Moving to Bangalore?
Visas and Work Permits for Bangalore
Everyone needs a valid visa for Bangalore. Visa applications are processed at all Indian overseas missions. If you are unsure as to where the nearest Indian mission is located, please consult the National Portal of India.
While there are no restrictions on skilled immigration (except for Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals), make sure you fulfill all formal requirements and submit the application in time. The Indian Embassy or Consulate should provide you with the correct application form and advice on any additional documents. If this information is not available online, call to request it.
Standard requirements for most visas are:
- passport, valid for at least 180 days from the start date of your stay, containing at least two blank visa pages
- an official document showing the applicant’s name and address of current residence
- birth certificate (copy)
- marriage certificate (copy) if the applicant’s name has changed due to marriage
- completed application form
- passport-sized photographs
- application fees
Visa fees include consular fees and, sometimes, a referral fee, which both vary according to visa type and duration of stay. Different types of visas require additional documentation.
Visas and Work Permits: Two for the Price of One?
The following two visa categories, which double as work permits, are the most common among expats:
- Employment Visas: you need to be employed by an Indian company, or you must be on a work assignment from your current employer. You should hold a position for highly skilled staff with an annual salary of more than 25,000 USD. This visa is valid for an initial period of one year, but it can be renewed in Bangalore at the FRRO. Necessary documents include proof of employment (i.e. a signed work contract) and of the applicant’s ability to carry out the job (e.g. academic and professional qualifications). For those working for NGOs a letter from their organization stating the nature of their work is required.
- Business Visas: this is for entrepreneurs or investors wishing to set up a business in Bangalore, to establish ties with an Indian company, or to purchase/sell industrial products. It requires a written statement from the client or contracting body, detailing the nature of the business and the length of the stay, as well as a letter of invitation from an Indian company (if applicable). The maximum length of your stay on this visa is six months from the date of entry, but the visa does endorse multiple entries during its period of validity, which can be as long as up to ten years depending on your business and nationality. A business visa cannot be converted into an employment visa in India. To do this, applicants must return to their respective home country first and go through the application process again.
Which Visa Do I Need if I Don’t Move for Work?
Apart from visas for tourists, medical tourists, and students, there are several other visa categories. Some of them might be relevant for expats too:
- Entry Visas: family members and dependents of expats holding either an employment visa or a research visa can apply for an entry visa. This does not automatically grant them the right to work. However, expat spouses can look for work in India and briefly return to their home country to apply for an employment visa. The entry visa is valid for as long as that of the principal visa holder. As an expat spouse, you need to present your marriage certificate, a letter from your partner, as well as a copy of their work contract, and their employment visa.
- Journalist Visas: journalists traveling to India, irrespective of the purpose of their stay, need a journalist visa. If they want to work as journalists in India, they must register for accreditation with the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India to obtain a PIB card. Additional documentation is required. In most cases, this is a letter from the employer stating the purpose of travel. If no media-related work is carried out in India, this must be documented in a written statement. A journalist visa is valid for up to three months.
- Conference Visas: this is a single entry visa valid for the duration of the conference or up to three months. You can only apply for a conference visa with an official invitation to a conference organized either by a government or public agency, or by a recognized educational institution. NGO-sponsored conferences require the approval of the relevant government authority.
- Research Visas: research professors or scholars may apply for a research visa if they have the original letter of admission from their university. A research proposal and proof of financial funds must also be submitted. The research visa is valid for a maximum of three years or for the duration of the established research period, and commences four weeks after having been issued.
- Project Visas: this is only for expats who want to work on a project in the power or steel industries.
Keep in mind that visa requirements can differ depending on your nationality, reason for moving to Bangalore, and personal situation!
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