Volunteers on tourist VISA not allowed Entry

Chennai immigration officials have not allowed a team of 19 UK citizens (16 ‎students & 3 children) entry in the country. The group was part of a ‎programme under which UK children support underprivileged children, ‎through monetary and ‘in kind’ donations and also interacting with children ‎through painting murals & other constructive work for about a day. Their other ‎part of activities included sight-seeing in the city and nearby villages. ‎

However immigration authorities decided that this was working in the NGO ‎and their tourist visa, which the group was holding, did not allow the same. ‎They deported the entire group. ‎

Infact this has implications for a number of NGOs, whose programmes often ‎include visits / internship / exchange programmes by foreigners in their field ‎areas. ‎

India basically has issues tourist visa, business visa & Employment visa. A ‎person who comes to India to work for an NGO needs to apply for an ‎Employment Visa, even if it is on honorary basis. ‎

In the present case, where idea was for UK school children to interact with ‎children at a children’s Home, it seems to be a case of overkill, but is a lesson ‎for all NGOs to be careful when inviting foreigners at their offices / workplace. ‎
Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)‎
‎512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, ‎
New Delhi – 110008‎

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4 Responses to Volunteers on tourist VISA not allowed Entry

  1. Dr Neeraj Kumar Sinha says:

    You have to very specific while applying for tourist visa for the purpose of voluntary services. No country in world allow to work on tourist visa. however, you may be able to work as a volunteer while on a Tourist visa if:
    1-Your main purpose in visiting India is tourism, and any voluntary work remains incidental to this.
    2-The work involved would not otherwise be undertaken, in return for wages, by the Tourist.
    3-The work is genuinely voluntary and that no remuneration is received in return for the activities.

  2. M.L. ALPHONSE RAJ says:

    Dear Sir,
    We received a news mail from your organization about 16 student volunteers and 3 teachers from UK who came to Chennai and reported to have been deported from the airport itself. We are one of the organizations that receive volunteers from abroad in tourist visa but spent some time in our organization doing some social service among our target communities. So we are very concerned about the news we received from you. We would like to get more details on this: when (what date) this happened, which NGO were they planned to support, is it published in any news paper (national or state dailies) etc.

    Kindly enlighten us more on this issue.

    Thanking you.

    Yours sincerely,
    Managing Trustee,
    ISLAND Trust,

  3. BrijMohan says:

    my support with you

    SAARD Reodar
    Sirohi (Rajasthan)

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