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Old 5th February 2008, 16:56   #16
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Hi there,

Just doing a little research for a friend.

I know we have some non-Indians on this forum, some of who are living in India permanently.
I would like to know some details. My questions are not only addressed to the non-Indians but also to those that know more about these things than I do and those who have colleagues who are non-Indian and stand a better chance of answering my questions.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Work Permits:
1) In India - do we have a system of a work permit, or do we just have work visas issued by Indian consulates that are abroad?

Yes, we have a system of work permits. There are a lot of documents which the the Indian Embassies require including the assignment letter which would have the tenure duration, the salary of the expat etc.

2) If you apply for a work visa, showing employment by Company A, do you need to re-apply for a visa if you change jobs to Company B? I mean, do you need to fly back to your country and fly back in with a new visa?

Yes, He would have to fly back and get a fresh visa unless the Embassy endorses a change on the same visa.


3) What are the general tenures of work visas?

My exp tells me that the Visa is valid for a period of 1 year (however, in case the person holds a PIO its valid for more duration). After that the Visa needs to be extended which is a 2 stage process. In stage 1 the visa is extended for a period of 3 months and the documents are sent to MHA who approve/deny the second level of extension.

Driving License:
1) If one has a valid European driving license, can one drive in India? If yes, are there any restrictions on how long you can drive with your European license?

At least my company does not allow anyone to drive. Hence, I'll not be able to comment on this. However I have seen foreign nationals driving so I guess an International driving license should do the trick.

2) If no, then does one need an international driving license made from their country before driving here? Does that work here?

Refer to my earlier answer. The International license has to be made prior to the assignment where 1 would have to show his ticket, Visa and a couple of snaps and the fees.

How does a foreigner that intends to live here for a long period drive a car here?

Honk, Honk and Honk! Jokes apart It is strictly advisable that they do not drive here as they would not be able to adjust to the Indian traffic conditions. Better is to hire an experience driver.

Please do help me with what you know, thanks.
Please let me know in case you need any further assistance on the same.
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Old 5th February 2008, 17:50   #17
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Thank you for all the advice and answers.

For the record, the person in question is a European Citizen and not a Person of Indian Origin.

He would like to move to India for personal reason and I'm just trying to help him. I appreciate your inputs, thanks.
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:06   #18
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2) If you apply for a work visa, showing employment by Company A, do you need to re-apply for a visa if you change jobs to Company B? I mean, do you need to fly back to your country and fly back in with a new visa?

Yes, He would have to fly back and get a fresh visa unless the Embassy endorses a change on the same visa.
When you say that the embassy might endorse a change on the visa, this embassy would be in a foreign country anyways. So flying there is still required right?

Unless you mean that there is an authority in India that can endorse an employment change on a work visa.
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:07   #19
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I am a Foreign Citizen (Of Indian Origin; holder of Overseas Citizen of India visa/card, not PIO).

I got an Indian driving licence in Pune, all I needed to show was my UK driving licence, Photo ID (Foreign passport acceptable) and an address proof (tenancy agreement is acceptable).
Gave some money and had a full Indian Driving Licence within 24hrs.
It all depends on WHERE you apply and who you know.
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:09   #20
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
When you say that the embassy might endorse a change on the visa, this embassy would be in a foreign country anyways. So flying there is still required right?

Unless you mean that there is an authority in India that can endorse an employment change on a work visa.

ok, correcting myself. The said embassy would be in the country of residence, so no need to fly to any other country for that endorsement, right ?

Last edited by esteem_lover : 5th February 2008 at 18:14. Reason: correcting myself
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:13   #21
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Originally Posted by Raja View Post
I am a Foreign Citizen (Of Indian Origin; holder of Overseas Citizen of India visa/card, not PIO).

I got an Indian driving licence in Pune, all I needed to show was my UK driving licence, Photo ID (Foreign passport acceptable) and an address proof (tenancy agreement is acceptable).
But then you have an OCI card. The person in question is not connected to India in any way.

Quote:
It all depends on WHERE you apply and who you know.
Does this mean for example, that for the right price, a citizen of France can apply for a driving license in Pune?

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 5th February 2008 at 18:15.
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:22   #22
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Thank you for all the advice and answers.

For the record, the person in question is a European Citizen and not a Person of Indian Origin.

He would like to move to India for personal reason and I'm just trying to help him. I appreciate your inputs, thanks.
Sam,

Even a foreigner with no connection to India can get a PIO card.

"Person of Indian origin" means a foreign citizen not being a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries as may be specified by the Central Government from time to time if.
(i) he/she at any time held a Indian passport; or
(ii) he/she or either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in and permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizens of any of the aforesaid countries (as referred to in 2(b)above; or
(iii) he/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (i) or (ii) above.

So, if this friend of yours is moving to India and satisfies condition (iii) above, then he/she is eligible for a PIO card and this will entitle her/him to all rights in India, including getting a DL and working for any employer, without a work permit. The only restriction would be that a PIO card holder is not entitled to vote.

Hope this helps.

Rajan

Last edited by PatchyBoy : 5th February 2008 at 18:25.
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:31   #23
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Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
"Person of Indian origin" means a foreign citizen not being a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries as may be specified by the Central Government from time to time if.
(i) he/she at any time held a Indian passport; or
(ii) he/she or either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in and permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizens of any of the aforesaid countries (as referred to in 2(b)above; or
(iii) he/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (i) or (ii) above.

So, if this friend of yours is moving to India and satisfies condition (iii) above, then he/she is eligible for a PIO card and this will entitle her/him to all rights in India, including getting a DL and working for any employer, without a work permit. The only restriction would be that a PIO card holder is not entitled to vote.

Hope this helps.

Rajan
Thank you Rajan.

That is useful information indeed. However, my friend does not satisfy any of those conditions.
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:47   #24
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@ Sam
The only reason I mentioned my status is to show that I 'Look' Indian, but all my ID show me as foreigner. If I looked like a 'White Foreigner', then maybe the cost of getting the driving licence might go up.

Edit:
Re: French citizen applying for licence, the way things worked when I went to get a licence, it would not surprise me if the foreigner got a DL in Pune. All they were concerened with was how long I had held my UK licence (just to make sure I knew how to drive) and how much money I was willing to pay!

Last edited by Raja : 5th February 2008 at 18:54. Reason: French citizen question
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Old 5th February 2008, 18:56   #25
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
When you say that the embassy might endorse a change on the visa, this embassy would be in a foreign country anyways. So flying there is still required right?

Unless you mean that there is an authority in India that can endorse an employment change on a work visa.
Yes Sam, I stand corrected. However, I would advise if you can speak to someone in FRRO, Mumbai. They are the right people to help you in registering a foreign national. Further, Let me know where the person is from and I can send you a checklist of documents to be furnished to apply for the Indian Work permit.
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Old 5th February 2008, 20:32   #26
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Been ill this week, and only just saw this thread.

Yes, I am a Brit who has come to live permanently (I hope!) in India. I married one of the few Indian ladies who was looking to marry a foreigner without having the hope of living in their home country, as such I qualify for PIO, which gives me 15 years of visa-free access, or unlimited periods of stay in this country. One assumes it will be renewed.

However, without such a relationship or a job offer, or study course offer, I would say that it is more-or-less impossible to 'move to India'. I know the IndiaMike site very well (and you'll find a lot of good info on these things there) and it is often necessary to disillusion people who think the can spend as much time in India as they want, just because they want to. Do you think that would wash with USA or UK? is a question often put to the more stubborn ones.

India is not an immigration-friendly country, and I guess that increasing its population is the last thing the government desires.

There is no such thing as a 'work permit'; it is an employment visa. It is issued against a definite, specific job offer, and only valid while that employment continues. Even with a job offer, some people are turned down because it is considered that a local citizen can do the job.

There is no such thing as 'Permanent Residency', although my situation probably comes as close as can be.

Driving licences: Yes, it is possible, I have one, and a car registered in my name (hence my membership here!).

It is legal to drive here with a foreign licence accompanied by an International Driving Permit. The IDP is valid one year, and will be issued to the address on your licence, ie back 'home'. For my first year in India I was really scared to drive, and I overcame that by taking a course of driving lessons. That also has the advantage that the whole RTO test and license thing is handled by the school: no worries about failing

Yes, of course we can get to grips with driving here! In some ways it is strangely liberating!

The quoted Indiamike thread is how all this can go wrong. The lady who is trying to get the licence has been resident in Rajesthan (I think) for more than ten years, in an out-of-the-way place, and the local RTO just don't know how to handle the situation. I had no such problems, and I don't think they will arise in the cities.

Sam, I strongly recommend you refer your friend to India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com. There is a heap of such information there, but he might not be happy with the answers he gets.
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Old 5th February 2008, 20:52   #27
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I agree 100% to what Thad has just mentioned. It is an "E" Visa and there's no guarantee that it would be renewed if one gets it.
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Old 5th February 2008, 20:56   #28
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
.... it is often necessary to disillusion people who think the can spend as much time in India as they want, just because they want to. Do you think that would wash with USA or UK? is a question often put to the more stubborn ones.

Yes, of course we can get to grips with driving here! In some ways it is strangely liberating!
The U.S. and India have a very liberal mutual visa program. A U.S. citizen can get a ten year tourist or business Visa and then easily renew it when it expires. This is pretty close to permanent residency.

I am a U.S. citizen and I also own a vehicle with Indian registration and I have an Indian Driver's License. I had to take the freakin' test, however. I drive here but I find it strangly terrifying.

By the way, why do you Indian folk have pictures of Ben Kingsley on your currency?
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Old 5th February 2008, 21:01   #29
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The U.S. and India have a very liberal mutual visa program. A U.S. citizen can get a ten year tourist or business Visa and then easily renew it when it expires. This is pretty close to permanent residency.

I am a U.S. citizen and I also own a vehicle with Indian registration and I have an Indian Driver's License. I had to take the freakin' test, however. I drive here but I find it strangly terrifying.

By the way, why do you Indian folk have pictures of Ben Kingsley on your currency?
DirtyDan,

Although a B1/B2 visa to USA is valid for 10 years, the maximum stay allowed per trip is only 90 days. Further, extensions are possible but are not recommended. Its better that one comes back with in 90 days and goes back again after spending some decent amount of time back home. Also, one should NOT be working on a B1/B2 visa. It is purely business visa or tourist.

On the contrary, getting an Indian Visa for 10 years is next to impossible. And he's not Ben Kingsley on our currency!
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Old 5th February 2008, 21:16   #30
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DirtyDan,

Although a B1/B2 visa to USA is valid for 10 years, the maximum stay allowed per trip is only 90 days. Further, extensions are possible but are not recommended. Its better that one comes back with in 90 days and goes back again after spending some decent amount of time back home. Also, one should NOT be working on a B1/B2 visa. It is purely business visa or tourist.

On the contrary, getting an Indian Visa for 10 years is next to impossible. And he's not Ben Kingsley on our currency!
I messed up. It is very possible for Indian professionals to get a ten year visa. And, you were right to point it out my error. Well, if it isn't Ben Kingsley all over your currency who is it? It ain't Aish Rai. You are not centered. See my signature for major advice on the matter.
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