"Permanent Residence Visa"? Is there such a thing?

#1 Feb 12th, 2008, 13:54
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#1
Hello All!

We are having some serious problems getting answers we need from the Indians out here so I am hoping you might be able to shed some light on our situation...

My husband and his business partner (we are all British)are setting up a business in a Technopark here in Trivandrum. They have had a UK company for 15 years and have spent several months here in India creating a whole seperate Indian company with new name etc. So they now own an Indian company outright. The plan is for us all to work as trainers/managers in the company for the next year at least.
We were told by the Technopark managers that we could get a 6 month tourist visa and change it/get a new visa once the company is established. Because we are employing ourselves and paying ourselves an Indian salaray we would require Employment Visas one would have thought rather that Business Visas. However, the Technopark manager, our accountants and even the high commision here in India are not giving us direct answers about what we need to apply for.
THEN... the Technopark manager wrote us a letter to The City Police Comissioner here in Trivandrum certifying that we are setting up company in his respected facility and could we please have "Permanent Residence Visas" thank you very much.

We've never heard of a permanent residence visa, is there such a thing?

The letter only covers my husband and his business partner so where does that leave me? (Im pregnant also so flying around the world is difficult to get visas).

We heard Sri Lanka is the only option for us to apply for an employment visa... this takes a min of 7 days according to the website...can I not apply here in India!?

Sorry for the ramble..alot of facts to get in and may questions to ask! We are against time now too with our tourist visas expiring in the next month or so.

Thanks for your help!
#2 Feb 12th, 2008, 14:30
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#2
Hi

Normally when one applies for a visa, the officer decides on what type of visa and duration can be given.
Your Husband might be able to get a 5 years visa. which can be renewed at the end of 5 years

you don't have to worry (since your name is not mentioned in the letter) coz you can go along with your Husband on a dependent visa.


-Vacky
#3 Feb 12th, 2008, 14:47
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Thanks Vacky

I couldnt get paid out here on a dependant visa, thats the only worry. And I literally wouldnt be allowed to work at all as a dependant so I would need an employment visa anyway.

As far as the officer deciding which visa we should have - sounds a little jubious to me as we need to make sure that we get the right one for allowing us to operate as business managers and I really dont trust the judgement of the visa officers right now due to past experience of Indian bureaucracy!!

Thanks for your comments.
#4 Feb 12th, 2008, 15:50
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Foreigners in India who own Indian companies normally stay in India on business visas. The problem with employment visas is that they are meant for jobs that can't be filled by Indian citizens. And it may be argued that an average foreign owned company doesn't need foreign employees.

When a foreigner sets up an Indian company there has to be a managing director and two directors. One of the directors can be the managing director. So, at least two foreigners are needed for setting up an Indian company. Being a (managing) director is sufficient to qualify for a business visa.

People on business visas cannot receive wages in India (for this purpose an employment visa is needed). However, as owners of an Indian company, and as such holders of shares in the company, dividends can legitimately be paid to your husband and his business partner. These can repatriated through appropriate banking channels assuming the company has been set up correctly. This is, essentially, how you make money in India when on a business visa.

Concerning residency (and yes, a "Permanent Residence Visa" does not exist), you have to register with the local FRRO (Foreigners Registration Office) within 14 days of arrival in India. The FRRO will then send a Special Branch officer to your address to verify that you have one, the local police chief will sign the paperwork, and they should then issue a residency permit.

Two months before the directors' business visas run out, they should contact the FRRO to have these extended in India. First extension will have to be approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and a 1 year extension will be issued. Subsequently, the FRRO is entitled to extend the visas for the following 4 years.

Spouse and children of a business visa holder are entitled to stay in India as long as their family member is holding such a visa, and are entitled to have the visa renewed in India. These are unlikely to qualify for employment visa for the reason mentioned above (I imagine they will get an entry visa). Visas exceeding 1 year are, for most foreigners, not available in India, but may be available from various embassies.

There is some information here: http://mha.gov.in/fore_division.htm and http://immigrationindia.nic.in/, but the sites are down at the time of posting.

Addition:

It is not possible to convert a visa in India, unless the officials decide to break the rules. You have to get business/entry visas from outside India.
Last edited by machadinha; Feb 12th, 2008 at 22:32.. Reason: removed full quote
#5 Feb 12th, 2008, 16:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pundabee View Post Foreigners in India who own Indian companies normally stay in India on business visas. The problem with employment visas is that they are meant for jobs that can't be filled by Indian citizens. And it may be argued that an average foreign owned company doesn't need foreign employees.

When a foreigner sets up an Indian company there has to be a managing director and two directors. One of the directors can be the managing director. So, at least two foreigners are needed for setting up an Indian company. Being a (managing) director is sufficient to qualify for a business visa.

People on business visas cannot receive wages in India (for this purpose an employment visa is needed). However, as owners of an Indian company, and as such holders of shares in the company, dividends can legitimately be paid to your husband and his business partner. These can repatriated through appropriate banking channels assuming the company has been set up correctly. This is, essentially, how you make money in India when on a business visa.

Concerning residency (and yes, a "Permanent Residence Visa" does not exist), you have to register with the local FRRO (Foreigners Registration Office) within 14 days of arrival in India. The FRRO will then send a Special Branch officer to your address to verify that you have one, the local police chief will sign the paperwork, and they should then issue a residency permit.

Two months before the directors' business visas run out, they should contact the FRRO to have these extended in India. First extension will have to be approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and a 1 year extension will be issued. Subsequently, the FRRO is entitled to extend the visas for the following 4 years.

Spouse and children of a business visa holder are entitled to stay in India as long as their family member is holding such a visa, and are entitled to have the visa renewed in India. These are unlikely to qualify for employment visa for the reason mentioned above (I imagine they will get an entry visa). Visas exceeding 1 year are, for most foreigners, not available in India, but may be available from various embassies.

There is some information here: http://mha.gov.in/fore_division.htm and http://immigrationindia.nic.in/, but the sites are down at the time of posting.

Addition:

It is not possible to convert a visa in India, unless the officials decide to break the rules. You have to get business/entry visas from outside India.
Thank you for your very detailed response. With regards to employment visas and proving that an Indian couldnt do the job - we have spoken to our HR consultant and in our business plan for setting up the business it is stated exactly why we are to be employed and the unique skills we have to offer the business eg. experience of western design styles and british client liason experience (which is why we are here - to monitor quality of IT software and graphics outsourced to the Indian company by western clients).We also have unique specific experience in new software and techniques WE developed over the past 2 years so only we could train the staff in such things.
Surely this would be enough proof that an Indian couldnt do the job we can?
I appreciate your help on this immensley!
#6 Feb 12th, 2008, 16:30
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There isn't any such thing as a dependent visa, either.

What Pundabee says, though, is true: wives etc of those on business/employment visas, of over 6 months, are usually given 'X' ('Entry') visas.
Quote:
We were told by the Technopark managers that we could get a 6 month tourist visa and change it/get a new visa once the company is established. Because we are employing ourselves and paying ourselves an Indian salaray we would require Employment Visas one would have thought rather that Business Visas. However, the Technopark manager, our accountants and even the high commision here in India are not giving us direct answers about what we need to apply for.
THEN... the Technopark manager wrote us a letter to The City Police Comissioner here in Trivandrum certifying that we are setting up company in his respected facility and could we please have "Permanent Residence Visas" thank you very much.
He may be willing, co-operative, and even genuinely desirous of helping you --- but wouldn't it be better if he either checked his facts or told you he didn't know? However gently they do it, such people that take us by the hand and lead us off down blind alleys are pests!
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#7 Feb 12th, 2008, 17:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post There isn't any such thing as a dependent visa, either.

What Pundabee says, though, is true: wives etc of those on business/employment visas, of over 6 months, are usually given 'X' ('Entry') visas.He may be willing, co-operative, and even genuinely desirous of helping you --- but wouldn't it be better if he either checked his facts or told you he didn't know? However gently they do it, such people that take us by the hand and lead us off down blind alleys are pests!
Hi Nick, I agree so completely with your statement about being led down the path. This extremely respected manager has taken 10 months to come up with an answer to this visa question after getting us over here with false hope of it running smoothly. Even after 10 months we get a seriously flawed and incorrect answer and useless letter for a non existent visa! Thankfully the company is now fully formed from some heavy grafting and persistance by my husband but all this is irrelevant without the correct visas! He even lied blankly to us about the situation with import duty on our IT equipment causing a huge headache... I guess Im learning the Indian way of doing business!
#8 Feb 12th, 2008, 22:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophie_GCIS View Post With regards to employment visas and proving that an Indian couldnt do the job - we have spoken to our HR consultant and in our business plan for setting up the business it is stated exactly why we are to be employed and the unique skills we have to offer the business eg. experience of western design styles and british client liason experience (which is why we are here - to monitor quality of IT software and graphics outsourced to the Indian company by western clients).We also have unique specific experience in new software and techniques WE developed over the past 2 years so only we could train the staff in such things.
Surely this would be enough proof that an Indian couldnt do the job we can?
I appreciate your help on this immensley!
Considering the above I don't think you will have a problem getting an employment visa; the managing directors or one of the directors (unsure), i.e. your husband or his business partner, simply employs you. However, you will probably still have to leave India to obtain the employment visa and provide the necessary documentation.

Concerning dealing with Indian authorities, our approach is to spend time on the Internet digging out relevant information, printing out documents from official sites that will prove our points, and have answers to any potential questions asked. Consequently, we always know more about rules and regulations than the officials who have to deal with the issues in question. And once you provide documentation in the form of official documents, you are almost always guaranteed to get what you are entitled to with a minimum waste of time.

Additionally, as a foreigner you are usually not required to pay the "extra fees" that Keralans have to pay every time they deal with low level officials.

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