Are you going to India for work? Then you need a business visa. Which variant is required depends, among other things, on the nature of the work performed. For a business trip an e-visa generally suffices. To enter into employment in India, you generally need to have a visa stamped in your passport.
Changes business visas India in 2019
Starting 2019, the rules surrounding the business Indian visas (the so-called eBusiness type) have changed dramatically. The strict restrictions on the e-visa for business travellers have been largely lifted. Because of this, the necessity of a sticker-visa (which is stamped in the passport) is a thing of the past for most business travellers. On this page you can read if you too can make use of the online “eBusiness” procedure, which allows for faster approval, lower costs, and does not require physical visas to be delivered.
Street view of Delhi, India
The eBusiness business visa is valid for these travel purposes
The following business travel purposes are allowed with an electronic India business visa (eBusiness type):
- Attending business events and gatherings
- Meetings with (potential) suppliers, clients, and other business partners
- Delivering, installing, or maintaining products
- Giving advice, implementing, or delivering other business services
- Recruiting personnel
In short: you can work in India, as long as you (only) stay in service to your current employer, which is located outside of India. For example, you are allowed to perform specialised work with an Indian customer or client, provided you do not enter into direct employment with that Indian organisation.
Validity duration business visas India
Starting 2019, all electronic business visas for India are valid for 365 days. Within that time, you can stay in India for a maximum of 180 days. This can be in one long stay, or spread across an unlimited number of shorter trips. For example, it is thus also allowed to travel to India 60 times, with each stay lasting three days.
Frequent business travellers will notice that the restrictions have been substantially loosened, meaning that in most cases it is no longer needed to follow the bureaucratic route for a physical visa.
Additional requirements for business trips
Before applying for a business Indian visa, always read the complete page with all the visa requirements. Among other things, it contains a list of all air and seaports where you are allowed to arrive with an online visa. It also contains information about certain regions you cannot visit anymore.
Entering into employment with an Indian organisation
Travellers that want to enter into paid labour with an Indian employer are not considered business travellers. They still have to use the visa which is stamped onto the passport. This visa is also recommended for business travellers that need to stay in India for longer than 180 days per year. Read more about this on the page concerning the sticker-visa for India.
Not allowed: volunteer work or NGO-related trips
It is not allowed to perform volunteer work in India with an electronic visa. It does not matter if this concerns paid or unpaid work. This also applies to all trips made for, to, or in service of an NGO. A physical visa can provide an outcome for this.