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If you want to travel to India to expand your business, or to attend business meetings, or to purchase goods, to establish connections, or to attend exhibitions, then you need a valid business visa. The Government of India grants business visas to such foreign individuals who are serious investors and want to grow, expand and promote their business in India.

Usually, business visas are granted for five years, as the default option. Currently, the Government of India is granting 10-year multiple entry business visas to the citizens of the United States of America, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. In order to avail yourself of this scheme, you must register with the respective Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) if you intend to stay in India on a business visa for more than 180 days, in a row, during each visit. If you are moving to India for business purposes, then you must have a valid business visa. Otherwise, fines might be imposed, or in some cases, detention, for the violation of this rule.

The process of applying for a business visa in India is simple. The process to obtain a business visa is not lengthy. Usually, the Indian Embassy will grant such a business visa within a week, if the business visa application is complete in all aspects. For Pakistani nationals, application approval for business visas may take the longest time.

A business visa is only granted on an ordinary passport; other types of official or diplomatic passports are declined.  A business visa is usually not granted if the passport is tampered with or damaged.

The Indian Business Visa is not valid for visiting protected, restricted, or military cantonment areas. The passport must be valid for six months or more in order to obtain a business visa. A business visa cannot be converted into any other type of visa.

You cannot legally work in India on a business visa. There is a difference between an employment visa and a business visa. It is important to note that in order to legally get a job in India, you need a valid employment visa. You cannot seek employment in India on a business visa.

You cannot enter India unless you have a visa for a specific category. A business visa is a legal authorisation that lets individuals travel to India and take part in business-related activities. Your purpose for the visit must be to take part in business conferences, business meetings, business exhibitions, business dealings, business negotiations, exploring business opportunities, and other business-related activities.

Money-lending businesses are prohibited from obtaining business visas. The Government of India does not grant the business visa on arrival because there are multiple legal formalities involved in issuing the business visa.

The major requirements to get the India business visa are as follows:

  • passport valid for six months and have at least 3 empty pages;
  • photograph;
  • proof of incorporation certificate of company which is extending the invitation;
  • details of the Indian organisation that is being visited, or trade fair/exhibition;
  • Invitation Letter.  

Foreign nationals who lack the resources to conduct business in India are not eligible for an Indian business visa. It is a stringent condition, and only those with solid financial status are eligible for this visa.

If the business visa is granted for a period less than five years, it can be extended up to a maximum of five years, subject to the fact that the gross sales or turnover from the business activities for which the foreigner has been granted the visa is not less than Rs. 1 crore per annum.

The Government of India grants permanent residency status to foreign investors who make investments under the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) route. To be eligible, the foreign investor must invest at least Rs. 10 crore in 18 months or Rs. 25 crore in 36 months. The foreign investment should result in generating employment for at least 20 Indian residents every financial year. The Government of India does not grant permanent residency status to Pakistani citizens or third-country nationals of Pakistani origin in any circumstances.

The Government of India does not provide any monetary support or funds to stay in the country. You must have sufficient funds to stay in the country. It is your duty to follow the immigration laws of the country. A violation of any rule or regulation can result in a fine or sentence. In order to protect yourself from criminal prosecution, you must obey the laws of the country. A business visa allows you to travel to India from the date it is issued. 

You should not violate the immigration rules and regulations that govern your stay in India for business activities. Other than the immigration rules, you must also follow the other laws of India. If you overstay your visa or violate the terms, you may be detained, arrested, fined, and/or imprisoned.

India’s economy is growing day by day. India has significant business potential and is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. Usually, business visas are granted for five years; however, the request may be for a short-term visa. If you want detailed, professional legal advice about business visas to India, contact the Indian immigration law firms listed on our site.