In recent weeks, several queries have been raised about the type of Visas issued by India to foreigners for work related visits. It is clarified that basically there are two (2) types of work related Visas, namely:
(i) Business Visa designated as ‘B’ Visa
(ii) Employment Visa designated as ‘E’ Visa
What is a Business Visa?
Business Visa is granted to a foreign national who wants to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture, or wants to purchase/sell industrial products in India. This Visa is granted subject to following conditions:
(i) The applicant is a person of assured financial standing and expertise in the field of the intended business.
(ii) The applicant is not visiting India for the business of money lending or petty trading, or for a full time employment in India involving payment of salary in India etc.
(iii) The facility of Business Visa will also be extended to senior executives of firms, experts, tour conductors and travel agents, etc., visiting India in connection with work related to projects of national importance, including those undertaken by public sector undertakings, and conducting business tours of foreigners or business relating to it, etc.
(iv) A foreign national will have to comply with all other requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc.
(v) The grant of Business Visa is subject to any instructions issued by the Government of India on the basis of reciprocity with other foreign countries from time to time.
(vi) The Business Visa must be issued from the country of origin, or from the country of domicile of the foreigner provided the period of permanent residence of that applicant in that particular country is for more than 2 years.
Who are eligible for a Business Visa?
(i) Foreign nationals who want to visit India to establish industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture in India.
(ii) Foreign nationals coming to India to purchase/sell industrial products or commercial products or consumer durables.
(iii) Foreign nationals coming to India for technical meetings/discussions, attending Board meetings, general meetings for providing business services support.
(iv) Foreign nationals coming to India for recruitment of manpower.
(v) Foreign nationals who are partners in the Business and/or functioning as Directors in the company.
(vi) Foreign nationals coming to India for consultations regarding exhibitions, for participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business fairs, etc.
(vii) Foreign 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) Foreign 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 some high level technical guidance.
(ix) Foreign nationals coming to India for pre-sales or post-sales activity not amounting to actual execution of any contract or project.
(x) Foreign Trainees of multinational companies/corporate houses coming for in-house training in the regional hubs of the concerned company located in India.
(xi) Foreign students sponsored by AIESEC for internship on project based work in companies/industries
What is the duration of a Business Visa?
A Business Visa with multiple entry facilities is granted for a period upto 5 years or for a shorter duration as per the requirement. A stay stipulation may be prescribed for each visit by the concerned Indian Mission.
What documents are required to be submitted alongwith application for a Business Visa?
(i) The foreign national must have a valid travel document and a re-entry permit, if required under the law of the country concerned.
(ii) Proof of financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business.
What is an Employment Visa?
Employment Visa is granted to foreigners desiring to come to India for purpose of employment, subject to following conditions:-
(i) The applicant is a skilled and qualified professional or person who is being engaged or appointed by a company, organization, industry, or undertaking, etc. in India on contract or employment basis at a senior level, skilled position such as technical expert, senior executive, or in a managerial position, etc.
(ii) Employment Visa is not granted for jobs for which large numbers of qualified Indians are available.
(iii) Employment Visa is not granted for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.
(iv) The Employment Visa must be issued from the country of origin, or from the country of domicile of the foreigner provided the period of permanent residence of that applicant in that particular country is for more than 2 years.