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Visas and Work Permits for Bangalore

Are you considering a move to Bangalore? The “Silicon Valley of India” may pose unexpected challenges. The InterNations Expat Guide to Bangalore gives you essential info on climate, vaccinations, visa options, and permits to help you prepare for your move.

Visa Applications

Everyone needs a valid visa for Bangalore. Each type of Indian visa can be applied for online, though you will need to visit an Indian overseas mission to have your application processed and approved. If you are unsure as to where the nearest Indian mission is located, please consult the National Portal of India.

While there aren’t restrictions on the issuing of employment visas, 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 or visit your nearest consulate to request it.

Standard requirements for most visas are:

  • a 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

  • a completed and signed application form

  • passport-sized (50 mm) photographs

  • application fees

Visa fees include consular or service fees, which vary depending on visa type and the country you’re applying from. Different types of visas require additional documentation.

Visas and Work Permits: Two for the Price of One?

The following two visa categories, which will serve as your work permit in India, 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 (evidence of your salary is required with your application form). This visa is usually valid for an initial period of one year, but it can be extended for up to another five years.

Necessary documents include proof of employment (i.e. a signed work contract) and academic and professional qualifications. For those working voluntarily for NGOs a letter from their organization stating the nature and duration 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 allow for 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?

As well as visas for tourists, medical tourists, and students, there are several other visa categories. Some of these might be relevant for expats too:

  • Entry visas: Family members and dependents of expats holding either an employment, student, or 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 copy of your partner’s 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 an accreditation card with the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India to obtain a PIB card. Additional documentation required includes 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, the UN, a reputed NGO, or by a recognized educational institution.

  • 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 form and proof of sufficient funds must also be submitted. The research visa is valid for a maximum of three years or for the duration of the 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. Visas are granted at the discretion of the individual Indian mission.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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"I work in software development. With InterNations I've built up some very good contacts in the tech industry here in Bangalore."

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