Paid Internship in Chennai - Visa type question - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com

Paid Internship in Chennai - Visa type question

#1 May 21st, 2009, 06:14
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  • darthomir is offline
#1
Hello,
I am going for a paid internship in Chennai in July, for 6 months.
I've been talking to my employer as to what type of Visa, and it is confusing.
I'm from Canada, and will be hiring by their Canadian subsidiary (they are based in France, and have offices in Chennai where I will work). I'm doing a paid internship, as part of the COOP program of my school. I am a full time student, and this counts has a course.
They say the people working there have Tourist Visas and they come back every 6 months to renew it. I need more than 6 months as the date is from the Visa delivery, and I read on these very forums stories about people working on a Tourist Visa.
I can't have a Student Visa as it is not for a school in India, nor an Employment Visa as I am relocated from a Canadian company. They told me Business Visas are really hard to get.
I read that you could get an Entry (X) Visa for internships, requiring only the contract and maybe a letter from my University: http://www.earth.org/travel-guide/India-Asia/visa

What do you guys think?
Thanks! Help much appreciated

Alex
#2 May 21st, 2009, 12:11
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  • curtdfw is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthomir View Post Hello,
I am going for a paid internship in Chennai in July, for 6 months.
I've been talking to my employer as to what type of Visa, and it is confusing.
I'm from Canada, and will be hiring by their Canadian subsidiary (they are based in France, and have offices in Chennai where I will work). I'm doing a paid internship, as part of the COOP program of my school. I am a full time student, and this counts has a course.
They say the people working there have Tourist Visas and they come back every 6 months to renew it. I need more than 6 months as the date is from the Visa delivery, and I read on these very forums stories about people working on a Tourist Visa.
I can't have a Student Visa as it is not for a school in India, nor an Employment Visa as I am relocated from a Canadian company. They told me Business Visas are really hard to get.
I read that you could get an Entry (X) Visa for internships, requiring only the contract and maybe a letter from my University: http://www.earth.org/travel-guide/India-Asia/visa
Tourist visas are for tourism, and people working on tourist visas are risking big legal troubles, as I assume they would in Canada. You need an Employment visa. That you're relocated from a Canadian company is irrelevant. I worked in India for a US company directly, then for their Indian subsidiary, for about four years, and required an E visa for both. Not sure if the internship status matters, but I'd bet not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by darthomir View Post They told me Business Visas are really hard to get.
Business visas are actually pretty simple to get, requiring only the invite letter noted in the link you supplied. They're intended, though, for short term sporadic visits, not for someone living there.
#3 May 21st, 2009, 12:23
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I agree with curtdfw. Why would you not get an employment visa? The company you will be working for is located in India -- you are not there as a consultant or traveling salesman, reporting back to a home office in Canada. You will be a working, salaried expat.
#4 May 21st, 2009, 12:28
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#4
And if you're working for more than 182 days in the India tax year, which begins April 1, you would have an India tax obligation as well...
#5 May 21st, 2009, 12:37
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#5
Also, this is a better visa site than the one you posted --

https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/guidelines
#6 May 21st, 2009, 13:12
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#6
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Originally Posted by Merchant View Post Also, this is a better visa site than the one you posted --

https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/guidelines
Quite! That is the website of the company which processes all Indian visa applications in the US - you can't get more official than that...

Your only difficulty could be requirement # 5
Quote:
Appointment Letter: An employment appointment letter that contains the salary information. The salary must be a handsome amount.
The reason for this requirement is that normally employment visas are only granted for highly skilled worker posts which cannot be filled within India; I suggest you obtain a letter from your Indian employer explaining that the remuneration is low solely because it is an internship, not because it is an unskilled job.
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#7 May 21st, 2009, 18:38
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Internal transfers are somewhat easier to get through than new hires. Part of the rationale in the letter used for my gig was my alleged expert knowledge of company operations, policies and practices. How accurate this was is another story...
#8 May 21st, 2009, 20:17
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Thank you so much all of you for your fast answers. I wrote to both consulates (Toronto and Ottawa) explaining my situation, and I will update you when I get an answer.
My employer got back to me with more details, and it seems that the process is quite complicated and case to case. He told me they have Tourist Visa because when they applied for Business / Conference they were denied and told to have a Tourist Visa even though not on travel! I find it odd since it seems to be breaking what a Tourist Visa is for..
I will be working for 6 months, so I assume I will only need to pay taxes in Canada, correct?
As for the salary, it will be according to Canadian norms, not Indian. I am not sure what a handsome salary means?

Thanks!
Alex
#9 May 21st, 2009, 20:35
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#9
Correction: The period for the India tax obligation is 183 days, not 182. The tax agreement between the US and India is linked below, and I imagine the Canada-India version is out there too.

http://www.unclefed.com/ForTaxProfs/...s/inditech.pdf

In my case there was a US tax credit for taxes paid to India, so the net effect was no double taxation. Again, I'd bet there's something similar for Canada. If your work period is at or below 182 days, it appears you would only pay home country taxes.

If you're being paid at western norms, it will almost certainly be considered 'handsome'.

Weird about the push for the Tourist visa. Keep in mind that it's your butt on the line for breaking the terms of your visa, and could easily result in your not being permitted to visit India again.

You may have seen this thread about not adhering to visa rules: http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...-india-t80882/

There are no doubt people who have successfully gone 'under the radar' in this situation, but do give plenty of thought to the potential consequences.
#10 May 21st, 2009, 23:42
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I don't have the link to hand, but iirc to be liable in India for tax on worldwide income you need to be resident and ordinarily resident (which in turn means being resident for 'x' out of the 'y' past years) - it's on the web somewhere - Google it.

AndyD 8-)#
#11 May 22nd, 2009, 22:49
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#11
Thanks!
I called VFS in my city, and they told me I need a one year Business Visa, with 2 letters (one from Canada, the other from India). They even said I should ask for a 5 years Business Visa, cheaper that reapplying in the long run. Can you do Tourist on a Business Visa in case I go again to India for that later?

Thanks!
Alex
#12 May 22nd, 2009, 22:52
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#12
Once you have your business visa, you can come and go for the period of its validity. You don't need to get a tourist visa if you go back to India and don't conduct any business.
#13 May 29th, 2009, 01:35
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#13
I am going through a very similar visa process. I am doing a 3 month paid internship in Chandigarh, through a purely Indian company although organized by a global student organization (AIESEC). I initially applied for a business visa(Which is what the company told me to apply for) through the New York Travisa office. Travisa called me and told me that the consulate considers internships with a "stipend" to be paid internships and that I must apply for an employment visa, which requires additional documentation (Registration forms, employment contract, etc.). I can only hope that this application will be accepted, otherwise I'm screwed and will have to just try and get a tourist visa and do it illegally.
#14 May 29th, 2009, 01:41
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcsim View Post Travisa called me and told me that the consulate considers internships with a "stipend" to be paid internships and that I must apply for an employment visa, which requires additional documentation (Registration forms, employment contract, etc.).
Best of luck getting your company to provide the necessary paperwork, if they are prepared to put it all together there's no reason you won't get your visa.
#15 Jun 4th, 2009, 07:31
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#15
So I finally got my visa. After submitting all the documentation needed for the employment visa, the same woman from the NYC Travisa office who originally told me that I needed an employment visa told me that the consulate now will give "entry" visas to people doing short-term paid internships in India. So I now have a 6-month entry visa. This is fine except that I wasted 3 weeks trying to get all the additional documentation that I ended up not needing. A different guy at Travisa was calling me every 3 days or so asking about when I would have my documents, and never said anything about the consulate changing its mind. Travisa needs to get its shit together.

But hey, whatever, I got my visa and I'll be in India in a little bit more than a week so it's all good!

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