The Government of India is slowly and progressively tightening
the regulations making the procedures more efficient for foreign
nationals working in India. All foreign nationals who enter India
on an employment visa need to report to/register with the local
Foreigners (Regional) Registration Offices (FRRO/FRO)
within 14 days of their in India, unless there is specific
endorsement on their Indian visas to the contrary.
For the purpose of these registrations, an application had to be
made at the FRRO/FRO that would issue a FRRO booklet to
the foreign national. A few years ago, in an effort to
standardize procedures, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
introduced the online form filing system initially and then
followed it up with the mandatory uploading of the passport and
visa and photograph of the applicants. Slowly the requirements for
the documents upload expanded and now there is an entire set of
documents for each of the procedures at the FRRO that have to be
uploaded at the time of the filling of the online form for each
type. Now in certain cases there are as many as eight uploads
depending on the type of procedure and the type of visa.
This basic documentation requirement is the same in the case of
all registration posts in India. Despite this, each FRRO/FRO has
its own separate list of documents and separate procedural
requirements It is only recently that the last of these posts have
The online application forms for employment visa registration
and extension now ask for the EPFO ID and the Establishment ID of
the employee. Even though tilling of his information is not
mandatory right now, it is anticipate that very soon it will become
compulsory for the employers to fill these details.
The employers have to submit proof of local presence in the
region in which the foreign national is employed, in case company
is incorporated at any other place, a copy of documents towards
proof of registration of the local office i.e. copy of Registration
under The Shops and Establishments Act or any local
Government body has to be provided.
The Foreign nationals also come under the purview of the
Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which aims a stricter
compliance of provident fund regulations for the foreign nationals
working in India in India. The EPFO will coordinate with the
FRRO/FRO to keep track of the monthly returns filed by Indian
employers and take suitable action in the event of
In view of this the FRROs have now made mandatory the Provident
fund report of the foreign nationals working in India when the
foreign national seeks visa extension. If the organisation
employing the foreign national has less than 20 employees, then is
not covered under the Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous
Provisions Act, 1952, and a letter specifying non coverage by the
EPFO has to be issued by the employer organisation.
With regards to the Government visa fees payable by the foreign
national at the time of visa extension, some posts accept cash
payment at the special counter set up for this purpose, some accept
demand drafts, credit and debit cards (Visa and MasterCard only).
Some FRRO posts now insist on online payment to be made
payable at the time of or prior to the in person visit at the
FRRO/FRO. Even though there are no charges for registration,
Gurgaon FRO charges a fee of INR 100 that has to be paid prior to
the FRO visit and it has to be paid online.
The tax documentation asked for visa extensions of foreign are
quite extensive but not completely comprehensive. The employer must
ensure the deduction of tax at source (TDS) from the salary of the
employee and must provide all the relevant documents in proof of
this including the month wise TDS challans, Form 16A applicable for
income other than salary, Form 16 for all employees, Income tax
Return (ITR) and form 26AS. Recently some posts have been asking
for Form !@BA (for perquisites or benefits derived from a job like
education facility to employee's children, interest free loan,
medical facility, credit card, furnished or unfurnished house
without rent etc.). this form is additional to From 16A.
For establishments covered under the Factories Act, there is a
form 27 which needs to be completed by the employer that is now
being asked at the FROs for the visa extensions of foreign
nationals. The incidence of these specific requirements being on
the rise, it is anticipated that compliance of tax and social
security regulations are being considered of prime importance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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In response to growing demands to introduce dual citizenship from its overseas diaspora,
India introduced the concept of the person of Indian origin (a "PIO") in 2002 and an overseas
citizen of India (an "OCI") in 2006 as categories of persons who enjoy certain legal rights in
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