Grant of Permanent Residency Status (PRS) to foreign investors
Permanent Residency Status (PRS) will be granted to a foreign investor subject to the fulfillment of the following eligibility conditions:-
i) Permanent Residency Status (PRS) will be granted to foreign investors making investment under Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) route subject to relevant conditions as specified in the FDI policy notified by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) from time to time. This would apply to foreign investment in a new company or an existing/ operating company.
(ii) This scheme will not be applicable to Pakistani citizens or third country nationals of Pakistani origin. In respect of citizens of other countries, in addition to the restrictions imposed in the FDI policy, security guidelines issued / as may be issued by the Government from time to time shall also be applicable.
iii) To be eligible, the foreign investor should invest a minimum of Rs. 10 crores to be brought within 18 months or Rs.25 crores to be brought within 36 months.
(iv)The foreign investment should result in generating employment to at least 20 resident Indians in every financial year. The verification of fulfillment of this condition will be based on self-certification by the statutory auditor of the Indian investee company.
(v) The scheme will be applicable to only foreign investors fulfilling the above mentioned eligibility conditions, his/ her spouse and dependents. For this purpose, the word ‘dependent’ will have the same meaning as provided in the Income Tax Act, 1961. The scheme will not be applicable to all Promoters/ Directors of foreign company making the investment in the Indian company. Top management executives will also not be covered by this scheme and they will have to come on normal Employment Visa.
(vi) Grant of PRS is not compulsory or obligatory on the part of the Government of India.
Procedure for submission and processing of applications:
(i) The foreign investor promising investment as per the aforesaid threshold limit will be granted an initial business visa for 18 months or 36 months, as the case may be (depending on the level of investment promised as per the investment threshold limit. This Business Visa will be labeled as –‘B-1’ Visa (Investor) and it will be issued without any stay stipulation. There will be no requirement of registration with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO)/ Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) concerned.
(ii) Spouse and dependents of the investor will be granted ‘B-1X’ Visa co-terminus with the Business Visa of the investor on the same terms and conditions.
(iii) After fulfillment of the eligibility conditions in terms of investment amount and employment, the foreign investor and his/ her spouse/ dependents shall submit an application for Permanent Residency Status (PRS) online to the FRRO/ FRO concerned. With the application, the following documents will have to be submitted:-
(a) Copies of Passport and Visa
(c) Residence Proof.
(d) Copy of the Form FC-GPR, the Annual Return on Foreign Liabilities and Assets filed with RBI by the Indian company receiving FDI & the RBI’s acknowledgement letter to that effect and the Income Tax Return filed before the Income Tax Department in support of the fulfillment of the eligibility conditions for PRS.
(iv) Grant of PRS will be subject to prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Ministry of Home Affairs will furnish the clearance/ comments on the online system based on the inputs from security agencies and the comments/ views of the Administrative Ministry/ Department of the concerned sector. Security agencies, the concerned Administrative Ministry/ Department and the Ministry of Home Affairs will have access to the online application immediately on submission of the application.
(v) After the process of security clearance is over, the applicant shall approach the concerned Indian Mission/FRRO/ FRO for verification of the documents with originals. Indian Mission/ FRRO/ FRO concerned shall also obtain biometrics of the applicant.
(vi) PRS will be granted for a period of 10 years with multiple entry. This can be renewed for another 10 years if the PRS holder has not come to adverse notice. There will be no requirement of registration with the FRRO/ FRO concerned.
(vii) Foreign investor holding PRS will be required to submit to the FRRO/ FRO concerned every year a copy of the Form FC-GPR, the Annual Return on Foreign Liabilities and Assets filed with RBI by the Indian company receiving FDI & the RBI’s acknowledgement letter to that effect and the Income Tax Return filed before the Income Tax Department so to ensure that he/she is fulfilling the conditions regarding investment. He/ she will also be required to submit to the FRRO/ FRO concerned every year details regarding employment generation for resident Indians based on self certification by the statutory auditor of the Indian investee company.
(viii) If the PRS cardholder is staying in a Hotel or Lodge, itis mandatory for the hotel keepers/ others to submit Form ‘C’ to the FRRO/ FRO concerned.
(ix) PRS holder should inform change of address/ change of passport to the FRRO/ FRO concerned.
(x) Grant of PRS to a foreign investor shall be subject to the extant guidelines of the Government of India regarding Restricted Area/ Protected Area Permits.
Benefits under PRS:
(i) PRS will serve as a multiple entry visa without any stay stipulation.
(ii) PRS holders will be exempted from the registration requirements with the FRRO/ FRO concerned.
(iii) PRS holders will be allowed to purchase one residential property for dwellingpurpose. Transfer of immovable property acquired by PRS holder under the PRS Scheme needs to comply with the provisions of FEMA Regulations i.e. Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and transfer of Immovable property in India) Regulations, 2000 notified vide Notification No. FEMA 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, as amended from time to time, relating to acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India.
(iv) Spouse/ dependents of the investor who are granted PRS will be allowed to take up employment in private sector on the basis of the PRS with the permission of the FRRO/ FRO concerned. The minimum salary limit of Rs.16.25 lakhs per annum prescribed for grant of Employment visa to foreign nationals will not be applicable in such cases.
(v) Spouse/ dependents of the investor who are granted PRS can undertake studies in India without a separate Student Visa. No specific permission will be required from FRRO/ FRO concerned for this purpose. However, prior to undertaking studies in India, they shall intimate concerned FRRO/ FRO about the details of the institution wherein they are seeking admission along with duration & subject of the course. Every University/ Educational Institution shall furnish to the FRRO/ FRO concerned information in respect of such PRS holders enrolled in the University or the Educational Institution.
Revocation of PRS:
(i) FRROs/ FROs may recommend to the Ministry of Home Affairs the revocation of PRS status with proper notice, in case of the following:-
(a) On failure to meet the conditions relating to investment and employment generation.
(b) If the investor is a willful defaulter as per guidelines issued by RBI or under any other relevant law.
(c) If the investor is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court.
(d) If the investor is an undischarged insolvent.
(e) If the investor has been convicted by a court of law for any offence, whether involving moral turpitude orotherwise.
(f) Any other reasons, to be objectively stated due to which the continued stay of the investor in India is not desirable.
(ii) Revocation of PRS will be subject to prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs on the basis of the recommendations of FRRO/ FRO/ Government agencies concerned and after getting inputs from the security agencies.
(iii) Pursuant to the revocation of PRS status, the investor and his/ her spouse and dependents will have to leave India within 3 months of the date of revocation order.
(iv) On revocation of the PRS status, the PRS holder has to dispose of the immovable property in accordance with the extant FEMA Regulations (Notification No. FEMA 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, as amended from time to time), within a reasonable time but not later than 1 year.