India extends ‘permanent residency’ to foreigners

fdiThe Indian Cabinet today approved extending ‘permanent residency’ to foreign investors.

So far, one had to be a citizen to be a permanent resident in the country. Others faced hassles such as regular attendance at foreigners registration offices and visa extensions if they were to continue to remain in the country. The present tenure of an investor’s visa does not extend beyond five years.

With this move, India joins the leagues of countries like USA, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong, which offer an option for the well-heeled to remain in the country permanently if they invest a certain amount of money in the country.

The scheme is expected to encourage foreign investment in India and facilitate Make in India Programme. Under the Scheme, suitable provisions will be incorporated in the Visa Manual to provide for the grant of PRS to foreign investors.

The PRS will be granted for a period of 10 years with multiple entry. This can be reviewed for another 10 years if the PRS holder has not come to adverse notice.

The scheme will be applicable only to foreign investors fulfilling the prescribed eligibility conditions, his/her spouse and dependents.

In order to avail this scheme, the foreign investor will have to invest a minimum of Rs. 10 crores to be brought within 18 months or Rs.25 crores to be brought within 36 months. Further, the foreign investment should result in generating employment to at least 20 resident Indians every financial year.

Permanent Residency Status will be granted for a period of 10 years initially with multiple entry facility, which can be renewed for another 10 years. PRS will serve as a multiple entry visa without any stay stipulation and PRS holders will be exempted from the registration requirements.

PRS holders will be allowed to purchase one residential property for dwelling purpose. The spouse/ dependents of the PRS holder will be allowed to take up employment in private sector (in relaxation to salary stipulations for Employment Visa) and undertake studies in India.