Law Firm in India

Employment and Business Visa

January 24, 2023 | NRI Services

The major difference between a business and employment visa is that in a business visa one cannot engage in any gainful work or employment in India but the employment visa entitles the person to do a specified work activity for a specified period in India.

Employment Visa: Eligibility

As we all understand, an  employment  visa is granted to a foreigner who is a highly skilled and qualified professional, to work in India. However, it is important to note that  employment  visa is not granted to Pakistan Nationals to work in India.

Some of the eligibility conditions to get an employment  visa is as under:
  • The foreign national aspiring to get an  employment visa in any sector in India should draw a gross salary above Rs. 16.25 lakhs per annum. This threshold limit of Rs. 16.25 lakhs per annum will be worked out considering the salary, all allowances paid to the foreign national in cash and also advantages like rent-free accommodation etc. that are part of the salary to calculate income tax, as indicated in the  employment  contract. However, the  foreigners employed in BPO/ ITES are not eligible for exemption from the annual threshold income limit.
  • Any foreign national engaged as teaching faculty being the level of Assistant Professors and above by the Central Higher Educational Institutions Viz. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Central Universities (CUs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), the minimum salary limit for grant of  employment visa will be Rs.9.10 lakhs per annum. 
  • Bangladesh  nationals married to Indian nationals and not eligible for registration as OCI cardholders must draw a minimum salary of Rs. 9.10 lakhs per annum to be eligible for grant of  employment  visa. 
  • Any  foreign specialist  chefs employed in a commercial venture, the minimum salary criteria of Rs.16.25 lakhs per annum will be applied to gain an employment  visa. 
  • Foreign nationals coming to India as consultants 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.  
  • For foreign nationals coming on an  employment visa for less than one year, the minimum salary requirement will be worked out on a pro-rata basis.  
  • Any  foreign journalist, who intends to travel to India to work in Indian media organizations, or Employees/managers coming to India for non-journalistic activities within media organizations.

Process to obtain the  employment visa

The process to employ the employment visa requires a passport must be valid for six months beyond the expiry date of your travel visa and must contain two blank facing pages. In addition, two front-facing, passport sized colour photographs will be needed.

It is important to have a supporting letter for the visa, written on the company letterhead of the organisation for which the applicant works and must include all company registration and VAT numbers, the full company address, and the duration of stay.

The general processing time for citizens of most countries is 3-5 days, nonetheless, it is recommended to apply well before the planned start date for the assignment.

Business Visa: Eligibility

An Indian  business  visa is granted to foreign nationals who wish to travel to India to promote, negotiate, research, or establish any part of a profit-making business venture in India.

The following among the many conditions is required to be fulfilled for grant of a business visa as follows:
  • The foreign national must have a valid travel document and a re-entry permit, under the law of the country of nationality of the applicant.
  • The foreign national should submit proof of the financial capacity. He should also submit documentation in support of the intended business visit to India. While granting the visa, the expertise and financial standing will be checked.
  • However, the foreign national should not visit India for the business of money lending or for running a petty business or petty trade or for full-time employment in India, etc.
  • All requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc should be complied with.
  • The documents/ papers of 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. are to be checked.
  • It is granted to foreign nationals who wish to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up an industrial/business venture in India.

Process for Business Visa

For the  business  visa, a coloured passport size photo is required. In addition, a valid passport that does not expire for at least 3-6 months is an absolute necessity and has at least 2 empty pages, along with a Certificate of Good Health and a declaration of travel purpose.

Here too the  standard processing time is 5 days, if you want rush processing you can do it at an extra cost. Another alternative is super rush processing where a further fee for processing it superfast will be levied.

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