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Work Permits and E Visa for Foreign Workers in India

India has specific requirements to issue work permits and visas to your staff assigned to work in India, and the primary type is called the Employment or E visa.  This visa is granted for one year, or for the term of the contract in India (up to 5 years).  As with many countries, the E visa can only be given to an employee of an organization registered in India, which means that your company must have a legal entity to process the visa.

For complete detail on the company registration process, required immigration documents and government agencies involved, you can take a look at this overview. Even if you have an Indian business entity and are comfortable submitting the application for your employees, it can be helpful to have local experts within India to assist you with the various steps and documents.

India Work Visa Processing Time

The E visa must be applied for from the applicant’s home country, although it can be done online.  For employees from certain countries, the visa process is outsourced to private visa companies, so it pays to check if that is the case for your staff.  The stated processing time for citizens of most countries is 3-5 days, but it is recommended to apply well before the planned start date for the assignment.

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Immigration and Work Visa Requirements in India

The E visa is only given to your staff that are either senior management or highly skilled professional and technical employees.  This excludes positions such as secretarial or clerical jobs, and the salary must be more than US$25,000 per year.  Considering these requirements, most employees assigned to India would qualify as long as there is a registered Indian company to sponsor the visa.

One unusual requirement for E visas is that the employee must submit biometrics (facial and fingerprints) which must be done in person at designated centers for obvious reasons.

The Advantage of Using Shield GEO for Indian Work Permits and Visas

If your company is just entering India or simply exploring the market, you can use an alternative method of legally employing staff: the Shield GEO employer of record.  We provide a local entity through our local partner that will handle all of the immigration and visa application steps for you.  This ensures full compliance with Indian laws, and quick deployment of staff.

Even if you plan to incorporate in India, the GEO service allows you to place staff in the country while that is being completed, providing crucial support and employee administration in the early stages.  Those GEO employees could then be transitioned to your own company at a later date.

Here’s everything you need to know about employing an overseas worker in India. 

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Looking for a better way to employ someone in a new country? Get in touch.

The information in this article is subject to changes in local legislation.

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