Obtaining Indian citizenship by investment is possible through a special scheme that allows the applicant to gain permanent residency status and, later on, apply for Indian citizenship.
The permanent residency status scheme allows foreign investors to obtain a multiple entry visa once they make an approved minimum investment that is valid for a period of 10 years, and can be extended for another 10. This period suffices for those who are ultimately interested in obtaining Indian citizenship by investment.
Foreign nationals looking to acquire Indian residency, therefore those who have a visa for long-term entry, are also required to register with the authorities when their stay exceeds 180 days. The foreign national will provide additional information in his registration report and, upon the successful evaluation, will receive a certificate of registration for the officer who handled the case. You can read more about this below.
The initial permanent residence permit, and the citizenship that can follow, are subject to a number of conditions. Entrepreneurs who are interested in knowing more can read below and reach out to our team of lawyers in India if they have questions.
|Nationalities accepted (EU/Non-EU)||
EU and non-EU
Business investment option (YES/NO)
Real estate investment option (YES/NO)
Other investment options
|Living requirement in India||No|
|Residence or direct citizenship option||
|Direct immigration with family members (YES/NO)||
|Family members allowed to join the program||Yes|
|Residence visa/citizenship processing time (approx.)||Minimum 3 working days for the visa|
|Additional financial requirements for family members (YES/NO)||No|
|Timeframe for obtaining citizenship/residency by investment||
Permanent residency is provided following the confirmation of the investment
Citizenship can be acquired through naturalization after 11-14 years of lawful stay
|Dual citizenship permitted (YES/NO)||No|
|Reasons to choose India||
Low living costs
A growing economy
English is largely spoken
Enriching cultural experience
|Personal income tax rate||Progressive rates between 0% and 30% according to the taxable income|
|Visa free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)||> 20|
Eligibility criteria for Indian citizenship by investment
As in the case of other programmes offering residency or citizenship through investment, permanent residency status in India for foreign investors is offered under specific conditions. These have to do primarily with the value of the investment and there are two options available for this.
- Minimum investment: at least INR 10 crores within 18 months or INR 25 crores within 36 months;
- Job creation: the investment should be able to allow for the employment of at least 20 locals or residents each financial year;
- Benefits: those who apply for Indian citizenship by investment following this route are also permitted to purchase one residential property;
- Limitations: the option is not applicable in case of Pakistani citizens or third-country nationals who have Pakistani origin.
Our lawyers in India can give you more information about these conditions and about immigration to India in general.
Those who apply for the permanent residency status scheme are also allowed to bring their spouse or dependents in the country and they are permitted to become employed in the private sector. They are also allowed to study in India. All foreign nationals who arrive in the country for long-term purposes (stays longer than 180 days) are required to register with the Foreign Regional Registration Office within 14 days following their arrival, however, those who apply for the permanent residence status as foreign investors are exempted from registering with the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO). Our team can give you more details about the pre- and post-arrival requirements. If you need assistance for obtaining citizenship by investment in a different country, for example in Estonia, we recommend our partners: LawyersEstonia.com.
Citizenship by naturalization in India
The investment programme allows the holder sufficient time to meet the requirements set forth by the Ministry of Home Affairs for naturalization. This means that one can obtain Indian citizenship by investment as the minimum time foreigners need to lawfully reside in the country in order to be able to apply for citizenship is 12 years, and the residence permit for investment allows them to remain in the country for 10 years and it can be renewed.
Investors who wish to apply for citizenship by naturalization need to submit a set of mandatory documents. We list some of the documents that are to be included with the application below:
- foreign passport copy (the passport needs to be within its validity period);
- copy of the residency permit;
- copy of depositing the fee for registration;
- the applicant’s affidavit and two affidavits from Indian citizens attesting the applicant’s good character;
- two language certificates (one from a recognized educational institution or a recognized organization or two from two Indian citizens living in the same district as the applicant);
- two newspapers distributed in the district in which the applicant resides, notifying the intention to apply for citizenship.
If you are interested in applying, our lawyers in India can give you more details about the current regulations and can help you with the submission.
The goal of the permanent residency status programme for foreign investors, which can ultimately lead to Indian citizenship by investment, is to encourage foreign direct investments in the country.
Our team specializing in immigration to India can answer questions about all the essential steps that precede one’s application for citizenship by naturalization (whether or not after an investment). We can answer questions about short, medium and long-term stays in the country, as well as the duties of the foreign national and how he or she can reunite with family members.
Company formation in India for residency purposes
As one of the main conditions to acquire citizenship in the country through a notable investment is to submit a project that will create at least 20 job positions, one of the solutions is to open a company in India. The first step is choosing a suitable business form and, for the purpose of creating job opening, the most suitable option is the limited corporation. this can be the company limited by shares or the company limited by guarantee. Most often, the choice is between the private or the public company limited by shares.
Some of the main characteristics of the private and the public limited liability company include the following:
- share transfer is permitted for the public company, while for the public one it is not possible;
- the private company only requires a minimum of 2 members while the public ones needs a minimum of 7 shareholders;
- the private company can have a maximum of 200 shareholders, while for the public one there is no limit.
- when a public company wishes to go public, it needs to publish a prospectus; private companies are prohibited from offering their shares to the public.
Once the business form is chosen, the next steps include choosing an available business name, obtaining the Director Identification Number for the directors of the company, as well as a digital signature certificate, and preparing the Articles of Association and the Memorandum and registering the company with the Registrar of Companies.
We can help entrepreneurs choose a suitable business form for the purposes related to obtaining Indian citizenship by investment.
Invest in India
Foreign nationals interested in acquiring the investor visa have access to a number of investment opportunities in the country. India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and entrepreneurs have a access to various opportunities presented across many different business sectors.
Some of the sectors of interest for investment are the following:
- Automobile: the country is one of the leading vehicle markets in the world; the auto components sector is also well developed;
- Financial services: India has a high adoption rate for Fintech and the market has grown in recent years;
- Biotechnology: the biotech industry is well represented and the country has a number of biotechnology parks and science clusters;
- Healthcare: it is one of the largest sectors in the country, in terms of revenue and employment; adjacent sectors can also include pharmaceuticals, as the country has one of the largest industries in the world;
- Food: opportunities abound in this sector in terms of foodstuff manufacturing and processing; the sector can be broadened to include all of the opportunities that exist in agriculture and fishing.
Of course, the country also offers opportunities for development in other key areas, such as construction, oil and gas, retail, maritime transport and shipping and others.
In addition to picking an industry, investors also choose a region of the country:
- Andhra Pradesh: one of the locations that ranks well in the Ease of Doing Business in India report;
- Andaman: also included here are the Nicobar Islands; the region is rich in timber;
- Delhi: the region with the second largest per capita income in the country;
- Gujarat: has a high number of commercial cargo ports;
Other notable options include Goa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab or Rajasthan.
Understanding the main rules for company formation and for hiring employees (a condition to acquire the visa for investors), is a key step before applying. This is why working with our team of lawyers in India is highly advisable for foreign entrepreneurs. We are a team that specializes in many areas of law and can assist with immigration issues, at the same time as we help foreign nationals during the company formation process. Working with us will make it easier to understand and complete the steps needed to acquire Indian citizenship by investment.
We can also answer other questions if you are interested in immigration to India, not necessarily through investment.
Foreign investments in India
Foreign direct investments are expected to grow in India, as the figures released by the India Brand Equity Foundation indicate that the projected foreign directed investments per year are expected to amount to 120-160 billion USD by the year 2025 (the data was provided according to several reports).
The country ranks 43rd on the World Competitiveness Index 2021 released by the Institute for Management Development. Among the main advantages, as indicated by the same source, are the stable public finances (despite the 2020-2021 pandemic challenges) and the optimistic prospects of the government funding for private companies.
The figures also show the following:
- foreign direct investments in India recorded a 10% year-on-year increase in 2021, according to preliminary data;
- compared to 2020, foreign direct investments increased by 38% in April 2021, amounting to 6.24 billion USD;
- between April and September 2020 India received 2.43 billion USD in foreign direct investments only from China;
- according to foreign direct investment inflows, Guajarat was the state with the largest percentage between April 2020 and March 2021, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi.
If you would like to know more about obtaining Indian citizenship by investment, please contact us.
Our immigration lawyers in India will answer all your questions.
We are a full service law firm in India that works with local and foreign investors and has extensive experience with foreign entrepreneurs. We can help you throughout the immigration process and we provide a wide range of legal services, tailored to particular needs.