Friday, January 24, 2014

New visa guidelines

Revised guidelines on Business Visa and Employment Visa
 
Background
The Government of India (Ministry of Home Affairs – “MHA”) has recently come out with certain amendments relating to Business Visas and Employment Visas. However, no changes have been introduced in the guidelines of Project Visa. The highlights of the key changes made in Business visa and Employment visa have been sumarized below:
 
Amendments
 
1.             Business Visa – “B-Visa” – No changes have been introduced in the revised guidelines pertaining to the purpose and conditions to be fulfilled for grant of B-Visa. However, the following additions have been made to the guidelines of B-Visa:
 
1.1          Grant of Business Visa to Chinese Nationals
i.              A 6 months multiple entry B-Visa (extendable to 1 year) can be granted to a Chinese national who has a letter of invitation from a ‘Recognized Indian Organization’ to stay for a period less than 90 days on each visit in India. ‘Recognized Indian Organization’, means recognized chambers of commerce or industry associations or other trade bodies, public sector undertakings, government approved joint ventures, liaison offices or private sector companies who are members of a recognized chamber of commerce or industry association or other trade body.
ii.             A 60 days single entry visa (extendable upto 180 days) can be granted to a Chinese national who produces a letter of request from a duly authorized Chinese Organization. ‘Duly authorized Chinese Organization’ means Ministries and Commissions of State Council, the Governments of all Provinces, Autonomous Regions and Municipalities directly under the Central Government, and Foreign Offices & Bureaus of Economy and Commerce thereunder and departments and units recognized by the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
iii.            A short term single entry B-Visa can be granted to a Chinese national (for a period not exceeding 60 days) who cannot produce either of the above documents, provided the Head of Mission/Head of Post or any officer of the Mission/Post designated by the Head of Mission/Head of Post is satisfied that the intention is for genuine business-related activities.
 
B-Visa of Chinese nationals can be extended only by the Ministry of Home affairs, on a case to case basis.
 
1.2          Grant of Business Visa and Temporary Visitor’s visa to Japanese nationals
 
i.                     Multiple entry business visas valid up to six months, with the period of stay up to one hundred eighty consecutive days, can be issued to nationals of Japan who travel to India on a temporary visit to establish industrial/ business venture or to explore possibilities of setting up industrial/business venture or for purchase / sale of industrial products, or for purpose of trade and other short term business related activities (not employment).
ii.             5 years multiple B-Visas can be issued to Japanse nationals who travel on a temporary visit to India on business purpose with receipt of a letter of request from a duly recognized company or employer of the country or on a request from recognized chambers of commerce and industry and business organizations of the country. However, the stay in India during each visit cannot exceed 180 consecutive days.
iii.            Conversion of B-Visa to employment visa in India is not permitted, and the applicant will have to return to his / her country of nationality, and apply to the Embassy or Consulate of India.
 
1.3          Visa to family members of foreign nationals holding B-Visa:
 
Family members and dependents of foreign nationals holding valid B-Visa, can also be granted Student / Research Visa, etc. subject to usual security checks, provided they are otherwise eligbile for grant of such visa. Under the earlier guidelines, the family members were required to come to India only on ‘X’ visa.
 
2.             Employment Visa – “E-Visa” – Similar to B-Visa guidelines, no new guidelines have been introduced in the categories and conditions to be fulfilled for grant of E-Visa. Further, no changes has been prescribed to the guidelines governing “Conversion of X-Visa to E-Visa” and “Change of employer”. The following additions have been made to the guidelines of E-Visa.
 
2.1          Visa to family members of a foreign nationals holding an E-Visa:
 
Family members and dependents of foreign nationals holding a valid E-Visa can also be granted Student / Research Visa, etc. subject to usual security checks, provided they are otherwise eligbile for grant of such visa. Under the earlier guidelines, the family members were required to come to India only on a ‘X’ Visa.
 
2.2          Special provisions for grant of E-Visa to the nationals of United States of America
i.              E-Visas for 3 years or co-terminus with the contract, whichever is earlier, can be granted to US nationals qualifying as CEOs / Senior Executives of a US company, subject to his/her qualifying for the E-Visa.
ii.             Year-to-year extension of the visa may be granted in India, up to maximum of 5 years from the date of issue of initial E-visa, subject to the good conduct of the foreign national and production of required documents in support of continued employment, Income tax returns, and no adverse security inputs.
iii.            Family members of the US nationals will be eligible for grant of visa as mentioned in para 2.1 above.
 
2.3          Special provisions for grant of E-Visa to Japanese nationals
i.              A multiple entry E-visa can be issued to Japanese technicians or experts coming to India in pursuance of:
(a)           a bilateral agreement between the Governments of India and Japan, or
(b)           an approved collaborative agreement between India and Japan, or
(c)           an arrangement between non-governmental organizations, including arrangements concerning cultural or academic exchanges which are duly approved by the Government of India for the duration stated in the arrangement or a period of five years, whichever is less.
ii.             3 years E-visas can be granted to Japanese nationals who are highly skilled professionals, employed in the IT software or IT enabled sectors in India. The applicant is required to submit proof of his / her contract with the Indian entity, along with the proof of registration of the Indian entity. An extension for 2 more years beyond the initial 3 years can be granted to such nationals.
ii.                    For Japanese nationals coming to India for employment and not covered under (i) and (ii) above, an E-Visa for 2 years or the term of the assignment, whichever is less, can be granted multiple entry visas.
iv.            A multiple entry visa can be issued to family members (spouse and children who are dependent on the applicant and form part of the same household) of Japanese nationals mentioned in (i), (ii) and (iii) above, co-terminus with the E- Visa issued to the principal visa holder, on submission of the proof of their relationship with the principal visa holder and a sponsoring letter from the employer of the principal visa holder.
v.             Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) compliance, have to be completed by the Japanese nationals and their family members within 14 days of their arrival in India, in accordance with the prevailing requirement. The residence permit issued by FRRO needs to be renewed on an annual basis.
 
2.4          Visa for interns under the French International Internship Programme (VIE)
The following conditions have been prescribed for issuance of visa to interns under the French VIE programme:
i.                     The visa for interns would be granted for fresh graduates within one year of graduation.
ii.             The visa would be valid for a maximum period of one year, with no extension permissible.
iii.            It would normally be restricted to a maximum of 50 interns per year.
iv.            Visa would be company-specific, and would only be issued on receipt of a letter from the company requesting for visa under the programme, with the period to be clearly specified, subject to a maximum period of one year.
v.             The interns shall observe all registration formalities as per rules after their arrival in India.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Source: http://mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/OverviewVisa.html

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