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India – Work Permits and Working Legally

Working Legally in India

It is necessary for foreign nationals to obtain a work permit in order to legally work in India. The expat’s employer is responsible for obtaining the work permit, although the expat must provide the necessary documents

Exemptions to this requirement are limited to certain categories of foreign nationals, such as government officials, employees of international organizations, and individuals holding long-term visa (LTV) status.

Types of Work Permits for Expats in India

There are two main types of work permits for expats in India: the Employment Visa and the Business Visa

The Employment Visa is required for foreign nationals who will be employed in India for more than 180 days. This visa allows the holder to work and reside in India for a specified period of time, up to a maximum of five years. Eligibility for this visa type is dependent on factors such as the expat’s qualifications and experience, as well as the nature of the employment


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The Business Visa is required for foreign nationals who will be working in India on a temporary basis, such as for a specific project. This visa type allows the holder to stay in India for up to six months and is not renewable.

Work Permit Application Process in India

The procedure for obtaining a work permit in India involves several steps, including:

  • The expat’s employer must first obtain a Labor License and Establishment License from the Ministry of Labor.
  • Next, the employer must obtain a Work Permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Finally, the expat must obtain the appropriate visa from the Indian embassy or consulate in their home country.

The process can take several weeks or even months, so it is important to plan ahead.

Work Permit Documents in India

The following documents are required when applying for a work permit in India:

  • A valid passport and photographs
  • Evidence of qualifications and experience
  • Evidence of employment and salary
  • Police clearance certificate from the expat’s home country
  • Medical certificate from a recognized Indian hospital

It is important to note that the requirements for obtaining a work permit in India may change over time, so it is advisable to check for updates.

Work Permit Costs in India

The costs involved in obtaining a work permit in India will vary depending on the type of permit and the individual’s circumstances. In general, the costs include fees for the Labor License, Establishment License, Work Permit, and visa, as well as charges for medical examinations and police clearance certificates.

Reliable Information on Working Legally in India

Expats can find reliable information on working legally in India from the following sources:

  • The Ministry of Labor: This government website provides information on the process of obtaining a work permit in India.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs: This government website provides information on immigration and visa requirements for foreign nationals in India.
  • The Indian embassy or consulate in the expat’s home country: This is a good resource for obtaining up-to-date information on visa and work permit requirements.

Useful links:


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