Immigration Law

14/10/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Articles 5 to 11 of Part II of the Indian Constitution deals with citizenship, defining a citizen as a person of Indian ancestry or a family member having Indian ancestry. Article 10 deals with the continued citizenship of foreigners in India, subject to any further laws adopted by the legislature. The Indian constitution recognizes just one citizenship across the country and does not allow for multiple citizenship.

It also states that a foreign citizen can get Indian citizenship through the Naturalization procedure (after having lived in India for at least 14 years) and foreigner registration with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Officer) or FRO (Foreigners Registration Officer). The Indian law follows jus sanguinis (citizenship by blood) as opposed to jus soli (citizenship by birth).

Immigrant rules and restrictions:

Certain laws have been enacted to streamline the process of foreigners obtaining citizenship, including:

  • Foreigners entering India are obliged to get visas from India Missions under the Passport (Entry in India) Act, 1920.
  • The statute also specifies which papers must be submitted during their lawful journey in order to be admitted to the nation.
  • The Foreigners Statute, 1946 – This act governs foreigners’ admission and stay within Indian boundaries till they leave.
  • The Foreigners Registration Act of 1939 and the Foreigners Registration Rules of 1992. Certain foreigners who remain longer than their visa period is required to register with the Registration Officer.

Types of Visa

The proper Indian diplomatic consular or passport authority i.e. Indian Embassy/High Commission located in various countries issue different types of visa to foreign nationals depending upon their proposed activities in India.

Below is an illustrative list of visas granted in order to enter India basis the purpose to visit India:

Sl. No. Type of Visa Eligibility
1 Transit Visa Granted to a foreign national for the sole purpose of enabling the foreigner to travel through India to a destination outside India.
2 Tourist Visa Granted to a foreign national whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sight-seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, attending a short-term yoga programme, short duration medical treatment including treatment under Indian systems of medicine etc. and no other purpose/activity.
3 Medical Visa Granted to a foreign national whose sole purpose is to seek medical treatment in established/recognized/specialized hospitals/treatment centres in India.

The same is also granted to the by stander of the medical patient.

4 Student Visa Granted to a foreigner whose sole objective is to pursue on-campus, full time (structured) courses (including English and other language courses and vocational education) at educational institutions (Central/State Government Educational Institutions & Private Educational Institutions) duly recognized by statutory regulatory body and have acquired statutory authorization to conduct the course(s) complying with GST regulations.

The same is also granted to a foreign research scholar as well as a foreigner intending to pursue internship in Indian companies, educational institutions and NGOs subject to specified conditions.

5 Entry Visa Granted to a foreigner (Indian Citizen/Person of Indian Origin)/foreign national for specified purposes.
6 Conference Visa Granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is to attend a conference/seminar or workshop being held in India to discuss a particular subject or for a seminar or workshop on a specific subject.
7 Mountaineering Visa Granted to foreigners for participating in mountaineering activities.
8 Journalist Visa Granted to (a) a foreigner who is a professional journalist, photographer, documentary film producer or director (other than of commercial films), a representative of a radio and/or television organization, travel writer/travel promotion photographer etc., (b) professional journalist working for an association or a company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news or audio visual news or current affairs programmes through the print media, electronic or any other mode of mass communication, (c) correspondent/columnist/cartoonist/editor/owner of the association or company referred in (a)/(b) above.
9 Film Visa Granted to a foreigner for shooting of a feature film/reality TV show and/or commercial TV serials.
10 Missionary Visa Granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is Missionary work not involving proselytization.
11 Employment Visa Granted to a foreign national who is a highly skilled and/or qualified professional and is not be granted (i) for jobs for which qualified Indians are available and (ii) for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.

Employment visa is also granted to a foreign national coming to India for execution of projects in the power and steel sectors subject to the specified conditions.

12 Business Visa Granted to a foreign national who wish to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up an industrial/business venture.

Business visa is also granted to foreigners who are members of sports teams.

Registration of foreigners in India:

  • Foreigners travelling for a lengthy period (more than 180 days) on a student visa, work visa, research visa, or medical visa must register with the Indian Missions/FRRO/FRO within 14 days of arrival, with the exception of Certain sorts of nationalities are restricted from participating in this procedure.
  • Foreigners entering India on any form of visa other than the ones listed above are not need to register unless they plan to stay in India for more than 180 days. In such circumstances, registration must be completed well before the 6-month term expires.
  • Foreigners above the age of 16 are needed to register with the relevant Registration Officer in person or through an authorized agent. Minors under the age of 16 do not need to register.
  • Foreign visitors with an Entry(X) visa, such as dependent visas and business visas, who plan to stay for more than 180 days must also register.
  • Visitors with journalist visas and other visas that do not have any specific endorsements must register with the FRROS/FRO. The visas applied for registration will be stamped at all Indian missions.