Registering an Indian employment visa Registering an Indian employment visa

Registering an Indian employment visa
31 Mar 2015

Expatriates’ first in-country encounter with Indian bureaucracy often occurs at the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO). After obtaining an Indian visa, registering the visa at a FRRO is often an afterthought for expatriates. Unfortunately, however, registering a visa is a cumbersome process.

If the duration of the visa exceeds six months (180 days), the visa holder must register the visa within 14 days of arrival at a FRRO. The only exception to this is for Pakistan nationals, who must register within 24 hours.

Long-term visa holders should plan to register their visa as soon as possible. Failing to register a visa within the specified time period can result in a fine and, in some cases, an investigation. An investigation can take several weeks – the visa holder is not permitted to leave the country during this time period. In addition, investigations may complicate any future visa applications or renewals.

How to navigate India’s employment visa procedures

Registration documents

Before visiting a FRRO to register an employment visa, a visa holder needs to prepare the registration documents required by Indian authorities. Like the visa application, both the visa holder and their By Adam Pitman, Dezan Shira and Associates employer must provide support documents to register the visa. This process requires coordination between the visa holder and their employer. Visa holders and their employer should plan to allow two to three days to gather and complete these documents.

The visa holder must ordinarily provide:
• A completed visa registration application form
• Six passport size photos of the applicant
• A copy of the photo page within the passport
• A copy of the visa page within the passport
• Proof of address, such as a driver’s licence or
utility bill, from the visa holder’s home country
• A notarized copy of a lease deed/agreement or a c-form from a hotel of residence
• Visa registration fees.

The employer must ordinarily provide:

• Two copies of a permission letter that requests approval for the applicant’s visa registration
• Two copies of a sponsorship letter that pledges responsibility for the applicant’s activity in India and promises to repatriate the applicant at company cost if any adverse conduct comes to notice
• Two copies of a letter confirming the visa holder’s residential address in India
• Two copies of an employment contract that specifically states the monthly salary, designation, tenure of employment etc
• The company’s Incorporation Certificate.

All documents, with the exception of the Incorporation Certificate, must be original copies, drafted on company letterhead, signed by a senior manager and marked with the company’s official stamp.

Visiting FRROs

After the registration documents have been completed, visa-holders can register their visa at FRROs located across India. The latest available listing shows that FRROs are located in cities on the map.

Indian authorities ask visa holders stationed outside of these regional centres to register their visa with the local police. However, visa holders should attempt to register their visa with a FRRO if possible. Local police are often unaware of the visa registration process, which can lead to unnecessary delays and complications. Moreover, local police officers in rural and undeveloped areas are often under-resourced.

For these reasons, many visa holders stationed in rural and undeveloped areas register their visa at a FRRO. This ensures that visa holders receive the swiftest possible service and maintain privacy at their field location. To do so, the applicant must stay at a regional centre with an FRRO for several days, listing a local affiliate office, such as a sales office, as a place of business.

Registering your visa

To register a visa, the applicant must bring all required documentation and physically visit an FRRO. Visa holders may schedule a visa registration appointment. However, many visa holders simply visit the FRRO at a time of their choosing. Visa holders that have not scheduled a registration appointment should arrive at the FRRO as early as possible to avoid large crowds.

While visa holders will likely need to wait several hours for a registration officer, well-organised applicants will receive a registration certificate from the officer in a matter of minutes. Once the process is completed, the visa holder becomes legally eligible to work and reside in India for the allowed period.

Despite visa holders seeking to register their stay in India can successfully do so independently, many companies employ a local visa consultant. These consultants, who are often certified lawyers, can provide form letters and crosscheck registration documents to ensure that registration applications do not invite any undue scrutiny.

In addition, visa consultants can enter the FRRO with the visa holder to provide support during the registration. Visa holders are not allowed to bring local guests into the FRRO. The presence of a visa consultant means that someone who can speak the local language and is able to answer technical questions during the registration accompanies the applicant.

A cumbersome but valuable experience

Registering an employment visa can be a burden for freshly arrived expatriates, but the experience provides important insights into the Indian bureaucratic process. Expatriates unfamiliar with Indian bureaucracy will learn local practices that are critical for preparing and submitting official documents in India.

Moreover, the process can help managers understand the amount of time and energy required for doing business with local government offices.

 

This article was first published by India briefing

By Adam Pitman, Dezan Shira and Associates

Dezan Shira and Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile fullservice consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.

For further details or to contact the firm, please email info@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.

 

Expatriates’ first in-country encounter with Indian bureaucracy often occurs at the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO). After obtaining an Indian visa, registering the visa at a FRRO is often an afterthought for expatriates. Unfortunately, however, registering a visa is a cumbersome process.

If the duration of the visa exceeds six months (180 days), the visa holder must register the visa within 14 days of arrival at a FRRO. The only exception to this is for Pakistan nationals, who must register within 24 hours.

Long-term visa holders should plan to register their visa as soon as possible. Failing to register a visa within the specified time period can result in a fine and, in some cases, an investigation. An investigation can take several weeks – the visa holder is not permitted to leave the country during this time period. In addition, investigations may complicate any future visa applications or renewals.

How to navigate India’s employment visa procedures

Registration documents

Before visiting a FRRO to register an employment visa, a visa holder needs to prepare the registration documents required by Indian authorities. Like the visa application, both the visa holder and their By Adam Pitman, Dezan Shira and Associates employer must provide support documents to register the visa. This process requires coordination between the visa holder and their employer. Visa holders and their employer should plan to allow two to three days to gather and complete these documents.

The visa holder must ordinarily provide:
• A completed visa registration application form
• Six passport size photos of the applicant
• A copy of the photo page within the passport
• A copy of the visa page within the passport
• Proof of address, such as a driver’s licence or
utility bill, from the visa holder’s home country
• A notarized copy of a lease deed/agreement or a c-form from a hotel of residence
• Visa registration fees.

The employer must ordinarily provide:

• Two copies of a permission letter that requests approval for the applicant’s visa registration
• Two copies of a sponsorship letter that pledges responsibility for the applicant’s activity in India and promises to repatriate the applicant at company cost if any adverse conduct comes to notice
• Two copies of a letter confirming the visa holder’s residential address in India
• Two copies of an employment contract that specifically states the monthly salary, designation, tenure of employment etc
• The company’s Incorporation Certificate.

All documents, with the exception of the Incorporation Certificate, must be original copies, drafted on company letterhead, signed by a senior manager and marked with the company’s official stamp.

Visiting FRROs

After the registration documents have been completed, visa-holders can register their visa at FRROs located across India. The latest available listing shows that FRROs are located in cities on the map.

Indian authorities ask visa holders stationed outside of these regional centres to register their visa with the local police. However, visa holders should attempt to register their visa with a FRRO if possible. Local police are often unaware of the visa registration process, which can lead to unnecessary delays and complications. Moreover, local police officers in rural and undeveloped areas are often under-resourced.

For these reasons, many visa holders stationed in rural and undeveloped areas register their visa at a FRRO. This ensures that visa holders receive the swiftest possible service and maintain privacy at their field location. To do so, the applicant must stay at a regional centre with an FRRO for several days, listing a local affiliate office, such as a sales office, as a place of business.

Registering your visa

To register a visa, the applicant must bring all required documentation and physically visit an FRRO. Visa holders may schedule a visa registration appointment. However, many visa holders simply visit the FRRO at a time of their choosing. Visa holders that have not scheduled a registration appointment should arrive at the FRRO as early as possible to avoid large crowds.

While visa holders will likely need to wait several hours for a registration officer, well-organised applicants will receive a registration certificate from the officer in a matter of minutes. Once the process is completed, the visa holder becomes legally eligible to work and reside in India for the allowed period.

Despite visa holders seeking to register their stay in India can successfully do so independently, many companies employ a local visa consultant. These consultants, who are often certified lawyers, can provide form letters and crosscheck registration documents to ensure that registration applications do not invite any undue scrutiny.

In addition, visa consultants can enter the FRRO with the visa holder to provide support during the registration. Visa holders are not allowed to bring local guests into the FRRO. The presence of a visa consultant means that someone who can speak the local language and is able to answer technical questions during the registration accompanies the applicant.

A cumbersome but valuable experience

Registering an employment visa can be a burden for freshly arrived expatriates, but the experience provides important insights into the Indian bureaucratic process. Expatriates unfamiliar with Indian bureaucracy will learn local practices that are critical for preparing and submitting official documents in India.

Moreover, the process can help managers understand the amount of time and energy required for doing business with local government offices.

 

This article was first published by India briefing

By Adam Pitman, Dezan Shira and Associates

Dezan Shira and Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile fullservice consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.

For further details or to contact the firm, please email info@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.

 

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