It has been 6 months since I set foot in India to teach Spanish with my India Employment Visa. And yet, every time I look back, the whole experience seems just so surreal.
For starters, when I applied for the India Employment Visa in the Indian embassy in Colombia, I had never really expected to get it in a week. But that is exactly what happened.
In all these months in Hyderabad, a city in southern India where I live, I have come to love the school where I teach and this country.
And I have by now registered my residence permit in India ( also known as RC/RP), got a PAN card, opened a bank account and some more stuff.
In this article, I will cover the Indian Work Visa application process in detail and update it in future as when I come across new info. But before that, let me clarify some very basic questions.
What is an Indian Work Visa and Who can Get it?
An Indian Work Visa is granted to foreign nationals wanting to work in India legally. Any foreigner who can satisfy the conditions of getting employed in India and present the required documents, can apply for a visa to work in India.
Sometimes, people get confused between the employment visa or work permit. For all practical purposes,Indian Work Visa = India Employment Visa = India Work Permit
And you can get an Employment Visa for India if you are
- Foreign language teachers
- Foreign specialist chefs
- Foreign engineers/technicians coming to India for
installation and commissioning of
- Foreign sportsperson coming to play in Indian clubs/organizations as well as foreign sports coaches
- Foreign nationals coming to India on contract or deputation to provide technical services/support, consultation, knowledge transfer etc. This can be an intra-company transfer or a situation where Indian company pays fees/royalty to the foreign company.
Can a Foreigner Work in India?
Yes of course, they can. However, like any other country in the world, as a foreign citizen, you need to get an Employment Visa to work in India.
That means, if you are in India with a spouse visa or India tourist visa or any visa that is not an employment visa, you won’t be able to work here legally.That being said, an Indian Employment Visa can also be granted to those who intend to do honorary work (without salary) with Registered NGOs in India.
On the other hand, India Business Visa is different from the Employment Visa.
Where to Apply India Employment Visa?
You can apply for India employment visa either at an Indian embassy in your country directly or you would need to go through a third-party agency such as VFS. In my case, I applied directly in the Indian embassy in Colombia.
For example, if you apply India Employment Visa in USA, you need to apply for it through VFS. Same goes for Indian Work Visa applications in Spain.
What’s important to understand here is that the Employment Visa must be issued from the country of origin or from a country where you have lived legally for more than 2 years.
India Employment Visa Requirements
The requirements for Indian Work Visa can vary depending on the type of job you have been offered and the contract you have. Here is what I provided.
1.Indian Visa Application Form
The Indian Visa Application form is a general application form that you could fill in online by visiting the link : https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/Registration.
You need to choose EMPLOYMENT VISA and the purpose. I chose the first option since I was not going to work for an NGO nor was it an intra-company transfer.
Your expected date of arrival can be as per your contract start date.
Once you submit, you would be forwarded to another page where you will need to provide additional info such as your name, educational qualification, passport details etc.
After completing the form, take a printout of the same, and carry it for your visa appointment.
2. Indian Employment Visa Photo Requirements
While filling in the online form, you need to upload a photo. It should be min 10 KB and max 1 MB, and in JPEG format. It should be a recent front-facing photograph with a white background.
The photo size for the Indian visa is 5 cm X 5 cm. It must be a color passport pic in white background. In case your pic doesn’t work, you can get your photo taken in a studio right across the consulate in Bogota.
If you are applying through a third-party partner like VFS, you can get your photo taken in their office as well.
3. Work Contract for India Work Visa
In my case, I was asked to submit the original and signed contract. This contract mentioned the remuneration, working hours, job duties and a bunch of other details.
It would be on the company letterhead and would contain the full address of the Indian company, company stamp and signature
My employer mailed the original contract from India.
In case, it is an intra-company transfer, for short term postings/deployment, a letter from the parent company in your home country stating detailed job position and salary can work.
The contract and its details can vary a lot depending on the job.
4. Other Documents from Employer
Your employer would need to provide other documents such as:
(Fresh) Certificate of Incorporation/Registration Under companies Act/Proof of registration under State Industrial Department/Export Promotion Council.
Under this, they can also ask for declaration to pay taxes in India.
The details of the company, the break-up of foreign employees to Indian Employees, the break-up of countries from which the company is hiring foreign Employees.
In Colombia/Ecuador, this information is mandatory for Models/Artists applying for Employment in India, optional for other applicants but the same may be asked on case to case basis.
Since my employer was a school, they provided the relevant documents showing the number of students and school curriculum along with the registration.
5. Educational Certificates
You need to provide the educational certificates such as for a Master’s or Bachelor’s.
6. Experience Certificates
You can be asked to provide experience certificates demonstrating your professional expertise in the job you are going to perform in India.
For example, if you have worked as a chef in a restaurant, you could show a certificate on the employer’s letterhead. Different employers have their own formats for this.
In case you don’t have much experience in a field, you could also show a certificate of internship or training.
You need to provide a professional resume containing the details of your education, experience etc. This resume should be in English.
8. Bank Statements
Your bank statements should have a minimum balance of $ 6,000,000 COP / 2000 USDs approx. This is a requirement for Colombia. You might not be asked for this depending on where you are applying from.
9. Flight Itinerary/Reservation
You don’t really need confirmed flight tickets. A flight reservation/itinerary would be fine for this.
10. Additional Documents
The Indian embassy/consulate can ask for additional documents in some cases. This can again vary based on the country you are applying from.
Residence Proof/ Visa if a Resident
In case you are not applying from your home country, you need to show proof of residence for more than 2 years where you are applying from. This proof can vary depending on the country.
For example, if you are working in Colombia, you might need to show your Colombia work visa and Colombian Cedula.
If you are applying Indian Work Visa from Spain and you are resident for more than 2 years, you need Registration Certificate from the concerned City Council (“empadronamiento”).
This is required only when your spouse would accompany you to India. Your spouse would also get an employment visa under subcategory: Dependent of Employment Visa Holder.
In some countries, you might need to apostille your marriage certificate.
Birth certificate is needed if your children want to accompany you to India.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever vaccination certificate is a requirement for citizens of many Latin American countries including Colombia.
If the applicant is going to work for an NGO
- Profile mentioning the activity of the NGO
- Official letter of authorization from the competent authority in India to hire foreigners in the NGO as volunteer worker
- If you are going for an internship in an NGO, the original admission letter can replace the contract (this letter will have to be stamped and signed)
Steps to Get India Work Permit
Step 1 : Get All the Required Documents
Have all the documents ready for the Indian Employment Visa Application, including the digital photos and the hard copies of the above-mentioned documents.
Step 2 : Complete the Online Application
Fill in the Indian Employment Visa Application form on https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/Registration.
Step 3: Pay for the Visa Fees
In most countries, you would need to pay the fees for Indian Work Visa before submitting the application to the embassy. The amount and the form of payment can differ in different countries.
I deposited 303 USDs in the Indian embassy’s account in Banco Itaú in Bogota for my visa.
Step 4: Get an Appointment in Indian Embassy or Agency
Once you have all the documents ready and have done your homework, contact the Indian embassy/consulate for an appointment. If you have applied through a third-party agency, then you might get the appointment through them.
In some countries such as Australia and Spain, you can apply for the visa through Post as well. You can check if this option is available in your country and follow the steps send all the documents through register post.
Once I had everything I needed, I simply showed up at the embassy with all my documents. I was expecting an interview of some sorts, but they did not ask me anything else.
Step 5 : Receive the Visa
Once you have submitted all the documents and paid the visa fees, the embassy might reach out to you asking for extra documents. In my case, they did not ask for anything extra.
In Colombia, you can ask the embassy to send your passport through DHL if you live far from Bogota. I picked up mine in person.
I am sure that in other countries, they have ways to send the passport through post/courier in case you don’t want to visit the embassy again.
Step 6 : Come to India
Once you have the visa, it’s time to book your flight tickets to India, to state the obvious. In my case, I landed in Delhi and my immigration experience was a walk in park.
Step 7: FRRO Registration
One very important step is to make sure that you register in the FRRO within 14 days of your arrival in India. Depending on where you live, you would need to find out the closest FRRO and apply to register through the eFRRO portal.
The registration itself is free.
In order to register with the FRRO, you would need the following:
- A copy of your visa stamp
- Bio page of your passport
- Rent agreement or Form C for residence proof, electricity bill etc.
- Work contract
- Request letter from your employer stating that you work there, asking for me to be registered
- Undertaking from your employer on an affidavit of 100 rs stamp paper mentioning that I work there and they take my responsibility
Once done successfully, you will get an RC/RP permit. I got it for 1 year.
Step 8: Get a Pan Card
Apply for a PAN card in India which will enable you to pay taxes. This is mandatory for those employed in India. It also serves as an ID proof in flights/buses.
This took me quite a bit of time. I would ask you to apply for this as soon as you can.
And welcome to Indian bureaucracy. Your journey just started. Take everything with a pinch of salt.
Step 9: Open a Bank Account
Your next step should be opening a bank account in India as a foreigner. Take help from your employer for this.
If you are employed and you want to receive your salary in your bank account, banks would not allow you to open a bank account without a PAN card. This itself is another article. 🙂
Employment Visa for India : Everything You Need to Know
What is the Duration of India Employment Visa?
Depending on your citizenship and the length of your contract, you can get a visa from anywhere in between 6 months to 5 years. In my case, I got it for 2 years.
Foreign nationals who wish to come to India for honorary work (without salary) with NGOs registered in India are usually granted employment visa up to one year duration.The validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the Embassy of India and not on the date of arrival in India.
What is the Cost of Indian Work Visa?
The Indian Employment Visa cost varies greatly depending on the country you are applying from and the duration of the visa.
For instance, in Colombia, the visa for more than 1 year costs 303 USDs. In Spain, the employment visa for 6 months costs 100 euros while the same visa for more than 1 year costs 167 euros.
What is India Employment Visa Processing Time?
The Indian Work Permit processing time is not too long. In my case, it took 4 days only. In most countries, the processing time is anywhere in between 6-10 working days which can always vary.
If you are not applying from your country, you can add a few more days to the normal processing time.
What is the Minimum Salary for India Employment Visa?
There is some confusion about this. Many people think that you have to make a minimum of 25000 USDs per annum to get an employment visa for India.
While this holds true for certain professions, exemption from the salary is granted to
- ethnic cooks
- foreign language teachers
- staff working for foreign diplomatic Missions
So if you fall into one of the above-mentioned categories, your gross annual salary does not have to be 25000 USDs.
And, foreign national can draw a monthly remuneration not exceeding Rs. 10,000/- per month for honorary work in NGOs.
The Visa Project’s Comprehensive Visa Series: Guides & Experiences
Visa requirements are always changing. Here on The Visa Project, they are kept up-to-date and should answer most visa questions.
And not just guides and tips, we also rely on real people’s experiences on visas, coz’ we know how much visas change based on your nationality, financial status, age, ethnicity, etc.
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