India’s Intern Visa: More Clarity and Guidelines
The Indian government had introduced a new visa category – the Intern Visa – earlier this year in an effort to keep up with growing business needs and trends. The Intern visa is available to foreign nationals intending to pursue an internship with NGOs, companies and educational institutions in India.
Detailed guidelines regarding this visa category have been issued by a few Indian consulates thereby bringing more clarity in terms of the eligibility criteria, duration and process, etc. A summary of these is provided here.
Eligibility and Duration:
- The foreign intern should draw a minimum salary of INR 0.78 Million (about USD 12,000) per year for internship with an Indian company. There will be no minimum salary requirement for internships with Indian educational institutions or NGOs.
- Graduates or post graduates are eligible for Intern visas, however, the duration between the completion of their graduation or post-graduation and the start of internship should not exceed one year.
- A Pakistani national is not eligible for the intern visa.
- The intern visa may be granted for a period not more than a year.
- Intern visas will not be issued for internships in sectors like Defense, Telecom, Space Technologies, Construction/ strategic Infrastructure projects, Mining, Civil Aviation, Petroleum & Natural Gas exploration, Private security agencies, Human Rights, Nuclear Energy, Environmental issues and Dams.
Conversion to Employment Visa:
- A foreign national on an Intern visa cannot take up employment in India immediately after completion of the internship. Conversion of the Intern visa into Employment Visa (or any other type of visa) is not to be permitted and the foreign national will have to exit the country to apply for an employment visa at the Indian post in his home country.
MHA Clearance in Certain Cases:
- In the case of nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan or a foreign national of Pakistan origin or Stateless person, the Intern visa will be granted after receiving clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- In cases of internship with NGOs, prior clearance from the MHA is needed before issuing the visa.
- Intern visa will be granted to a maximum of 50 interns per year for each Indian Mission/ Post. This limit will be 100 per year for countries where the population of people of Indian origin is more than 1 million.
- The foreign national’s earnings from the internship will be subject to the Indian Income Tax Regulations.
Consulate General of India, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Consulate General of India, Shanghai