India – Immigration Updates

Three (3) New Categories of E-Visas for India

What has changed  

Effective April 1, 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs has decided to liberalize the e-visa regime for India. The previous e-Visa has been sub-divided into three (3) categories: e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, and e-Medical Visa. The duration of stay for foreigners coming into India on an e-visa has increased from thirty (30) days to sixty (60) days. Previously, the e-Visa was issued primarily for Tourism (e-Tourist Visa on Arrival- eTVoa) and could only be requested thirty (30) days in advance of travel. The e-Visa (Tourist) allowed only for as ingle entry and a maximum stay of thirty (30) days on a visit. The new e-Visa facilities apply to the nationals of 161 countries for entry through twenty-four (24) airports and three (3) Indian seaports. Additionally, individuals may now apply for e-Visas up to four (4) months in advance of their travel date.

Who is affected?

  • Nationals of the 161 designated countries entering India on an e-visa (e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa and e-Medical Visa)
  • Nationals of the 161 designated countries applying for an e-visa to India (e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, and e-Medical Visa)

What to expect

The liberalization of the visa regime will facilitate entry of foreigners into India for business via the e-visa making it a faster and more convenient process for the companies.

e-Business and e-Medical Visas will be granted within forty-eight (48) hours of application upon urgent requests subject to certain criteria.

What you need to do

Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

Increased Fees for All Nationals and Visa Categories

Effective April 1, 2017, visa fees for all nationals and visa categories will increase. All applications in process on April 1st, 2017 or submitted after this date will be subject to the new fees.

Who is affected?

  • Individuals of all nationalities applying for all visa categories on or after April 1, 2017
  • Individuals of all nationalities with applications for all visa categories still under process on April 1st, 2017

What to expect

Both new and ongoing applications may experience processing delays.

What you need to do

Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

 

Two (2) New Subcategories of India Employment Visa Introduced

Enacted on March 1, 2017 and effective immediately, authorities in India have introduced two (2) categories to the India Employment Visa: the Intern or (I) Visa and Film or (F) Visa. The Intern Visa is for foreigners seeking internships with Indian companies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations (NGOs), subject to certain checks and conditions.The Film Visa is for those seeking to shoot movies in India. Previously, an India Employment Visa was issued to Interns and a Journalist Visa was issued to filmmakers or any media.

Who is affected?

  • Foreigners seeking internships with Indian companies, educational institutions, and NGOs
  • Foreigners seeking to shoot movies in India

What to expect

Prior clearance is required from the home ministry for foreigners seeking internships with NGOs as visits to protected or restricted areas may be involved.

The Intern Visa sub-category allows for the authorities to better assess an application. India Employment Visas will be issued with an additional endorsement indicating “For internship with XXX (India Company Name).” The period of visa is restricted to the duration of the internship program or one (1) year, whichever is less. The Intern Visa will be granted immediately after graduation/post-graduation.

The Film Visa has a maximum duration of one (1) year with multiple entry facility.

What you need to do

Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.