Planning to travel to India for your business trip? Well, you will possibly want to grab the opportunity with both your hands. India is definitely a wonderful place to visit even though you visit there for work purposes.
However, UK citizens, like other foreign nationals – require getting a visa at first, so that they have the permission to stay in the country. This article discusses how it will work for your business travel.
When you need to pay suppliers or employees abroad, it may be logical to do this with your bank. Most banks will not convert your money through the mid-market exchange rate when making an international payment. Rather, they may add a mark-up and charge you hidden fees in that way.
Different kinds of business visa India have
India provides different types of India tourist visa based on the purpose of your visit. Some kinds of visa are – tourist visas, student visas, employment visas and so on. If you need to travel for business purpose, there are two options available and these are:
- Business visa
- E-business visa
E-business visa is the subcategory of Indian e-visa which can be done online. The other option involves conducting an interview than visiting the official embassy in London or a consulate. For this, you have to be interviewed by VFS Global which is a company that offers consular services.
Several differences are there between the two kinds of visa. In general, the e-visa is more restrictive and you can enter the country only at specifically permitted seaports or air on an e-visa. The visa type also affects how long you will be able to stay in India.
How long you may stay on a business visa in India
You may stay continuously for almost 180 days on a business trip. In case of UK citizens, the visa may be valid for 10 years. It grants several entry and you may come and go, as often as you like.
An e-business visa, on the other hand, allows you to stay for almost 60 days, and you get only double entry so that you may only leave and return once.
How to extend your stay
An e-visa is strictly for 60 days at the most and you cannot get it extended. You can also have a maximum of only two each year.
The extensions for a standard business visa might seem to be complicated though it can be possible in certain cases. You need to speak to an official about the specifics of your situation.
Essential requirements for a business visa in India
- You have reached India for a valid business purpose like setting up some international business, conducting business meetings, purchasing or selling commercial products, participating in the trade fair, recruiting people for business, or other activities.
- You need to be of “assured financial standing” which means you have sufficient money for giving proof to be granted a visa.
- You will not go there for lending money or running a petty business.
- You meet the terms of tax liabilities that you might face.
- You will not be employed in India and in this case, you will rather need an employment visa.
These regulations are applicable for to both e-business visa and business visa.
Important documents you need to provide
When applying your business visa online, you need to submit some documents. Applying for a business visa might be somewhat different if you do not have a UK passport, particularly when you are from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan or Sri Lanka.
When applying for an urgent business visa, you will need some extra documents that include proof you have been living in the UK for 2 years.
How to apply for an Indian business visa
- Use the official website, indiavisaonline.gov.in and apply online.
- Complete the application form and submit your documents. In case of e-visa, upload your documents in the appropriate places online.
- Pay the fees and you may have to pay with a card either Mastercard or Visa.
- E-visas need to be sent to your email address and make sure it reaches properly.
- Print out a copy and take it with you while traveling.
If you are applying for a regular business visa, you have to set aside more time, and fix a visit.
- Start the process online – Visit indianvisaonline.gov.in to fill up and submit the application form. By doing so, you can schedule an interview to attend.
- Go for the interview – Make sure you print out the application and collect other supporting documents. Schedule an appointment at one of the visa application centres around the country such as London, Bristol, Belfast, Bradford, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.
- Wait for getting your documents returned – Your visa and passport will be returned to you by either courier or post. There will be waiting time when your application gets processed.
How long the application procedure will take
Visa Genie is the company that manages business visa applications and suggests that the “processing times vary from application to application”. Hence, it is worthy enough to apply in advance when you want to travel and they recommend confirming travel plans only after you get your tourist visa India.
According to VFS, regular cases will probably require 3 to 5 working days for processing. Thus, you need to start the application process significantly before and there is urgent business visa option too, in case you need to speed up things.
E-visas should be quicker, however it is worth applying comfortably in advance. You may apply within 4 days before your arrival date though leaving it that late will not seem to be a good idea.
Fees for a business visa
In case of e-business visa, the application fee will be almost $100 for the UK citizens. There is the bank charge of 2.5% that will be charged additionally wherever it is applicable. The payment options available are for Visa and Mastercard payments.
A business visa seems to be more costly for the UK citizens. If you are looking to it for a year, then it will cost around £168 along with £7.44 service charge. The fees may increase to £498 along with service charge for nearly 5 years. You may either pay online or by debit card, bank draft or postal order.
If you have a TransferWise borderless account, then you may save money in different foreign currencies like US dollars. Thus, when you convert money into various currencies, you always get the real mid-market exchange rate. It is the suitable way to manage international payments. As UK customers can get a debit Mastercard with their borderless account, they can make the visa payment without paying your bank for the foreign currency transaction.
This border less account can collect Indian rupees too and hence, it comes in handy once the visa application is over. Thus, you can be assured of arriving safely to India for your business trip. Happy and safe journey!