Entering India: Visa Process and Registration
By Harshit Khandar
Jun. 18 – This article provides one with information on how to apply for an employment visa and residence permit in India, some exclusive schemes and the necessary documentation needed.
For entry into India, a passport valid for at least 180 days and with at least two blank pages is required by all nationals. Nationals are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for India.
A tourist visa on arrival (TVOA) scheme has been set up by the Indian Immigration Department for up to 30 days for nationals of Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. A single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry tourist visa can be applied for, at a cost of US$60.
- The TVOA is single entry one and is granted for stay in India for a maximum period of 30 days.
- It is limited to two times in a calendar year and there should be a gap of at least of two months between successive visits.
- Only immigration officers at international airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai only (not at any other immigration check post) are authorized to grant TVOA.
The TVOA facility is available only to private passport holders of the above-mentioned countries. Holders of diplomatic/official passports are required to obtain a visa beforehand, unless they are exempted under another bilateral/multilateral arrangement.
Certain parts of the country have been designated “protected” or “restricted” areas that require special permits and, in some cases, prior government authorization. Intent to visit a specific restricted region should be indicated when applying for a visa and a permit will be granted to visit that region only. It is advised that applicants apply for the special permit for restricted areas when they enter India by visiting the FRRO (Foreign Regional Registration Office) which has offices in all major Indian airports and cities. An additional form must be completed, but there is no fee for a restricted area permit.
Applications must be made at the consular section at the nearest embassy or high commission. For UK nationals, India has outsourced its visa application services to VF Services and applications at the embassy in London are no longer accepted. In the United States, India’s visa application services are handled by Travisa Outsourcing.
As per the immigration laws of India, every foreigner requires to register himself/herself within 14 days of the arrival at the FRRO if the intended duration of stay in India is to exceed six months(180 days).
The immigration services at major international airports in India and foreigner registration work in seven major cities are handled by the Bureau of Immigration (BOI). The requirements of registration depend upon the kind of visa issued, as well as the nationality of the citizen.
The employee visa registration process starts with the filing of an online registration application. After filing the application, the FRRO provides a date of appointment. On the scheduled date, the applicant has to be present at the FRRO and requires immediate enrolling at the reception.
Upon satisfaction of the scrutinizing officer, the registration certificate is issued by the officer. And finally this certificate is signed by the officer in charge at the FRRO.
From the moment of reaching the office, the process takes about one hour and a half, depending upon the preparation of the necessary documents. The necessary documents which are required for registration of an employment visa are:
- A duly filled online form in Triplet
- Four passport size photos of the applicant
- A copy of photo page
- A visa page of passport
- The employment contract specifically stating the monthly salary
- A copy of notarized lease deed/agreement or a C-Form from the hotel
- A letter of authorization and undertaking in prescribed format by the employer of the applicant
For registration of an employment visa, there is no fee that is charged, however a fine of US$30 is charged for overstaying or late registration. Also, the registration is required only once during the validity of the visa. There is no requirement of registration every time the visa holder enters India, if the visa is a multiple entry type.
Once these processes are completed, a foreigner becomes legally eligible to work and reside in India for the allowed period. These permits are then renewable prior to expiration.
Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.
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