What is the change? Under a new rule, residence permits for Japanese nationals in India are now automatically valid for the length of their visas. In a separate development, India has done away with a requirement that Japanese nationals appear in person at a Foreigner Regional Registration Office when applying for a residence permit or visa extension.

What does the change mean? The changes will save Japanese nationals time by eliminating two administrative requirements.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence permits and visa extensions.
  • Who is affected: Japanese nationals obtaining residence permits or visa extensions.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times will not be directly affected, but Japanese nationals will save time because (1) they will not have to apply for residence permits extensions while their visas are still valid and (2) they can appoint an officer of the company or organization to apply for visa extensions or residence permits when required.
  • Business impact: The changes will have a positive impact on business by making it easier to obtain both residence permits and visa extensions.

Background: Generally, foreign nationals in India are given a residence permit that is valid for one year, even if they have a visa that is valid for a longer period of time. This means that foreign nationals often must apply to extend their residence permits to stay in India even if their visa remains valid. Under the new rule for Japanese nationals, residence permits will automatically be valid for the life of their visa.

In a separate development, Japanese nationals will no longer be required to appear in person at a Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO/FRO) when applying for registration or to extend either a residence permit or visa. Instead, an official appointed by the Japanese national’s employer can apply on the Japanese national’s behalf. Indian officials do still require Japanese nationals to inform an FRRO/FRO official if they will be away from their registered address for eight weeks or more, change their address or leave India.

BAL Analysis: The changes do away with two requirements that could be costly, timely and confusing. They are welcome news for Japanese nationals working in India.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in India. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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