Friday, July 12, 2024
Visa to India

Foreign Nationals desirous of coming to India are required to possess valid passport of their country and a valid Indian Visa.

Passport, Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, is responsible for issuance of Indian visas to the foreign nationals for their visit for various purposes. This facility is granted through various Indian missions abroad. The High Commission reserves the right for granting and deciding type/duration of visa irrespective of the fees tendered at the time of making application. There is no provision of 'Visa on Arrival' in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports.

Nationals of Nepal and Bhutan do not require visa to enter India but the entry will be refused if they are coming from countries other than Nepal or Bhutan without passport. Nationals of Maldives also do not require visa for entry in India for a period of up to 90 days. 

Requirements for Applying Visa

  • Original passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of intended departure from India

  • Correct visa fee

  • Two passport size photographs (5 photographs in case of Pakistani Nationals)

  • Supporting documents, if the visa being applied for is other than a Tourist Visa, the visa application should be accompanied with supporting documents on type of visa applied for. 

  • Duly completed application form (Pakistani and Bangladeshi Nationals need to apply on special application forms)

It is advisable to read the relevant instructions carefully before applying to avoid any inconvenience. The validity of the visa starts from the date of issue and not the date of entry into India. Depending on the nature of your journey, apply for the correct visa category. Change of purpose is not permitted once you have reached India. 

Foreigners holding other nationalities (other than the country where applying for visa), should submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country (where applying). For citizens of other countries, a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional fee is applicable and will involve extra processing time. For transferring an Indian visa from an old passport to a new passport, the regular visa application form with 2 additional photographs is required along with a fee of $25.

Visa Categories

Tourist Visa

Tourist visa is issued for 6 months to 10 years. 10 year visa is available only for US citizens under bilateral arrangement. Tourists travelling in groups of not less than four members under the auspices of a recognized travel agency may be considered for grant of collective tourist visa. Irrespective of the duration of validity of visa, on each visit maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days). Multiple entry visas are given. Tourist visa up to 5 years may be granted if the foreigner is connected with the tourism trade. If visa is for more than 180 days, registration is compulsory within 14 days of first arrival in India.

Business Visa

Business Visa is valid for six months or one or more year with multiple entries. A letter from sponsoring organization indicating nature of business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating there in a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc. should accompany the application. Business visa valid for ten years with multiple entries is available to foreign businessmen who have set up or intend to set up joint ventures in India.

Student Visa

Student Visas are issued for the period of study in India or for a period of five years whichever is less. A letter confirming admission from such an institution along with evidence of financial arrangements for stay in India should accompany the application. In case of admission in medical or paramedical courses in India, a letter of Approval or No objection certificate from the Ministry of Health, Government of India, is also required. Similarly, for admission to graduate or post-graduate courses in engineering/ technical institutions in India, a letter of approval or a No objection certificate from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education) is required. Change of purpose and institutions are not permissible.

Transit Visa

A transit visa is granted for the sole purpose of enabling the holder to travel through India to reach his/her ultimate destination. Change of purpose is not allowed. The visa will ordinarily be valid for a maximum period of 15-days from the date of issue of the visa and must be obtained before departure. Confirmed airline ticket for onward journey and valid visa for final destination are required. For a stay in India beyond 3 days, an appropriate visa should be obtained. Transit Visa cannot be obtained from immigration counters at ports of entry in India.

Visa to Missionaries 

Single entry visa valid for the duration approved by the Government of India is issued. A letter in triplicate from sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, probable length of stay, and nature of duties to be discharged should be submitted along with guarantee for applicant’s maintenance while in India. Processing of application for a Missionary Visa may take up to three (03) months.

Journalist Visa

Are issued to professional journalists and photographers for visiting India. The applicants are required to contact on arrival in New Delhi, the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and in other places, the Office of the Government of India's Press Information Bureaus.

Conference Visa

Are issued for attending conferences/seminars/meetings in India. A letter of invitation from the organiser of the conference is to be submitted along with the visa application. Delegates coming to attend conferences may combine tourism with attending conferences. Visas for international conferences, or on certain subjects, as decided by the Government of India from time to time, can be issued only after clearance for the said conference is received from the Government of India.

Employment Visa

Employment visas are issued to skilled and qualified professionals or persons who are engaged or appointed by companies, organizations, economic undertakings as technicians, technical experts, senior executives etc. Applicants are required to submit proof of contract, employment, engagement of foreign nationals by the company or organisation. Duration of visa would depend on the period of the contract.

Visa Exemption Letters for Minors

Visa Exemption Letters previously granted to children of Indian origin (for a maximum validity of 90 days from the date of issue) have been discontinued since 1 July 1999. Visa Exemption Letters issued in the past are hence no longer valid. All children holding separate passports are now required to obtain regular Visa.

Registration Formalities for Foreign Nationals

  1. If you are entering India on a student, Employment, Research, Medical or Missionary Visa, which is valid for more than 180 days, you are required to register with the Foreigners Registration Officer under whose juridisction you propose to stay. This should be done within 14 days of arrival in India, irrespective of your actual period of stay. 

  2. Foreigners visiting India on any other category of long term VISA that is valid for more than 180 days are not required to register themselves if their actual stay doe not exceed 180 days on each visit. If such a foreigner intends to stay in India for more than 180 days during a particular visit, he/she should get registered within 180 days of arrival in India. 

  3. The following categories of Foreign Nationals are exempt from Registration.
    (a) Those visiting India on any short term VISA i.e valid for 180 days or less.
    (b) Children below 16 years of age (Irrespective of any type of VISA.
    (c) Holding VISA for Overseas Citizen of India.

  4. Pakistan Nationals are required to register within 24 hours of their arrival in India. Afganistan Nationals are required to register within 7 days of their arrival in India.