• Updated Immigration Policy Guidelines Released
  • April 24, 2018

  • At a Glance

    The Ministry of Home Affairs has released updated guidelines relating to all visa categories and rules regarding foreign nationals. Key changes and clarifications involve the following topics, among others:

    Intern Visa;

    Residential Permit rules for those with immediate travel plans following entry to India; and

    Status of previously-issued Indian visas.

    The situation

    Further to the various changes that the Indian immigration policies have undergone in the recent past in line with India’s efforts to boost trade and strengthen India’s foreign policy, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has released updated guidelines and clarified previously ambiguous immigration topics. All the rules mentioned here are effective immediately.

    A closer look

    Key guidelines and clarifications include the following:

    Intern Visa. To be eligible for an Intern Visa, the gap between the completion of a graduate/postgraduate course and the start of the internship must not exceed two years.

    o Impact. More foreign nationals may be eligible to pursue internships in India.

    Status of previously-issued Indian visas. Foreign nationals already holding long-term multiple-entry visas such as Tourist Visa, Business Visa, Employment Visa, Student Visa and Research Visa can apply for short-term visas such as Conference Visa, Transit Visa, e-Visa and Visa-on-Arrival without cancelling their long-term visa. Per the old regulation, previously-issued visas would be deemed cancelled upon the issuance of a new visa irrespective of the visa type.

    o Impact. Reduced administrative burden of applying for multiple visas based on the purpose of travel to India.

    • Registration during initial arrival. Foreign nationals with visas valid for 180 days or more with immediate international travel plans within the first 14 calendar days of arrival in India will be allowed to exit the country without obtaining a Residential Permit. Registration must instead be completed upon re-entry.

    o Impact. Eligible foreign nationals will benefit from this rule as compared to the previous related rule, which restricted international travel for those who did not obtain a residential permit upon initial entry into India.

    A full list of the discussed topics is available here.