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Employment visa for foreigners in India

The applicant should be a highly skilled and/or qualified professional, who is being engaged or appointed by a
company / organization / industry / undertaking in India on contract or employment basis. Employment visa shall not be granted for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.

Minimum Salary – The foreign nationals being sponsored for an employment visa in any sector should draw a salary in excess of USD 25000 per annum. The salary threshold limit of USD 25000 per annum may be worked out taking into account the salary and all other allowances and perquisites like house rent allowance, rent free accommodation, etc. However, perquisites which are not included for working out the income tax should not be taken into the account for arriving the threshold limit.

However, Nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran and Sri Lanka, who are married to Indian nationals and who are not eligible for grant of PIO card, must draw a minimum salary of USD 14000 per annum for being eligible for grant of Employment visa. Further, grant of Employment Visa in such cases will be subject to prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Exemption from the payment of minimum salary – The above condition of annual salary will not apply to –

  • Ethnic cooks
  • Language teachers / translators (other than English language teachers)
  • Staff working for the concerned Embassy / High Commissioner in India
  • Foreigners eligible for E visa for honorary work with the NGO registered in the country without salary

Categories of foreign nationals eligible for grant of employment visa

  • Foreign Nationals (FN) coming for execution of some project in India
  • FN coming as consultant on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration
  • FN coming as coaches of national / state level teams or reputed sports clubs
  • FN coming to give programs (music/dance/art) in hotels, clubs or other organizations.
  • Professionals such as doctors, accountants, engineers for providing services
  • Foreign language teachers/interpreters
  • Foreign specialist Chefs

Duration of Employment visa

  • Highly skilled foreign personnel being employed in IT software and IT enabled sectors, may be granted Employment visa with validity up to 3 years or the term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entry facilities
  • A foreign technician/expert coming to India in pursuance of a bilateral agreement between the Government of India and the foreign government, or in pursuance of a collaboration agreement that has been approved by the Government of India, may be granted an Employment visa for the duration of the agreement, or for a period of 5 years, whichever is less, with multiple entry facilities
  • A foreigner coming to India for employment not covered in the above two categories, may be granted Employment visa with a validity up to 2 years or the term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entry facility

Extension of Employment visa

The Employment visa of a foreign national may be extended by the FRROs beyond the initial visa validity period, up to a total period of 5 years from the date of issue of the initial Employment visa, on a year on year basis, subject to good conduct, production of necessary documents in support of continued employment, filing of income tax return and no adverse security inputs about the foreigner.

Registration with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO)

All foreigners holding Employment visa valid for a period of more than 180 days, are required to get themselves registered with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO)/ Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) concerned having jurisdiction over the place where the foreigner intends to stay, within 14 days of arrival.

Change of employer

No change of employer shall be permitted during the currency of the Employment visa. If the foreign national desires to change the employment to another company/organization, he will have to leave the country and apply for a fresh visa.

However, change of employment may be considered only between a registered holding company and its subsidiary and vice-versa or between subsidiaries of a registered holding company subject to certain conditions.

Visa to family members of a foreigner granted Employment visa

Family members / dependents of a foreigner who is granted E visa shall be granted X visa subject to usual security checks provided the family members are otherwise eligible for a grant of such a visa. Its validity shall be co-terminus with the validity of the visa of the principal visa holder.

Conversion of Employment Visa

Employment visa cannot be converted to any other kind of visa during the stay of the foreigner in India. However, if a foreigner who has come to India on Employment visa marries an Indian national during the validity of her Employment visa and does not intend to continue on Employment visa may be converted to X visa. Similarly, in situations of medical issues, subject to certain conditions, employment visa may be converted to X visa or medical visa.


Thought for the day

The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk.

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About CA Prasad Chartered Accountant

CA Prasad Chartered Accountant
CA Prasad is a practicing Chartered Accountant and partner in Bangalore -based CA Firm. For further information or query, please email it to [email protected]