Nasscom gmc2013 indian_immigration


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Nasscom gmc2013 indian_immigration

  2. 2. 2• Indian Immigration – Historical Perspective (Pre & Post 2009)• Recent Developments - Post 2011• Implications for Organizations• Business and Employment visas – Permitted and Prohibited activities• Indian ‘E’ Visa Process – Key attributes & Highlights• Penalties for NoncomplianceAgenda
  3. 3. Historical Perspective –Pre (◄) & Post (►) 3Pre (◄) 2009 Post (►) 2009• Detailed guidance/regulationsunavailable for public use• Limited focus on tax and securityissues• Minimal use of technology with broadbased interpretation & discretionaryadjudication• Less cumbersome consular and in-country processes, lighter penalties• High degree of centralized control atMHA and MEA• Clearer guidelines published since2009, increased documentaryrequirements• Minimum salary criteria of USD 25,000per annum introduced acrossIndustries• Implementation of 2 year residencyrequirements for 3rd country nationals• Increased focus on specializedknowledge, tax and minimum salary• Additional security clearance processat MHA for restricted nationalities(such as Pakistan, China, Bangladesh,Sri Lanka and Afghanistan)
  4. 4. • Introduction of IVFRT system to streamline immigration processes and track non–compliance• Delegation of powers from MHA to FRRO/FRO for immigration matters• Tourist Visa-on-arrival extended to 11 countries with plans of further inclusions• 2 month interim cooling period eased out for certain nationals excluding restrictednationals• Inconsistent application of Indian immigration policy due to increased discretionarypowers• Stricter compliance requirements & enforcement• In-country conversion possible for X (Entry) Visa to E (Employment) Visa for spouseof an employee on intra-company transfer• Provisions for change of employer in India within the same group of companies• Evidence of local recruitment efforts required for Registration in Hyderabad and Kochi• Residence permits for company Directors - issued and extended on a 3 month basis4Recent Developments - Post
  5. 5. • Continued and frequent changes in the regulations without prior notification.• Close scrutiny of the applications by the respective adjudicating officers.• Lack of tax and other related documentation may lead to upright rejections at thelocal FRRO/FROs for visa extensions.• Mandatory online application and appointment system at certain FRRO locations.Appointments to be preplanned to avoid impacting compliance and internationaltravel• Varied endorsements made by Indian Consulates on visas which conflict with the in-country regulations. The FRRO/FRO process in such situations can be time consumingand delayed.5Implications for
  6. 6. Permitted () & Prohibited (Ø) Activities on B Visa6Permitted () activities Prohibited (Ø) activities Attending business meetings,discussions, seminars, conferences Visiting staff in Indian entities, observingoperations and processes, teamevaluations Exploring entrepreneurial possibilities,purchasing or selling industrial products Recruiting manpower, Receiving in-housetraining, professional development &retraining programs; Conducting visits for pre/post salesactivities without entering into a contractor project Monitoring specific projects withoutperforming hands-on work Lecturing at institutions of higheracademic or professional educationØ Productive employmentØ Participating in remunerative activitiesincluding project work whether atcompany location or client siteØ Training activities – on the job traininginvolving knowledge transfer/processtransitionØ Audit activities – internal and externalGrey Area: Imparting trainingDuration ofVisa: Varies from 6 months to 10 years (Reciprocity, Nationality & Discretion)
  7. 7. • Employment Visas issued for one year or for the assignment duration which ever isless• For remunerative or productive activity (international assignments or projects) inIndia• Used for both intra-company transfer as well as direct hiring arrangements• E visa is both location and sponsor specific – does not allow free employment• Processing time: 2 days to 3 months, dependent on nationality, country of lodgment• Consulates issuing visas without a stamped seal/signature and with uniqueendorsements• Employment visa extension : up to a total period of 5 years from the date of issue ofthe initial Employment Visa, on an year to year basis. In-country filing is mandatory7E (Employment) Visa/ Work VisaCategory ofVisa for InternsStudents: Student visa or Business visaFresher/Paid Internship: Employment
  8. 8. 8• E Visa process is essentially consular and jurisdiction based unlike most countries• Registered Corporate entity with Indian operating presence is a must to sponsorE visas• Sponsorship of visa application does not create an Employer - Employeerelationship• Indian corporate sponsor must issue an employment/offer letter and supportingdocuments• Employment visa available only for highly skilled professionals• Proof of residence in India is mandatory at the time of visa application filing (fewcountries)• Indian immigration status of foreign local/direct hires must be verified prior tohiring• Personal appearance may be required during the visa application processIndian ‘E’ Visa Process – Key
  9. 9. 9Foreign nationals with multiplevalid passports must use samepassport only for all their Indianvisa applicationsPreviously issued visas are deemedto be cancelled even if it is notmanually cancelled & only theLatest issued visa is considered tobe as validApplications filed outside the homecountry or country of birth may bereferred back for internalclearances by the ConsularofficersFRRO authorities now conductinginitial background verificationson new corporate entitiesprior to issuing residentpermits in certain instancesIndian authorized signatoryrequired for signing certainimmigration documents(Financial undertaking etc.,)Dependent (X)Visa holders mustreside in the same city as theEmployment (E)Visa holderCheck to be made by Organizationson immigration status of local hiresand on any change in immigrationstatus of existing employeesResident permits and visas mustbe valid at the time of departurefrom IndiaTermination of foreign employeemust be notified to the local FRRO/FRO authorities and appropriatesteps should be taken forimmediate repatriationOther Highlights ofIndian
  10. 10. Penalties For Non-Compliance# Registration of Foreigners Act/Rules 1939/1992 and Foreigner’s Act
  11. 11. 11Q&A
  12. 12. 12THANK YOU !