Getting An Indian Visa For Business Purposes

The Indian economy is doing quite well, considering the crisis the country had to face the past few years. There has been a commensurate increase in the number of foreign nationals visiting India, both for business and commercial purposes, and this has led to the rise of Foreign Direct Investment. To enter, the foreigner has to obtain a visa granted by the Indian Mission. Additionally, there are several types of visas a foreigner can apply, and depending on the purpose of visit and the ‘state of relationship with the foreigner’s country’, he would be granted one. The longest visa granted to a foreign national would be for conducting business or for employment. Businessmen who wish to set up joint ventures in India can easily avail a business visa for 10 years, complete with provision for ‘multiple entries’.

Foreigners visiting the country for business purposes

As more and more foreigners are discovering the potential in India, there has been a surge in the number of people coming to the country purely for the purpose of business or starting business partnerships. The Indian Post is getting a lot of applications for visa processing, but there are still doubts in the minds of people who wish to enter the country for business purposes. This article proposes to clear most of them.

What is a business visa and who are eligible for it?

A Business Visa is given to people who visit a country solely for the purpose of business and in order to establish contact with the people representing the business in India, they can also represent the company they are working for. On the other hand, a person going to work in another company in India or representing the company while working in India, must apply for an Employment Visa (designated as ‘E’ Visa ) and not Business Visa (designated as ‘B’ Visa). If he is not entering the country for either business or employment, then he must apply for an Entry Visa. Families and spouses (dependants of the foreign national) can apply for an Entry Visa, and not Tourist Visa.

The Business Visa comes with strings attached

It is not easy to get a Business Visa, unless the foreigner fulfills a few conditions. They are stated below

  • Must possess a valid travel document
  • Must be of good financial standing, or else the visa would be rejected
  • Must not come to the country for the purpose of lending money
  • Must not come with the intention of any petty trade/business
  • Would be liable to pay tax, if it is applicable
  • In certain cases, the applicant will be granted visa after a
  1. personal interview,
  2. obtained clearance from the country where he has permanent residence and
  3. a review of documentation
  • Proof of business activity must be shown, so all the necessary documents and details of company registration must be in good order

A foreigner can apply for, and obtain Business Visa if he wishes to set up a business venture in India; it could be an industry, for selling industrial goods, for conducting technical meetings, discussions and so on. Certain foreign nationals come to India with the purpose of recruiting manpower or for holding meetings with their partners in India. Several foreigners visit the country for the purpose of conducting exhibitions, trade fairs and so on. And a good number of them visit the country to provide technical expertise on their particular field and this is usually on invitation.

As a foreign national, the applicant has to submit the following documents along with an application form that is accurately and honestly filled. Other requirements include

  • A valid travel document, of course
  • Re-entry permit, if required
  • Proof showing that the applicant is related to the proposed business activity; proof of company’s registration is also mandatory
  • Proof showing expertise in the intended business
  • Proof showing sound financial standing
  • An original passport that must be valid for at least 6 months
  • Two passport size photos (recent, of course)
  • Visa fee

To apply for the visa, the applicant can collect the form from the Indian Embassy situated in his country. The duration of the visa, would of course, depend on the country from where the person resides and applies. It could be 6 months to several years. For US nationals, for example, the duration would be 10 years with provision for multiple entries. Foreigners who are planning to set up joint ventures in India can easily extend the duration of their visa. Extending the Indian visa is easy. The applicant can contact the office located at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road, New Delhi. If he is not residing in Delhi, then he can easily contact the Superintendent of Police or the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) located at various cities.


Certain facts worth knowing about the Indian Visa

  • The fees once paid for processing the application will not be refunded
  • The High Commission is the highest authority in deciding whether the visa should be granted, and for how much time
  • Even if the visa is granted, it may still not be final, the visitor can be stopped by the Immigration Authorities in India
  • Every traveler must ensure that he has a valid Indian visa before he starts his journey
  • Visitors from Mongolia, Jamaica, Maldives, Haiti, Burundi, Cape Verde, Mauritius are granted free visa

Interesting links about the topic:
Procedures to get an Bussiness visa to India
How to get an Bussiness Visa for India

Pictures: Udo/ Ken Mayer /photosteve101

The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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