One of the most challenging parts of my journey to India was the employment visa obtaining process. In order to volunteer for six months in the Organization Humana People for People, I had to apply for the employment visa because I couldn’t fill in the criteria for the Tourist, Project or Internship Visas, which were easier to get. The first step in obtaining my visa was to research with attention to all the documents that I need for my visa application file.

Even if you bring all the documents demanded, there are still some doubts before getting the visa but the best way to prepare for this process is to make sure that you have all these documents:

  • The passport has to be valid for the duration of the employment with at least two blank pages and the date of expiration has to be at least 6 months after the ending of your working period.
  • Visa Application Form duly filled in and signed.
  • In respect of Indian company, copies of- i) Certificate of Incorporation, ii) GST Registration Certificate, iii) PAN card, iv) Membership Certificate with Chambers of Commerce, Industry/Trade bodies. I know that this language is quite scary but it’s better if you have at least the Certificate of Incorporation and the PAN Card.
  • Copy of Income Tax Returns filed by the Indian company in India for the previous three financial years.
  • Documentary proof of the applicant’s educational qualifications and professional expertise. Make sure that you have your papers in English and have copies with you because you’ll leave it in the file at the embassy. It’s good to be prepared for different questions and not to lose yourself during your interview.
  • If the applicant was granted an Employment visa earlier, then the applicant has to submit a “No Objection Certificate” from the Indian Tax authorities stating that he/she has no tax liabilities.
  • Flight bookings and accommodation arrangements in India. In my case, I had only the arrival flight because I applied for a one year visa. My volunteering work will be intercalated with travels and my plan is to stay in India until October next year.
  • Letter of Offer of employment to the applicant from the Indian company.
  • Employment Contract giving detailed terms and conditions of the employment should be signed by both the employer and the applicant. The contract should clearly mention (i) salary and allowances, and (ii) all other perquisites which would be taken into account for the purpose of working out the income tax payable by the employee. All amounts must be mentioned in the Indian National Rupee (INR)The last part is important because I had my volunteering allowance in dollars and they asked to send it in Rupees too by email from the organization.
  • Letter of Appointment of the applicant from the Indian company
  • Letter addressed to the Consular Officer, Embassy of India, Bucharest by the Indian company: i)  giving details of the nature of business in which the company is involved, number of employees in the company, and annual turnover of the company; and ii)  introducing the applicant with passport details and giving justification for offering employment to the applicant. Also, the Indian company shall email a scanned copy of such letter to the Embassy at cons1.bucharest@mea.gov.in

I prepared a file with these documents and I applied for an appointment to the Indian Embassy in Bucharest. There I had an interview with the consul and meanwhile my papers were checked. After the discussion with the consul, I was called to pay the tax, for Romanians is 860 Ron for a one-year working visa. I was relieved considering that paying this tax will assure me that I will get the visa but soon I was informed that my file will be revised more and I will receive an answer in the next days. This made me quite insecure because I didn’t have any guarantee that I will get it so I charged myself with a lot of patience and I waited for more than one week. In the end, after I sent one more paper missing from my file, I was called to take my passport and the visa was there. I felt proud to have completed this process and I wish a lot of patience if you are going to do it too.