Visa norms relaxed for business, PR, medical treatment: Centre

New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, in a written reply to a question regarding the relaxing of Visa norms for business activities, in Parliament yesterday, enumerated the several steps taken by the Government.

Rai said the Government is granting multiple entry electronic Business visas for a period of one year to nationals of 169 countries, and multiple entry Business visas for a period of 5 years as a default option to nationals of more than 160 countries.

The Government also grants multiple entry Business Visa with 10 years validity to nationals of the United States of America, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom (U.K.) & South Africa.

The Government grants Permanent Residency (PR) Status to foreign investors making investments of a minimum of Rs. 10 crores within 18 months or Rs. 25 crores within 36 months under the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) route, and generating employment to at least 20 resident Indians in every financial year. PR status is granted for a period of 10 years with multiple entry which can be extended for another 10 years.

The Government also permits extension of Business visas within India up to 10 years as against 5 years permitted earlier, and revised the period for achieving the gross sales/turnover target of Rs. 1 crore per annum from 2 years to 4 years in respect of foreigners coming to establish an industrial or business venture.

Other than these, the Visa procedure for obtaining medical treatment in India has also been relaxed. As per the revised procedure introduced by the Government in November 2018, a foreigner suffering from a minor medical condition which needs only OPD (Out Patient Department) consultation or treatment may take treatment at any hospital or treatment centre on their primary visa, including Business visa.

Moreover, a foreign national who is already in India on any type of visa (including Business visa) is now allowed to take indoor treatment (other than for treatment of diseases which require organ transplant) in hospitals and treatment centres up to a maximum period of 180 days without having to convert the primary visa into Medical Visa.

The indoor medical treatment may also cover treatment for diseases which the foreigner may have been suffering from even before their entry into India.

Conversion to Medical Visa will be required only if the period of treatment exceeds 180 days or the stay stipulation period, if any, stipulated on the primary visa or the duration of the primary visa, whichever is earlier.

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The ID Staff

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