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India - Employment

A person can come to India with his work permit or the employment visa which is valid for a period of one year or till the end of the contract for which visa is being obtained. The only restriction for foreigners to engage in any job in India is to hold a valid work permit.

Indian firms and companies can engage foreign nationals on short-term assignments without prior approval from the RBI.

There are two ways to apply for a work permit. Either the applicant can apply to the Indian Embassy or High Commission in his own resident country, or the employer who offers the job initiates the visa application process in India. One is also required to obtain a residential permit from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (Hans Bhawan, 1st Floor, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg). In either of the two cases, the following documents are required:

a. An application form;
b. Two recent photographs of the applicant;
c. Valid passport;
d. His proof of employment i.e., appointment document, contract letter, applicants resume, terms and conditions of employment, proof of registration of the employers organization in India, etc.
e. Proof of legal residence in the country where the application is being submitted.
f. Apart from the documents as mentioned in points 1-5, individual cases may require other information or documentation in support of the application, such as, a letter from the employer, an employment contract signed by both the parties, etc.

For those who have already come to India and have started working and want to seek an extension in their Work Permit / Employment visas can get them extended in India. Extension of visas can be done in Delhi, from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Director (F), Lok Nayak Bhavan (1st floor), Khan Market, New Delhi - 110003. However, a foreign national employee is generally NOT allowed to convert his or her immigration status from a Visitor status to Work status while remaining in India.

Although there is no requirement of high-level skill set in India, a 4 - year University degree is preferred while seeking an Intra-company transfer to India. Intra-company transfer visas are known as "E" Visas. Under such circumstances, the migrations officer may use his discretionary powers in deciding whether the candidate has the requisite qualifications and whether an Indian national can perform the same job.

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