Arrival in India

Arrival in India

Authors: Dezshira & Associates

Procedure to Obtain Work Permit by Foreign Nationals to Work in India 

The guidelines dealing with entry, stay, and exit of foreign nationals in India are regulated by:
– The Passport (Entry in India) Act, 1920
– The Foreigners Act, 1946
– The Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 and the Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1992

An expatriate needs to secure an employment visa (EV) for working in India. Indian authorities require documentations from the applicant and his/ her employer. Employment visas are ordinarily granted for one year or depending on the term of the contract and with multiple entry option which can be extended from Ministry of Home Affairs or Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) in the concerned state in India.

The documents required by the authorities to process the visa are straightforward and ideally shouldn’t take much time to gather and organize. Below is the list of documents which are required while applying for employment visa:

Documents required from Applicant:

– Original Passport and a photocopy of passport information and signature page;
– Signed Indian visa application form and a photocopy of same;
– Passport size photographs;
– Proof of residence, national ID card or utility bill, from the visa holder’s home country;

Documents required from Employer

– Certificate of Incorporation from the inviting company in India;
– Sponsor letter from employer in India;
– Permission letter requesting approval of visa registration;
– Appointment letter stating salary, tenure, designation, etc.;
– Tax liability letter; and,
– Justification letter for justifying applicant’s professional skills and competencies;

Except for incorporation certificate, all the documents are required in original. Documents need to be drafted on company’s letter head signed and marked with company’s official stamp.

All foreign nationals visiting India on long term (more than 180 days) visa are required to get themselves registered with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival except the exempt categories. Although, Pakistani nationals are required to register themselves within 24 hours.

Documents required for registration with FRRO:
– Application form;
– Original passport with visa;
– Photocopy of the passport and visa;
– Four photographs of the individual;
– Residence Proof – Form C copy from Hotel or Lodge/ Electricity bill / Landline Telephone / Municipal Bill of the landlord in case of staying in a house of a relative or friend along with a letter and photo-id card of the landlord;
– Request letter from the company for registration;
– Employment contract stating salary, employment period, etc.;
– Letter of undertaking from company signed by Indian host; and,
– Three copies of PAN card or of application given for obtaining the PAN card.

FRRO are located in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Trivandrum. Agents are not allowed inside the FRRO office, so foreigners would need to go through the process themselves. For other areas, foreign nationals can visit office of District Superintendent of Police which functions as FRO to facilitate foreigners.

The e-FRRO was implemented on pilot basis in four cities from 12th February, 2018. Government of India officially launched e-FRRO facility on 13thApril, 2018 in eight more cities, under which foreigners would be able to avail various visa and immigration related services without actually appearing in person at the FRRO, unless specifically called upon.

Key objective of e-FRRO is to provide faceless, cashless and paperless services to the foreigners with user friendly experience.

Foreign nationals liable to pay income tax in India are required to obtain a tax registration number i.e. Permanent Account Number (PAN) upon their arrival in India. PAN is usually given within 15 days of applying and submitting the documents.


The information contained herein is prepared by Dezan Shira Consultancy Services Private Limited is intended to provide general information on a particular topic or topics and is not an exhaustive treatment of such topic(s). No liability maybe accepted for any the information given herein. These Materials should not be regarded by recipients as a substitute for the exercise of their own judgment.

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