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Work Permit in India

Work Permit in India

Do you Need a Work Permit in India?

In India, a work permit is crucial for foreign nationals due to the country’s diverse economic landscape and labor market dynamics. One primary reason for this requirement is to protect job opportunities for Indian citizens. With a vast and growing population, the Indian government prioritizes local employment to ensure that its citizens benefit from the country’s economic activities. By requiring work permits, the government ensures that foreign workers are employed only in positions where there is a clear shortage of local expertise, thereby safeguarding jobs for Indians.

India’s work permit system also supports the country’s goals of economic development and technological advancement. India is rapidly advancing in sectors such as information technology, engineering, healthcare, and manufacturing. The work permit process allows the government to attract skilled foreign professionals who can contribute to these critical areas, filling skill gaps and promoting innovation. This targeted approach is essential for maintaining India’s competitive edge in the global economy and fostering sustainable growth.

Ensuring compliance with labor laws and standards is a key aspect of India’s work permit system. The government uses the work permit process to ensure that foreign workers are employed under conditions that adhere to Indian labor laws. This includes guaranteeing fair wages, safe working conditions, and access to social security benefits. By enforcing these standards, the government aims to prevent the exploitation and abuse of foreign workers, ensuring that all employees in India are treated with respect and fairness.

The work permit system in India involves thorough background checks and verification of qualifications to maintain national security and uphold professional standards. The government ensures that foreign workers possess the necessary skills and credentials and do not pose any security risks. This scrutiny helps maintain the integrity of the Indian workforce and ensures that foreign workers contribute positively to the economy and society.

India’s work permit system also aligns with its broader goals of social inclusion and economic resilience. By managing the entry of foreign workers, India can better control the economic impact and social integration of these individuals. This regulation helps maintain social harmony and supports the government’s objectives of balanced development and cultural integration.

About the India Job Market

Work Permit in India

Number of Expats:


Expats Job Websites:

Popular Industries for Expats:

IT, Hospitality, Foreign Language Teaching, NGO, Intergovernmental organization

India Work Visa Categories

In India work visa is issued for six months, up to five years, and is of the following two categories:

Business Visa

A Business Visa is issued to those individuals who plan to go to India for the following work purposes:

  • To establish a business in the country
  • For frequent visits due to business-related activities, such as meetings and negotiations
  • To invest in India

Employment Visa

An Employment Visa is granted to those individuals who will migrate to India if they work in an MNC and take up a post in an Indian branch of their company. People tasked with overseeing a project or working as consultants in the Iron and Steel industries, or the Power sector are also issued an Employment Visa.

This visa is also granted to individuals if they will be working in an NGO in India. However, they must draw a salary of a minimum of 10,000 INR per month to be eligible for this visa.

In India, work visa applications have an option of a Single Entry Visa or a Multiple Entry Visa. The latter offers you the chance to leave and re-enter India for the duration of the stay if you need to leave India for work or personal reasons.

In India, work visa applications also give you the option to apply for an extension. The application for extension is handled by the Bureau of Immigration of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Some other permits required during your stay in India on a work visa include:

Foreigners Registration

All foreigners, even those of Indian origin, have to register themselves if they plan to stay in India for more than six months. Work permit in India for foreigners has this additional mandatory step dependent on the duration of your stay. The registration of such individuals is taken care of by Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or the Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO), in the following districts: New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Trivandrum.
In all other districts where a Registration Officer is not appointed, the process will be under the jurisdiction of District Superintendents of Police.
Those foreigners applying for an Employment Visa, whose stay period extends beyond 180 days, mandatorily have to register themselves. Likewise, if you enter India on a Business Visa and your aggregate stay in a calendar year extends beyond 180 days, you will also have to register yourself.
This registration process should be undertaken within 14 days from the day of your arrival in India. While there is no registration charge in the first 14 days, there is a penalty fee as a late registration charge. In addition, there is also a penalty for overstay and non-registration. The information for all these charges and their stipulations can be found here.

Residential Permit:

Those foreigners living on an extended visa in India will also have to apply for a Resident Permit at the Registration Office.

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Requirements of a Work Visa

A work permit in India for foreigners is issued on the condition that the employee’s company is already registered in India. Your Employment Visa application is started on the condition that the business organization, i.e., your employer, has a registered branch in India, especially if it is an MNC. In addition, to qualify for an Employment Visa in India your annual salary as a foreign worker should be at least 25,000 USD per annum.

Employment Visa is only granted to senior management employees or highly skilled technical professionals who plan to migrate for work to India.

In India, work permit requirements are different for Business and Employment Visas. To apply for an Employment Visa, the following documents are required by the High Commission/Embassy of India:

  • A passport with validity for one year
  • Passport-size photographs, the background of which should be white
  • Documentary proof of your employment in the company or NGO where you will work in India
  • Documentary proof of your professional expertise and educational qualification
  • Registration documents of the Company where the employee will be working

To apply for a Business Visa, in addition to the passport, photographs, and application forms, you will have to submit documentary proof of your proposed business activity in India. In addition, documentary proof of your company’s registration with either the State Industries Department or any other regulatory body of your field is also required.

You will also have to give proof of your financial standing, in addition to evidence of expertise in your proposed field of business.

To apply at the FRRO, you need to submit the following documents:

If you’ve entered via the Employment Visa, you need to provide:

  • Four Photographs
  • Visa and Passport, with proof of immigration stamp
  • Residence proof in India
  • Employment Contract, specifying duration and remuneration
  • A request letter from your company for registration
  • A letter of undertaking from your company, which should be signed by an authorized Indian signatory, with their name and contact details

If you’ve entered on a Business Visa, you need to provide:

  • Photograph
  • Visa and Passport, with proof of immigration stamp
  • Residence proof in India
  • Documentary proof of your business
  • Approval Letter from Government of India or RBI (case-to-case basis)
  • Incorporation Letter
  • Letter of Undertaking, issued either by the company Director or an authorized company representative
  • Memorandum of Articles, giving details of the Director(s) of the company
  • Director’s Identification Number
  • A copy of your company’s PAN card

If an individual plans to stay in India for more than a year, then a medical report, including an HIV test, from an authorized WHO center has to be submitted.

Application Processing Time for Indian Visa

To enter India, work visa application processing time differs from country to country. Processing time also varies depending on the type of visa and duration for which you’re applying. Therefore, it is recommended that you begin your application process well beforehand in case of any discrepancies or additional requirements by the Consulate.

Cost of an Indian Work Visa

The cost of an Indian work visa is not fixed. Depending on your country and its currency, the application cost for a Business Visa can range anywhere from 120 USD to 230 USD. The Single/Multiple Entry Business Visa issued for a shorter duration is generally much cheaper than the Multiple Entry Visa issued for a five-year duration. Similarly, an Employment Visa can range anywhere from 120 USD to 560 USD depending on your country and duration of stay. For further information, individuals will have to contact the High Commission of India of their respective countries and confirm from them an accurate cost for their respective applications.

How Does Multiplier Help With Work Permit?

We are a global employer of record services company that has experience handling and providing HR solutions, with a local presence in over 100 countries. Our expert team can tackle the process of onboarding and managing employees for global business organizations that want efficient employee management. To enter and work in India, work visas and permits have a multi-step process. Partnering with Multiplier EOR platform and its in-house experts can offer you a one-stop solution to this entire process. We will take care of the applications and permits from the very beginning itself and keep you updated on their developments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

India offers two main types of work visas:

  • Business Visa: For individuals planning to establish a business, participate in business meetings, or invest in India. This visa can be issued for a period of six months to five years.
  • Employment Visa: For foreign nationals working in an Indian company, NGO, or as consultants in specific sectors like the Iron and Steel industries or Power sector. This visa is valid for six months to five years, depending on the employment contract​

Requirements include:

  • A valid passport
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Employment contract or business invitation letter
  • Proof of qualifications and work experience
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Health certificate
  • Completed visa application form
  • Company registration documents for the employer

The application process involves:

  • Submitting the visa application form and required documents to the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
  • Undergoing a medical examination and obtaining a health certificate.
  • Registering with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival in India if staying for more than 180 days

The processing time for a work permit in India varies based on the applicant’s country of residence and the type of visa. It typically takes between one to three months. It is recommended to start the application process well in advance to accommodate any delays​

Yes, family members can accompany the work permit holder to India. They need to apply for an Entry (X) Visa. The work permit holder must provide proof of financial stability and accommodation for their family members. Additionally, family members are not allowed to work in India unless they obtain their own work visas​

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