13 September 2017

INDIA: Government takes measures to simplify visa regime

The Indian government has taken various measures for the rationalization, simplification and liberalization of the visa regime of India. 

How does this affect the client?

1. Minimum salary limit has now been fixed in Indian Rupees instead of US Dollars: 

  • A revised threshold of INR 1 625 000 per annum will now be applicable.
  • Foreign nationals appointed as teachers by the Central Higher Educational Institutions will have a lower minimum salary limit of INR 910 000 per annum.
  • It is advised that the assignment/employment contract captures the salary details in INR.
  • While the above change mandates the salary limit in INR, some FRROs/FROs continue to request the salary details in USD. 

2. Form C requirement: 

  • Most FRROs/FROs are now insisting on filing the Form C in respect of rented accommodation housing foreign nationals.
  • Additionally, Chennai FRRO is insisting on departure/check-out particulars of foreign nationals to be reported in the online Form C. The other FRROs/FROs may also start to insist the same.

3. Mandatory biometric recording at FRO Pune:

  • FRO in Pune has started to record foreign national’s fingerprints and iris scan during all services.

4 Long term multiple entry Business visa:

  • The 10 year long term multiple entry business visa for USA, Canada and Japanese nationals will continue.
  • Nationals of 33 specified countries will be granted a multiple entry business visa with a maximum validity of up to five years. The validity shall be up to the discretion of the concerned Indian missions abroad. For nationals of China, Bangladesh and Pakistan the validity would be in line with their respective bilateral agreements.
  • Regardless of the maximum validity indicated above, the Indian missions abroad may restrict the validity where the business visa requirement of the specific applicant is for a lesser period.
  • Grant of multiple entry five years business visa will be issued with a stipulation “Continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days and registration not required”.
  • Biometric enrolment and interview will be made mandatory for grant of multiple entry business visa.

5. Subcategorization of visa: 

Employment, business and related dependent visas have now been sub-categorized against the earlier practice of issuing a single category of visa. Please find an overview of the employment and business visa categories below:

  • E1 - Short term remunerative employment up to six months 
  • E2 - Long term remunerative employment beyond six months
  • E3 – Intra company transferee 
  • E4 – Honorary work with NGOs 
  • E5 – Staff/ faculty in South Asian University and Nalanda University 
  • E1X, E2X, E3X, E4X and E5X – Dependents of employment visa holders 
  • B1 – Business visitors attending business, technical meeting etc. for a short period 
  • B2 - Business visitors from small and medium business 
  • B3 – Business visitor from large business
  • B4 – Business visa for investors 
  • B1X, B2X, B3X, and B4X – Dependents of business visa holders










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