New 'P' visa for expats in power, steel sectors Read more: New 'P' visa for expats i

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  1. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    NEW DELHI: The government has introduced a separate visa regime -- called `P' (Project) Visa -- within the employment visa for foreign nationals coming to India for "execution of projects in the power and steel sectors".

    The new regime will pave the way for foreign companies to bring "highly skilled or skilled" foreign nationals to India for executing projects of their Indian clients (companies) for a maximum period of one year without getting into the nitty-gritty of the two existing work-related visa regimes -- Business (B) and Employment (E) Visas. The facility will, however, not be available to companies in other sectors.

    "Guidelines issued recently for `P' visa have come out with certain conditions, which are to be strictly followed while granting such visas. Project Visa will be issued only after approval from concerned authorities in India, the processing of which may take 45-50 days," said a senior home ministry official.


    India had felt the need for a separate visa regime after it imposed strict restrictions on issuing of Business and Employment Visas last year. The home ministry had in June 2009 found that thousands of foreign nationals, mainly unskilled or semi-skilled workers from China, used the `B' visa route to come to India instead of coming on the `E' visas which are meant for only skilled or highly skilled professionals.

    Though the government had subsequently asked all such `B' visa holders to return to their countries and come back only after converting their visas (from B to E), the decision sent alarm bells ringing across the private industry as it feared substantial delay in ongoing projects. Considering the implication of the decision on certain infrastructure projects, the government had asked a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) to look for an alternative to address such concerns.

    "The separate visa regime for execution of projects in the power and steel sectors is the result of the CoS recommendation," said the official.

    The guidelines for `P' Visa clearly say that its validity will initially be for the duration of the project/contract with multiple-entry facility. "It, however, cannot exceed one year. Besides, a person coming under `P' Visa cannot take employment in the same Indian company for a period of two years from the date of commissioning of the project," said the official.

    Besides highly skilled or skilled workers who can be issued such visas on the basis of "sector specific ceilings on the maximum number of visas allowed for each project in the steel and power sectors", the Project Visa can also be issued to two chefs and two interpreters per project.

    The guidelines also say: "A Project Visa holder cannot engage in another project either of the same company or of a different company and his or her work will be restricted to the location of the project."

    According to the guidelines, the Indian company engaging the foreign national for executing the project/contract "will be responsible for the conduct of the foreign national during his or her stay in India and also for the departure of such foreign national upon expiry of the visa".

    Besides, the Project Visa holder will have to register with the FRO/FRRO concerned within 14 days of arrival if the validity of the visa is more than 180 days.







    Read more: New 'P' visa for expats in power, steel sectors - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ectors-/articleshow/6936845.cms#ixzz15UNPjrwu
     
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