Work Permit in India

Why is Work Permit Needed?

A work visa is a legal document that authorizes your entry and stay in India. Work permit in India for foreigners has very stringent stipulations in place. India has witnessed illegal migration for work for decades, and the government, as a result, is very strict about foreign presence in the country. This document thus gives you a degree of protection and legitimizes your stay and work in the nation.  

About the India Job Market

Number of Expats

Anywhere between 30,000 - 50,000

Popular Industries for Expats

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

Expat Job Websites

LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Naukri

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

Other registration-related information can be found here and 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.

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. For more information regarding specific clauses and details of documents, you can refer to this notice.

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 EOR 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 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

How does Indian e visa work?

The e visa, started by the Indian government, is handled by the Ministry of Home Affairs. In certain cases, if an applicant wants to apply for a visa online, they can avail of this feature on this website. The application process is started when you register and upload your documents on the portal. After completing the application, you have to pay the fee. After payment of the fee, you will be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) on your email account. You have to print this ETA and present it at the Immigration Check Post. Here, your passport will then be stamped with an e visa.

At present, for work-related purposes, you can only apply for an eBusiness Visa. A sample of the e visa application is given here.

Can I still apply for an Employment Visa if my salary is less than 25000 USD/Year?

In most cases, your application will stand canceled and will not be processed if it does not meet the remuneration criteria set by the Indian government. India offers an exception to this criteria in only three cases-

  1. Ethnic cooks
  2. Foreign language teachers/translator (other than English)
  3. The staff of a country working in their respective High Commission/Consulate/Embassy in India
Can I still apply for an Employment Visa if I do not work at a senior level?

India does not issue Employment Visas to workers in clerical/secretarial jobs, entry-level jobs, or mid-level jobs.

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