Immigrant Laws of India
As the globalization period progressed, people began to migrate in increasing numbers in search of social, political, and economic stability. With a wide variety of attractions, India, a nation with many different races and traditions, draws immigrants from all over the world. Transferring people from one country to another with the goal of establishing a permanent presence is known as immigration. The largest challenge for immigrants is becoming citizens of the host country and exercising their fundamental rights there. Immigration-specific laws and regulations that specify the requirements and restrictions for obtaining citizenship typically address these issues. While on the Indian subcontinent, immigration laws are governed by the provisions of the Indian Constitution.
Constitutional Provisions in Brief
A person of Indian descent or a family member with Indian heritage is considered a citizen under Articles 5 to 11 of Part II of the Indian Constitution. Article 10 addresses the continuation of foreigners’ citizenship in India, subject to any new legislation passed by the legislature. The Indian constitution prohibits multiple citizenships and only recognizes one across the whole nation.
In addition, it adds that foreign nationals can get Indian citizenship by completing the Naturalization process (after residing in India for at least 14 years) and registering as a foreigner with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Officer) or FRO (Foreigners Registration Officer). Jus sanguinis (citizenship by blood), as opposed to jus soli, is the rule of law in India (citizenship by birth).
Immigrant rules and restrictions
The Passport (Entry in India) Act of 1920 requires foreigners entering India to get visas from India Missions. This rule has been implemented to speed up the process of foreigners gaining citizenship.
The law also lists the documents that must be shown in order for foreigners to enter the country legally.
The Foreigners Statute of 1946 is the law that controls foreigners’ entry into India and their stay there till they depart.
The 1939 Foreigners Registration Act and the 1992 Foreigners Registration Rules Foreign nationals who stay over the expiration of their visas must register with the registration officer.
Requirement of Visa
All foreign tourists need a visa in order to enter India legally. Citizens of Bhutan and Nepal are not covered by this. Visitors are permitted to stay in the nation for a maximum of 180 days using these visas (6 months). The applicant must first register with the FRRO or FRO if a lengthier visa is required (more than 180 days).
The Indian government offers a variety of visas, including business visas, employment visas, intern visas, transit visas, student visas, film visas, and others. These visas can be obtained as regular visas or electronic visas. A Protected Area Permit (PAP), which permits visitors to enter the restricted zones, is necessary for entry into several restricted areas of India aside from the valid visas stated above. In addition to the standard visa requirement, this authorization is necessary.
The Process of Registration
With the exception of those who are travelling for a long time (more than 180 days) on a work visa, a research visa, a student visa, or a medical visa, foreign nationals must register with the Indian Missions/FRRO/FRO within 14 days of arrival. Participation in this process is prohibited for some nationalities.
Unless they intend to stay in India for longer than 180 days, foreigners entering India on any type of visa other than those mentioned above do not need to register. In such cases, registration must be finished well in advance of the 6-month term’s end.
Foreign nationals who are older than 16 must register in person or through a licenced agent with the appropriate Registration Officer. Minors under 16 are exempt from registration requirements.
Visitors from outside who want to remain longer than 180 days and have an Entry(X) visa, such as dependent visas and business visas, must additionally register.
The FRROS/FRO requires registration from visitors who have journalist visas and other visas without any specified endorsements. At all Indian missions, the visas submitted for registration will receive a stamp.
The Indian Immigration Law has undergone a number of significant revisions by the Indian government, including:
Every tourist with a work visa in India has the ability to switch employment after arrival by filing an application to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Depending on the eligibility of the X visa holder and the employment situation of the spouse, a dependent visa or (X) visa may be changed into an employment visa.
The PIO (People of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards have been combined as of January 9, 2015.
Immigration law is the only type of law that controls immigration in a country. Immigration Law and a country’s Nationality Law, which regulates citizenship issues, are connected insofar as foreign nationals are concerned. Immigration Law as it relates to a nation’s residents is governed by international law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations is pertinent in this regard. The primary international body in the topic of migration is the International Organization for Migration. To aid those who had been displaced by the Second World War, it was first established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration. This organization is dedicated to supporting humane and organized migration for everyone’s benefit.
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Contributed by Sanal Pillai
Edited by Imtiaz Ullah