B-Sports’ Visa with multiple entry facility for 13 appropriate period. Such a foreign national shall comply with all the statutory obligations like payment of taxes, etc.
Conditions for grant of Business Visa
(i) The Japanese national should be a person of assured financial standing (sufficient proof of his/her financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business will be checked thoroughly while granting the visa).
(ii) The Japanese 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.
(iii) The Japanese national shall comply with all other requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc.
Duration of Business Visa & other conditions
Business Visa may be granted with 10 years validity with multiple entry facility to the citizens of Japan. This visa shall be issued with the stipulation that “continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days and registration not required.”
*In the case of urgent request, the Indian Missions/Posts may provide visa for business travel within 48 hours of application.
(a) No dependent visa will be granted to parents/ other family members of a minor child below 18 years of age coming on Student Visa. However, parents/ other family members of such a minor child can be granted any other type of visa subject to their fulfilling the eligibility conditions for the same.
(b) In the case of a Japanese national coming on Student visa for higher education (graduation and above) and on Research visa, spouse and minor children accompanying the foreign national may be granted dependent visa of appropriate sub-category. Its validity shall be co-terminus with the validity of the visa of the latter or for such shorter period as may be considered necessary by the Indian Mission/Post. Such family members may also obtain Student/ Research Visa, if required, subject to their fulfilling the conditions laid down for the grant of such visa.
(b) Dependent visa of spouse and minor children of a Japanese national who is granted Student /Research visa may be extended by the FRRO/ FRO concerned beyond the initial validity period co-terminus with the visa of the principal visa holder subject to no adverse inputs against the said Japanese national.
(c) Visa of dependents of Japanese nationals coming on Employment, Business, Student, Research Visa etc. can be converted into Student/Research Visa within the country by the FRRO/ FRO concerned provided such dependents fulfill the conditions laid down for the grant of Student/Research Visa.
(d) ‘X’ (Entry) Visa of a Japanese who has been studying on Entry Visa can be converted to Student Visa by the FRRO/ FRO concerned on attaining the age of 16 years or after 12th Standard subject to fulfillment of the conditions for grant of Student Visa.
(e) ‘X’ (Entry) Visa of Japanese nationals born to Indian nationals may be converted to Student Visa by the FRRO/ FRO concerned subject to verification of the PIO status.
About the Author
Author is Neeraj Bhagat, FCA helping foreign companies in setting up and closure of business in India and complying with various tax laws applicable to foreign companies while establishing a business in India. He is also founder of Neeraj Bhagat & Co. Chartered Accountants, a Chartered Accountancy firm established in the year 1997 with its head office at New Delhi.