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Indian Immigration Laws and Policies

People started migrating in significant numbers as an era of globalization in pursuit of economic, political, and social stability. India, a country of diverse ethnicities and cultures, attracts immigrants from all over the world with a range of attractions. Immigration is the transfer of individuals from one nation to another for the intention of establishing a long-term residence. The biggest hurdle for immigrants is obtaining citizenship in the host nation and exercising fundamental rights in the country to which they have moved.

These difficulties are normally handled by immigration-specific laws and policies that outline the procedure and limitations for obtaining citizenship. In the context of the Indian subcontinent, meanwhile, the rules of the Indian Constitution control immigration regulations.

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.

Visa for India:

For lawful admission into Indian borders, all international visitors require a visa. This does not apply to Nepalese or Bhutanese citizens. The visas allow visitors to stay in the country for a maximum of 180 days (6 months). If a visa is needed for a longer period of time (greater than 180 days), the applicant must first register with the FRRO or FRO.

Business visas, Employment visas, Intern visas, Transit visas, Student visas, Film visas, and so on are all available from the Indian government and can be obtained as a standard visa or an E-visa. Aside from the above-mentioned valid visas, there are limited regions inside India that require a specific entrance permission known as a Protected Area Permit (PAP), which allows travelers to access the restricted zones. This authorization must be obtained in addition to the usual visa requirement.

Registration of foreigners in India:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Amendments made recently

The Indian government has made a number of important amendments to the Indian Immigration Law, including:
  • After arriving in India, every tourist on a work visa has the option of changing employers by submitting an application to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • A dependent visa or (X) visa can be converted into an employment visa based on the X visa holder's eligibility and the spouse's job status.
  • As of January 9, 2015, the PIO (People of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards have been unified.

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