This article is reviewed regularly by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Updated October 2023

The India work visa plays a crucial role in India’s immigration system, serving as an entry point for international individuals looking to participate in employment opportunities in the nation. It grants individuals from across the world the opportunity to work and utilize their talents and knowledge for the betterment of India’s economy, all while following the country’s legal and regulatory guidelines.

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Read on as Wego unfolds details regarding the Indian work visa, its types, eligibility, documents required, cost and more.

India work visa types

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs in India, there are two types of work visas, namely:

  • Business visa classified as a ‘B’ visa
  • Employment visa classified as an ‘E’ visa

Business visa

A business visa is a visa category provided to foreign individuals intending to travel to India for matters related to commerce and trade. This type of visa permits individuals to partake in a range of business-related activities within the country, including participation in business meetings, conferences, trade exhibitions, and the facilitation of business negotiations.

Eligibility

The following categories of individuals are eligible to apply for the India business visa

  • individuals hoping to establish or explore industrial/business ventures.
  • individuals buying or selling industrial, commercial, or consumer products.
  • visitors participating in technical meetings, board meetings, or providing business services.
  • persons recruiting manpower.
  • individuals holding positions as business partners or directors.
  • consultations related to exhibitions, trade fairs, or business events.
  • foreign buyers assessing suppliers or potential suppliers in India.
  • experts/specialists overseeing ongoing projects or providing technical guidance.
  • individuals engaging in pre-sales or post-sales activities, excluding actual project execution.
  • trainees of multinational companies undergoing in-house training.
  • students sponsored by AIESEC for project-based internships.
  • tour conductors, travel agents, and those involved in business tours or related activities.

Validity

A business visa with multiple entries can be issued for up to 5 years or shorter, depending on your needs. Each visit under this visa allows a maximum stay of 6 months, determined by the Indian Mission.

However, Indian Missions have the authority to provide business visas with a 10-year validity and the privilege of multiple entries to citizens of the United States of America. For each visit, the visa stipulates that the duration of the stay in India should not exceed 6 months.

Please note that if the Mission decides on a maximum 6-month stay for each visit, the visa will be endorsed as “each stay not to exceed 6 months, registration not required.” If there’s no such stay stipulation, the endorsement will be “registration within 14 days.” This provides flexibility based on the nature of your business activity in India.

Requirements

The following are some of the requirements to be met to apply for the India business visa:

  • ensure you have a valid travel document and, if necessary, a re-entry permit based on your country’s laws.
  • proof of financial stability and provide documentation to support your intended business visit to India.
  • the purpose of your visit should not involve money lending, running a small business, or seeking full-time employment in India.
  • comply with all tax obligations and requirements during your stay.
  • obtain your business visa from your country of origin or your habitual domicile, provided you have resided there for over two years. In cases of shorter residence, approval from the Indian Mission in your country of origin is required.
  • prepare registration documents for your proposed business activities, such as company registration under the Companies Act or affiliation with recognized industry or trade promotion bodies.
  • remember that the grant of a business visa is subject to the Government of India’s instructions, which may change based on reciprocity with other countries.

Please note that some additional documents might be required. Make sure to consult your Embassy/Consulate or visa application center regarding the documents to be submitted.

You can refer to the Ministry of Home Affairs official website, for more information.

Employment visa

An employment visa is issued to foreign individuals who intend to work in India, provided they meet some conditions.

Eligibility

The following categories of individuals are eligible to apply for the India employment visa

  • consultants on contract receive fixed remuneration from Indian companies.
  • foreign artists employed for regular performances by hotels, clubs, or other organizations.
  • coaches of national/state-level teams or reputed sports clubs.
  • sportsmen with contracts from Indian clubs/organizations.
  • self-employed foreign professionals providing specialized services like engineering, medical, accounting, or legal expertise if permitted by law.
  • foreign language teachers or interpreters.
  • specialist chefs from abroad.
  • foreign engineers/technicians for equipment/machine/tool installation and commissioning as per contract.
  • foreign nationals providing technical support or know-how transfer for which Indian companies pay fees/royalties to foreign companies.

Validity

The validity of an employment visa is as follows:

  • for foreign experts under bilateral agreements or approved collaborations – 5 years with multiple entries.
  • highly skilled IT professionals – 3 years or the assignment’s duration, with multiple entries.
  • other foreign employees – 2 years or the assignment’s term, with multiple entries.

Please note that visas for 180 days or less do not require registration. More extended visas must be registered with the FRRO/FRO (Foreigners Registration Office) within 14 days of arrival.

You can refer to the Ministry of Home Affairs official website, for more information on the validity of employment visas.

Requirements

The following are some of the requirements to be met to apply for the India employment visa:

  • the applicant should be a highly skilled or qualified professional hired by an Indian company, organization, industry, or undertaking on a contract or employment basis.
  • employment visas are not issued for jobs where qualified Indian candidates are available, and they are not granted for routine, ordinary, or clerical positions.
  • the foreign national must intend to work for either an Indian-registered company or a foreign company engaged in a project in India.
  • the applicant sponsored for an employment visa in any sector must earn an annual salary exceeding US$ 25,000, except for ethnic cooks, language teachers (excluding English), translators, and embassy/high commission staff in India.
  • compliance with all legal requirements, including tax liabilities, is mandatory.
  • the employment visa must be obtained from the country of the applicant’s origin or domicile, provided they have resided there for more than 2 years.
  • documentation related to the proposed employment, such as company registration, firm registration, or recognition from industry and trade bodies, will determine the visa category issued.

Please note that some additional documents might be required. Make sure to consult your Embassy/Consulate or visa application center regarding the documents to be submitted.

You can refer to the Ministry of Home Affairs official website, for more information.

How to apply for an India work visa?

Typically, Indian Missions or authorized visa application centers in respective countries handle the issuance of Indian work visas.

As such, once you have selected the specific category of Indian work visa you wish to apply for, it is essential to gather all the necessary documentation and consult your nearest Embassy/Consulate or authorized visa application centers to initiate your Indian work visa application.

India work visa processing time

The processing time for Indian work visas can vary based on your country of application and the type of visa you’re seeking. Hence, it is essential to start the application process well in advance to account for any discrepancies or additional requirements that may arise during processing.

Please make sure to consult your Embassy/Consulate or the visa application centers for the accurate processing time of your India work visa.

Indian work visa cost

The visa fee for an Indian work visa can vary depending on the individual’s country of application and its category.

For a business visa, the visa fee typically ranges from USD 120 to USD 250. Similarly, an employment visa can cost anywhere from USD 120 to USD 560, depending on your country of application and the duration of your stay. 

Please make sure to consult your nearest Embassy/Consulate or the visa application centers for the accurate cost of India work visas.

Alternatively, you can also refer to our dedicated article on India visa price below:

India Visa Price 2023: A Guide to India’s Visa Costs and Fees

 

 

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