India’s Changes to Visa Rules
The Indian government has made sweeping changes to the employment, business, and tourist visa guidelines. Changes in business and employment visa guidelines have been introduced to safeguard the interests of the Indian labour force, whereas amendments in the tourist visa guidelines have been introduced mainly on concerns of internal security.
Key Changes in Business Visa, Employment Visa, and Tourist Visa Guidelines
• Business visas would not be granted to foreign nationals who intend to execute a project or contract in India.
• The primary consideration for granting of business visas is the purpose of the stay and not the period of stay of the foreign national in India.
• The purposes for which business visas will be issued are noted in the Frequently Asked Questions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
• The new guidelines provide for the grant of an employment visa only to foreign nationals who are highly skilled or employed at senior levels.
• Limits have been placed on the number of employment visas that can be issued to foreign nationals. The Indian mission abroad can grant such visas only to the extent of 1 percent of the total workforce engaged on a project subject to a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20. However, in the case of power- and steel-sector projects, a relief has been provided and the limit has been set at 40.
• In case more employment visas are required in comparison with the specified limits, then specific permission is to be obtained from the Ministry of Labour and Employment.