Employment Indian visa for US citizens

Every citizen of the United States currently residing in the country can apply for an Employment visa from the Embassy / Consulates of India in the United States.

This type of visa is available for traveling to India for the purpose of working in India, for an organization registered in the country. An Employment Visa is granted to an employee or paid intern of an Indian company and to persons traveling to India for volunteer work with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).


How to Apply?

You must apply inside the CKGS website. (https://passport.in.ckgs.us)

Do not go directly to the Government of India website to fill the online application. You must go via the links on the CKGS website provided below. If required, you will be directed to the Government of India’s website to fill your online form/s at the appropriate step via the CKGS website.

For USA applicants, the CKGS website has been customized so that the supplementary documents, forms, fees, and documents checklist are displayed as per the requirements of the CGI New York.

The CKGS website will identify your passport category, type, duration, fees, and help avoid errors. To assist you, further many forms and letters that have repetitive information will get auto-populated and you only have to fill in the missing fields.


All residents of the US can apply for Employment Visa from the Embassy / Consulates of India in the US.

Non-US passport holders should preferably apply from the country from where their passport has been issued. Employment Visa can be processed for NON-US Passport Holders but the time taken will be more as the clearance has to be sought from the Applicant’s Country of Origin.


This type of visa is normally granted to the following types of foreign nationals:

  • Foreign nationals coming to India as a consultant on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration (this may not be in the form of a monthly salary).
  • Foreign artists conducting performances for the duration of the employment contract given by Hotels, Clubs, or other organizations.
  • Foreign nationals who are coming to India to take up employment as coaches of national/state level teams or reputed sports clubs.
  • Foreign sportsmen who are given a contract for a specified period by the Indian Clubs/Organizations.
  • Self-employed Foreign nationals coming to India for providing engineering, medical, accounting, legal or similar highly skilled services in their capacity as independent consultants provided the provision of such services by foreign nationals is permitted under law.
  • Foreign language teachers/interpreters.
  • Foreign specialist chefs.
  • Foreign engineers/technicians coming to India for installation and commissioning of equipment/machines/tools in terms of the contract for the supply of such equipment/machines/tools.
  • Foreign nationals deputed for providing technical support/services, transfer of know-how/services for which the Indian company pays fees/royalty to the foreign company.
  • Senior management personnel and/or specialists employed by foreign firms who are relocated to India to work on a specific project/management assignment.
  • Foreign nationals traveling to India for the execution of a project/contract [irrespective of the duration of the visit].
  • Foreign nationals who are coming to India on short visits to a customer location to repair any plant or machinery as part of a warranty or annual maintenance contracts.
  • Foreign nationals coming to India for imparting training for the personnel of the Indian company.
  • Those traveling to India for volunteer work with a Non-governmental organization (NGO) must apply for an India Employment Visa.
Taj mahal

Employment visa conditions:

An Employment visa is granted according to the following conditions :

  • The applicant should be a highly skilled and/or qualified professional being engaged or appointed by a company or organization or industry or undertaking in India on the contract or an employment basis at a senior level, skilled position such as technical expert, senior executive, or in a managerial position, etc.
  • There should not be a qualified Indian available to do the job that the visa holder would be performing.
  • The Employment visa cannot be granted for routine, ordinary, or secretarial/clerical jobs.
  • The employment must either be in a company/firm/organization registered in India or in a foreign company/firm/organization engaged for execution of some project in India.
  • The employee’s salary must be in excess of INR 16.25 lakhs per year. However, this condition does not apply to (a) Ethnic cooks, (b) Language teachers (other than English language teachers) / translators, and (c) Staff working for the concerned Embassy/High Commission in India.
  • The foreign national must comply will all legal requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc.
  • The documents pertaining to the proposed employment will be thoroughly checked to decide the category of visa that may be issued to the foreigner.
  • The name of the sponsoring employer/organization shall be clearly stipulated in the visa sticker.
  • A foreign company/organization that does not yet have any Project office/subsidiary/joint venture/branch office in India cannot sponsor a foreign national/employee of a foreign company for an Employment Visa. However, if the Indian company/organization has awarded a contract for the execution of a project to a foreign company that does not have any base in India, such foreign company can sponsor the employee for Employment Visa.
  • The Indian organization/entity that sponsors an Employment Visa does not necessarily have to be the legal employer of the person.
  • The Indian company/organization engaging foreign nationals for executing projects/contracts would be responsible for the conduct of the foreign national during their stay in India and also for the departure of such foreign national upon expiry of the visa.

Spouse / Dependent Members

Spouse and dependent family members accompanying the applicant must also apply for an Employment visa co-terminus with the period of the principal visa holder.

Every member of the family will need their own visa to enter the country.

Charity / Non-Profit Documentation

An Employment Visa Applicant who intends to do volunteer work with charities or non-profit organizations must include a letter from the sponsoring organization in India on letterhead indicating the nature and the duration of the visit and place of work.

The same letter must also be signed by an authorized signatory.

The letter from the sponsoring organization needs to state whether the applicant will be a paid or non-paid intern.

Duration & Validity

  • The validity of an India Employment Visa will be for the duration of your employment volunteer work in India, which will usually not exceed ONE YEAR at a time.
  • A foreign technician may get an Employment Visa for a period of 5 years or the duration of the bilateral agreement between India and the foreign government, whichever is less, with multiple entries.
  • Highly skilled foreign personnel being employed in the IT-software and IT-enabled sectors, the validity is up to 3 years or the term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entries.
  • Others can be granted an Employment Visa with validity up to 2 years or the term of assignment, whichever is less, with multiple entries.
  • Validity of Employment Visa commences from the date of visa issuance and NOT from the date of entry into India.

Employment visa extension

The possibility of visa extension of up to 5 years from the date of issue of the Initial Employment Visa on an annual basis is possible and subject to good conduct, production of necessary documents in support of continued employment, filing of Income Tax returns and no adverse security inputs about the foreigner may be obtained from MHA / FRRO in the concerned state in India.

Applying for the Visa:

STEP 1: VISA Application – Get Started

Click on the “VISA Application – Get Started” button to begin your VISA application process.

Keep these details handy before you VISA fill your form:

Your Current US / Foreign Passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of application and must have a minimum of 2 blank pages:

Passport details:

  • Passport number
  • Issuing date
  • Expiration date
  • Place of Issue
  • Details of your previous India Visa (if you have applied in the past)
  • Details of the countries you visited in the last 6 months.
  • Details of current citizenship

Travel itinerary details:

You have to give details of your proposed travel itinerary in India and Mention the cities/places covered in the sequence of the itinerary. Also, include the “Entry place into India” and “Exit place from India”

Aditional passport/certificate information:

If you carry any other Valid Passport/identity certificate, details should be included in this application as well. (Passport / Certificate Number, date of issue, place of issue, nationality described therein).

Reference contacts information:

When applying for the India Visa, define your Indian and American reference contacts, and provide the CKGS with their personal information and contact numbers.

Please note:

Applicants are advised that they DO NOT print the document on both sides of the paper as “DOUBLE SIDED PRINTED DOCUMENTS ARE NOT ACCEPTED”.

(All data should be filled in on BOLD LETTERS)

STEP 2: Fill in the widget

For USA applicants, the CKGS website has been customized through a widget so that the website, documents, forms, and letter requirements are as per the instructions of the Embassy/Consulates of India in the USA.

The widget will help you identify your VISA category, type, duration, fees, and help avoid errors. Further to assist you, many forms and letters that have repetitive information will get auto-populated and you only have to fill in the missing fields.

STEP 3: The results page

Document Checklist:

Read the document checklist carefully which lists the documents, forms, letters, whether originals / or copies are required and whether they have to be self-attested or notarized, and the number of documents needed to complete your Visa application before submission.

You will be provided with the following information:

  • VISA fees
  • Processing Time
  • Web Reference Number

Using this web reference number you can access the CKGS website in case you want to apply later or get disconnected. Remember to write this number down.

STEP 4: Government of India Online Visa Form

On the CKGS website, you are provided with a sample of how to fill the Government online VISA forms. It is recommended that you print the sample form to assist you during the process.

On the website, you’ll find a list of the common mistakes that are made, so that you can avoid making the same errors.

Now, you will have to leave the CKGS website and click on the link to go to the Government of India Online VISA website.

Clicking there will redirect you to the Government website, then you must select Regular Visa Application to start your online Visa application process.

On the Government website, you must complete the Online Visa form. Remember to fill it with the correct information, and the same you provided earlier at the Widget Stage.

Upload your photograph on the Visa form following the requirements and sign where ever indicated.


Requirements of a photograph for visa

Based upon the specifications of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and ICAO, which is responsible for standardizing travel documents, the crucial requirements for a photograph for e-passport are:

The face must be taken from a full frontal position and the height of the face must meet the prescribed specifications. The eyes must be open, level, and clearly visible within the indicated area. The face should be centered within the frame.

Advice for applicants to submit a proper quality photograph.

The quality of the photograph appearing on the passport depends on the photograph that is submitted at the time of application. The passport seekers are, therefore, advised to submit the photographs, as specified, to avoid delay in processing their passport applications.

Photo Specifications

  • Photograph for VISA cannot be the same photograph that is already in your passport
  • Recent Passport photo taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Photograph to be affixed on the application should be square-shaped OR 2 inches by 2 inches size (80% coverage of face)
  • Photographs NOT to be stapled and must NOT be adhesive taped.
  • Must be in color.
  • Must be against a white background
  • Must show a full face, front view.
  • Must be taken in normal street attire.
  • The photograph must be taken in a colored attire, for example, a medium blue shirt, etc.
  • The attire should not be patterned/textured or pure white.
  • Photograph has to be original and printed on GLOSSY PHOTO PAPER ONLY.
  • Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily.
  • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig, or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture and dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A medical certificate may be required.
  • Glare on eyeglasses should be avoided with a slight upward or downward tilt of the head.
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline. Head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons.

Web reference number

You will receive a new web reference number from the government site which will allow you to access the CKGS website to track the status of your VISA application available for all references to your application and other further inquiries.

STEP 5: CKGS website

Once you complete the Government VISA form, on the last page of the Government’s website, you must click on the Appointment and Payment option.

When you hit the Appointment and Payment button, you will be prompted with the PDF of the Application Form. Please save and print the Application Form.

Then you will be redirected to the CKGS website where you have to complete the rest of the process.

STEP 6: Complete the Forms and Letters

You have returned to the CKGS website to complete your application process.

You must fill in and sign supplementary forms and letters. Wherever possible the website will have auto-filled the fields. You only need to fill in the pending blanks. Some forms and letters have to be self-attested or notarized, everything is indicated.

  • Fill the forms with the correct information.
  • Review and check the forms and letters.
  • Print the forms from the ‘My Account’ page on the website.
  • Sign the forms/letters where indicated.
    Check which documents are copies and have to be self-attested or notarized and accordingly get that done.

STEP 7: Choose Mode of Submission

Choose the mode of submission of your Application to CKGS either by Shipping or Walk-in.

7A: Shipping

You can book your shipping at the appropriate step on the CKGS website. You will have to send your fully completed application (all documents and complete payment) through Shipping. It is recommended that you purchase your shipment through CKGS as this will save you the need to travel, parking charges, as well as waiting time at the CKGS Application Center.

Applications must be sent to the CKGS Application Center of your jurisdiction. It must NOT be sent to the Mission.

Simply print the label which will automatically be addressed.

Please DO the following:

  • Send only 1 Application per package.
  • The weight of the package should be less than 0.5Lbs.
  • The shipping label provided by CKGS must be pasted on the envelope.
  • Only use the envelopes shown below to send with the shipping label provided by CKGS:

Please DON’T DO the following:

  • DO NOT enclose your application in any other packaging except for the ones displayed above.
  • DO NOT request a pickup by FedEx / UPS as this is not included in the price.
  • If more than one application is sent in the same package, then the application will be put on hold.
  • DO NOT use the shipping label to apply outside of your jurisdiction.

Wrong Packaging:

Applications sent in the wrong packaging will not be processed until CKGS is reimbursed for the difference in the amount for shipping applications in the wrong packaging.

Please note that the conditions of the Shipping provider are in addition to the Terms and Conditions of CKGS.

Note on Prepaid/Own Shipping Label:

If you decide to use your own shipping label, ensure that you provide the AWB Number and Service provider’s details when you are prompted at the Shipping stage or you can print it later from the ‘My Account’ page. This is Compulsory to avoid further delays.

If you have used your own label, we cannot take any responsibility for pick-up and delivery to you. The Shipping Service providers often do not acknowledge receipt of the envelopes. Nor will CKGS drop off your prepaid envelopes to your shipping service provider as you have not bought the shipping service from us.

Please Consider the following when shipping your application:

  • FedEx Prepaid Envelopes sent by you are NOT accepted.
  • USPS Pre-paid labels have an expiry date and hence they are NOT accepted by CKGS.
  • For Prepaid envelopes, CKGS will not be responsible to contact you, and if you ignore this point for any delay occurring will be your liability.

7B : Walk-in:

After selecting Walk-in as your submission option, you shall continue online to complete the so-called, Appointment Process.

First, Choose Your Appointment date. Then, Select Your Time Slot.

If the date/time slot is already booked, then the next available option will be displayed.

After selecting the date and time slot, you will get a confirmation of your appointment date and time booked from CKGS.

When you go in person to CKGS, do it at the designated appointment date and time and submit your application along with all the required documents at the CKGS Application Center.

Considerations for Walk-in Submissions:

Biometric enrolment for VISA application is mandatory for Walk-In Applicants of San Francisco and New York Jurisdiction.

Exemption cases:

The following categories of applicants are exempted from biometric enrolment:

  • Applicants of the age below 12 Years or above 70 Years.
  • Applicants holding official passport, Diplomatic passport, or UN passport.
  • Applicants with no fingers
  • Applicants with poor fingerprints need to sign the exception form.
  • Applicants with less number of fingers will be required to give biometrics only of the existing fingers and need to sign the exception form.

STEP 8: Payment

Payment must be made by “Money order/Pay order /Cashiers/ Bankers check favoring Cox and Kings Global Services USA LLC” or at the CKGS Application Center.

Total payment is composed of CKGS fees and Consular fees.

CKGS fees consist of:

  • CKGS Service Fee: $19.90 per application.
  • Optional Fee: Courier Service, SMS, etc.

Consular fees consist of:

  • Visa Fees: As per adult / minor and applicable Visa category.
  • ICWF (Indian Community Welfare Fund): $3.00 per application.

Payment terms:

  • Each applicant must pay separately
  • Credit card charges will be applied.
  • You can’t pay with cash
  • No checks are allowed for payment.
  • If fees are not fully paid for, CKGS will not be responsible for any delays and consequential charges that you may incur.

STEP 9: Submit Your Physical Application to CKGS

When you are done with the online process, you will now have to submit your physical application via shipping or walk-in option selected by you to the CKGS Application Center as per the Jurisdiction of your application.

Remember to arrange the filled and signed completed forms, documents and letters in the same order as mentioned in the document checklist and check that the number of documents have been collated and are correct as per your document checklist.

Tick off the boxes on both the checklists, as you put the documents into your envelope for submission of your ‘Complete’ Application and enclose 1 copy of the document checklist in your envelope and keep one for your reference.

Remember that the processing of your application will ONLY commence once your physical application package is delivered to the CKGS Application Center.
If you have used the CKGS shipping option, you will receive an e-mail advising you of the outcome of the verification process.

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