Author Aneesh V

Around The Region
Online registration to be compulsory for Indians flying on employment visa

UPDATE (28 Nov 2018): The decision to make ECNR registration mandatory for Indians flying to these countries on employment visa has been postponed until further notice.  The article below had been published on 19 Nov 2018 and does not reflect the update. India Government has made online registration mandatory for all ECNR passport holders going for overseas employment to 18 countries (including Gulf countries) from 2019. The rule will be valid for travellers to the following countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen. Starting January 1, 2019, All Indians travelling to these countries for employment have to register online at the government’s e-Migrate portal, or else will be offloaded, the Ministry of External Affairs has announced. New rule valid for Non-ECR (ECNR) passport holders The rule will be valid for Indian passport holders who do…

Qatar Guides
Complete Guide to Qatar’s Visa On Arrival scheme 2018

Everything you need to know about Qatar’s Visa on Arrival scheme. Includes answers to frequently asked questions and regulations for 2018. In August 2017, State of Qatar made a landmark announcement that it will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries (now 81 countries), with immediate effect. As per the announcement, citizens of these 81 countries can get free Visa On Arrival to Qatar. The general conditions for getting Visa On Arrival are six months’ passport validity and a confirmed return or onward ticket. The decision has received great appreciation from international community with thousands of visitors utilizing this facility each month. As per the Ministry of Interior statistics, during February 2018 alone  72,110 on-arrival visas  were issued by Qatar. In this article we are trying to answer most of the frequently asked questions about this facility: Frequently Asked Questions 1. Which all nationalities can avail Visa On Arrival…

Saudi Arabia
Saudi King issues historical decree allowing women to drive

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the conservative kingdom. According to the official Saudi Press Agency, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has issued a royal decree allowing women to drive. “Saudi Arabia allows women to drive,” the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Twitter. Saudi Arabia allows women to drive— وزارة الخارجية 🇸🇦 (@KSAMOFA) September 26, 2017 “Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a historic royal decree granting driving licenses for women in the kingdom,” Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel reported. However, the new rule will not take effect immediately. The royal decree issued on Tuesday also ordered the establishment of a high-level committee of ministries of interior, finance, labor and social development. They will be tasked with studying the arrangements to enforce the new law.…

Qatar now offers visa-free entry for 80 nationalities including Indians

In a landmark decision to encourage tourism and revive hospitality sector, Qatar has announced that it will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, with immediate effect. The countries include the UK, the USA, Canada, India, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand, the officials announced on Wednesday. No need to apply for visa Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket. “Citizens of these 80 countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa,” Qatari officials announced in a press release. Multiple-entry waiver free of charge “A multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation…

NRI Guides
Why and how you should convert Savings Account to NRO Account

When a person becomes a Non Resident Indian (NRI), he is required to either close his existing savings account, or convert it to a Non­ Resident (Ordinary) or NRO account. Most individuals make a mistake of continuing a resident savings account even after becoming a NRI but the law does not allow it. As per FEMA regulation, when a resident’s status changes to NRI the resident savings account have to be converted to a NRO account. Or in simple words it’s illegal to hold savings bank account for NRIs. It is not possible to convert a resident savings account to NRE account as the fund source for NRE account has to be remitted from abroad. NRO accounts can be opened with funds either remitted from abroad or generated in India. Features of NRO account These are just like a savings accounts, with certain restrictions on repatriation of proceeds to the…

Benefits of PAN card for NRIs and how to get it online

A PAN (Permanent Account Number) card is a unique 10 character code that is assigned to all tax paying entities in India. Issued by the Income Tax Department, the card links all transactions that attract tax under a single source, making it convenient for the government to keep track of these. A PAN card is necessary for filing Income Tax returns in the country, and all individuals and entities that pay tax, including foreigners are expected to have one. Besides its primary use, a PAN card is also used as proof of identity and age for everything from booking tickets for a movie, investing in the stock market to applying for a passport. Is it mandatory for NRIs to have PAN? No, it is not mandatory for all NRIs to have PAN, but those who have a source of income in India need to have a PAN in order to…

Should an NRI link PAN with Aadhaar number

A PAN (Permanent Account Number) is a unique 10 character code that is assigned to all tax paying entities in India. Issued by the Income Tax Department, the number links all transactions that attract tax under a single source, making it convenient for the government to keep track of these. The Aadhaar card is a unique identification card that is assigned to every Indian citizen. Issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, the card has a 12 digit number that serves as proof of identity as well as proof of address. Linking of Aadhaar with PAN card has been made mandatory for filing taxes starting July 1, 2017. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) recently released a statement stating, “Everyone who has been allotted permanent account number as on the 1st day of July, 2017, and who has Aadhaar number or is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number, shall…

Eid rush: Air India Express, Jet Airways to operate additional flights to Doha

India government has asked Air India Express and Jet Airways to operate additional temporary flights to Doha to meet the massive demand ahead of Eid and summer holidays. Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday said that additional flights on the India-Qatar route will start shortly to ease the movement of Indians staying in the Middle East country.. Jet Airways will operate a 168-seater aircraft on June 22 and June 23 between Mumbai and Doha. Air India Express will be flying its 186-seater Boeing 737 on Thiruvananthapuram-Doha and Cochin- Doha routes from June 25 to July 8. The decision to operate additional flights was taken after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday took up the issue with Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju. “All steps necessary for timely movement of our citizens from Doha will be ensured. I and @SushmaSwaraj ji are in touch on this issue,” Raju tweeted. We’ll…

Qatar diplomatic crisis: Indian Embassy issues advisory for its citizens

In the wake of ongoing diplomatic crisis in Qatar, the Indian Embassy in Qatar on Wednesday issued an advisory to Indians living there. No security threat in region The Embassy assured that it is monitoring the situation closely and is in touch with the Qatari authorities to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals in Qatar. The Qatari authorities have conveyed that they will take all necessary steps to ensure that normal life, including supplies of food items, is not affected, There is nothing happening in the region that suggests any threat to the physical safety and security of residents in Qatar, the statement added. Do not pay heed to rumours The Embassy has called upon citizens to keep update of the latest news and do not believe in rumours without cross-checking facts. The Embassy also suggested the citizens to contact their travel providers for advice on modifications to their travel…

Indian Embassy in Qatar revises consular timings

The office timings of the consular section of the Indian embassy in Doha have been revised with effect from Sunday, May 28. As per new timings, applications can be submitted from 8:00 am to 11:15 am. Documents should be collected, after rendering of consular services, between 3:00 pm and 4:15pm. Embassy statement According to a press release, the office timings of the Consular Section of Embassy of India, Doha, will be as follows: 8:00 am to 11:15 am: Submission of applications 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm: Collection of documents after rendering of consular services New Address Last year, the Embassy had moved to its new premises in West Bay. Here is the new address : Villa No 86 & 90, Street No. 941, Al Eithra Street, Zone 63,Onaiza, PO Box No. 2788,Doha – Qatar. Location Map GPS coordinates : 25°19’47.5″N 51°31’02.4″E Click here for Indian Embassy contact details Published on 28 May 2017

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