With a population of over 1.36 billion, India is one of the world’s largest economies. Working in a country means having access to fast-growing industries, especially IT, engineering, computer science, manufacturing, and infrastructure. So whether you’re a highly skilled worker or a young professional, several work opportunities are waiting for you in India.
Here’s what you need to know to get a work visa in India.
Do I need a work visa in India?
Any foreign national hoping to work in India must apply for a work visa. Only citizens of Bhutan and Nepal are free to live and work in India, as long as they have valid identity documents and not be entering India from China, Macau, Hong Kong, Maldives, or Pakistan.
What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in India?
A work visa in India is called an Employment visa or E Visa. It is granted to foreigners who wish to work in India as long as the following general conditions are followed:
- No qualified nationals are available
- Job offer complying with tax liabilities and minimum requirements on salaries, which is $25,000 per year
Once the general conditions are observed, applicants in these categories are eligible for an Indian E Visa:
- Highly-skilled professional or senior management staff
- Consultant with fixed remuneration
- Foreign artists to conduct regular performances
- Foreign nationals to work as coaches
- Foreign sportsmen with a contract from Indian organizations
- Foreign language interpreters and teachers
- Specialist Chefs
- Voluntary workers of NGOs
If eligible, you need to prepare the following requirements:
- Visa Application Form
- Passport or travel document with three blank pages, and valid for 6 months beyond the end of stay
- Photocopy of the passport’s data page
- Two passport-sized photos, taken not more than six months ago
- Original employment contract in English with duration, conditions, and salary disclosure
- Employer’s undertaking letter stating no Indian national is available or eligible for your job
- Employer’s registration certificate
- Employer’s income tax payment undertaking
- Proof of educational qualifications (diplomas, degree, and training certificates)
- Proof of professional expertise or work experience (CV, certificates)
- Proof of financial means (bank statements signed by bank officer)
- Proof of paid visa processing fees
- Travel itinerary or flight details
These documents may vary slightly depending on your country of origin and the nature of your occupation. It is best to take note of any additional requirements from the Embassy or application center you’ll be applying from.
If you’re looking to start an enterprise than being employed, you may look into the Indian Business Visa instead.
Check Also: Available Programs for International Students
Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in India
Indian work visas are issued to employees of legal and registered organizations or companies in India. Thus, you should already have an employer from an Indian company or an international company with a satellite office or branch in India.
Only when you secure employment can you proceed to formally complete an online visa application and the succeeding steps as outlined below. Furthermore, you can apply at least 120 days in advance before your expected arrival in India.
1. Complete the online visa application form
Foreign nationals can begin processing their work visa for India by accessing the online Visa Application Form. Please accomplish the form with care to avoid issues when your case is under review.
You can visit this page for detailed instructions on filling up the said form. Once you’re done, electronically submit the form, but have it printed as well. Sign the printed form on the box below the photograph on the first page. Make sure this signature matches the one in your passport.
2. Schedule an appointment
While on the online application platform, you can select the Indian Mission, embassy, or consulate where you intend to apply. The system will automatically ask you if you wish to make an appointment online. You will be directed to a page where you can set a date and time of your future appointment with an Indian Mission.
3. Pay visa fees online
You will be required to settle the visa processing fee via ePayment, and you can follow the payment instructions on-screen. Some countries or Indian Missions, however, have no available e-payment facility yet. In this case, you will settle the fees personally on your appointment date.
The Indian work visa fee will be calculated including service charge, VAT, etc. It starts at $120 and may vary slightly depending on your country of residence.
Visa fees are non-refundable in case your application is unsuccessful, if you wish to withdraw your application, or if the application process was not completed within a timeframe you desire.
4. Collect your documentary requirements
Prepare all the documentary requirements listed above. Don’t forget any additional forms advised by the Indian Mission in your country of residence, as well as special documents needed by particular occupations. Documents that are not in English must be accompanied with translations.
5. Attend your appointment
On the day of your appointment, submit your application at the Indian Mission, Embassy, or recognized Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC). Your actual passport will be retained as well. You must also submit biometric data, such as photographs and fingerprint scans.
A consulate officer will look over your application and have a short interview with you regarding your eligibility for your Indian work visa. After which, you will wait for three to seven business days, depending on the Mission’s current workload, for the result. Nonetheless, you can track the status of your application via Visa Enquiry.
6. Collect your passport and visa
If your visa application is successful, the concerned IVAC or Indian Mission will notify you via email, phone, or letter. You can now collect your passport and Indian Employment Visa or have them mailed to you.
The Indian Work Visa is a multiple-entry visa granted for one year or the duration of your contract in India (up to 5 years). Since you have a long-stay visa, you must register with the FRRO/FRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) within 14 days of your arrival in India.
Furthermore, your family members and dependents will be eligible to apply for an X (Entry) Visa. Its validity is co-terminus with your E Visa or shorter as deemed necessary by the Indian Mission.
I hope that this article on how to get a work visa in India was helpful! If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!