Planning to come to India? Know the different types of visas to India.
Rich in history and heritage, India is a land of multicultural experiences and is one of the oldest surviving civilizations in the world. Different religions, traditions, and customs of this country have always had a great influence on its culture and society in general. Classical music, classical dance, architecture, and art are some of the major highlights of this nation’s glorious heritage.
The geography of India is quite diverse with its landscapes ranging from snow-capped mountains, deserts, tropical rain forests, plateaus, coastal areas, and plains. Diversity can also be seen in this nation’s architecture, art forms, and cuisines.
No wonder this country is well frequented by travelers, tourists, and scholars and happens to be a favorite destination of lovers of history, art, archaeology, and nature. A confluence of the traditional and modern can be seen throughout this country and the traveler gets to experience the best of both.
Besides, India has also some of the top-rated educational institutions and universities in the world. The cost of living and education is much cheaper compared to most of the developing nations. Hence, India is also quite popular among international students when it comes to higher education.
Types Of Visas To India – Full List
So what are some of the more popular types of visas to India that foreign nationals can avail themselves to come to this country?
Tourist Visa (India Tourist e-Visa)
Those of you who wish to travel to India for a holiday or as a tourist require a tourist visa to do so.
- The India Tourist e-Visa is a multiple entry visa
- This visa is valid for 365 days
- With his visa, you can travel to India only for tourism
- You can stay up to a maximum of 90 days per visit
- This visa is non-extendable
- You cannot change your purpose of visit either (non-convertible)
- You may choose to apply for a long-term visa as well which is for 60 months
- However, your stay at a time should not exceed 90 days
- To get this visa you need to apply along with supporting documents
- The documents include a valid passport, copy of reservations and return tickets, photographs, and proof of financial security
Types Of Visas To India – Business Visa (B Visa)
A foreign national who wishes to establish a business or an industrial firm in India requires a B visa to do so. A B visa is issued to foreign nationals in several situations.
- To explore the possibilities of setting up a business/industry in India
- To establish a business/ industrial venture
- To sell or purchase products in India
- For signing or updating a business contract
- Installing/repairing machines
The following are certain criteria that you are required to meet to be eligible for this visa.
- A Valid passport and photographs
- Duly filled and signed application form with the supporting documents attached
- Proof of financial stability (To establish an industry/ business/invest in a business venture in India)
- Proof of knowledge and expertise in the particular field of business that you wish to establish
- An authorized letter from your company in your native country stating your purpose of visit and duration of intended stay in India
- An invitation letter from the particular company in India stating your purpose and duration of visit
- These letters must be duly signed and stamped by the authority concerned
In case their intended stay in India exceeds 180 days the B visa holders must register themselves with the Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) or the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO).
Business visa for a certain duration may also be granted to
- Crew members of non-scheduled/scheduled flights (Operated by scheduled airways)
- Crew members of chartered flights and non-scheduled flights (Operated by non-scheduled airways)
- Crew members of special flights
A foreign national who is a qualified professional or falls into the highly skilled category can take up employment in India with an employment visa. You won’t be granted an employment visa in the following situations.
- You have been hired to do a clerical job or a secretarial job, or an ordinary routine work
- You are from Pakistan
- You’ve opted for a job for which Indians who are qualified professionals are available
The minimum salary requirement per annum is Rs.16.25 lakhs and above except in a few cases.
- You are a language teacher/translator (Except in the case of an English teacher)
- You work for the respective embassy/ The High Commission in India
- You are planning to do honorary work for an NGO registered in India
- They are eligible to receive an honorarium of up to Rs.10,000 per month
- You are a foreign teaching faculty
- The minimum salary requirement for foreigners working as Assistant professors and above in the National Institute of Technology (NIT’s), Indian Institute of Management (IIM’s), Indian Institute of Science and Research is Rs. 9.10 lakhs per annum.
You are required to submit a duly filled and signed application along with all the necessary supporting documents.
- Contract of employment (Signed by both the employer and the employee)
- Letter of acceptance from the employee (duly signed)
- Proof of qualification of the applicant
- Applicant’s resume
- Teaching jobs require an appointment letter from the school/college
- Teaching jobs also need a no-objection certificate from MHRD (Ministry of Human Resources and Development)
- Pilots must produce a Letter of Clearance from the DGCA (Directorate General Of Civil Aviation)
Types Of Visas To India – Student Visa (S Visa)
International students who wish to come to India to pursue educational studies at an educational institution recognized by the government in India require a student visa to do so. This also includes pursuing a degree or diploma in Vedic culture, Indian classical dance, classical music, and Yoga.
The duration of the visa will be based on the duration of your course. The visa permits a maximum of 4 entries each academic year to allow visits to your home country during term breaks or vacation.
- Submit a duly filled visa application form along with the required supporting documents
- A valid passport and two passport size photographs
- Letter of acceptance from a recognized University/ college/ any other educational institution in India
- Provisional letter for admission (Incase your admission is yet to be confirmed)
- Proof of financial security (For self-maintenance in India)
- A valid bank statement is accepted as proof of financial security
- Proof of payment of fees
- No objection certificate from MOH (Ministry of Health) in case you’ve got admission for a medical course/ para-medical course
- A copy of the registration certificate of the particular educational institution where you intend to join
- Graduation/ Post-graduation certificate (For Internship)
- The validity of the student visa could be up to 5 years depending on the duration of your particular course
- You have the option to extend your student visa in India
- In the event where the applicant has not received a letter of confirmation of admission from a recognized educational institution she/he will be issued a provisional visa
- A provisional visa has a validity of 6 months and you can extend it for another 6 months through FRRO/FRO/ jurisdictional state government/ UT administration
- To extend your provisional visa you are required to produce valid documents as evidence
- Once you get a regular admission to a college/university (Within the validity period of your provisional visa) you have the option to approach the UT Administration/FRRO/FRO/ the state government to get a Student visa
Types Of Visas To India – Transit Visa
A transit visa is issued to foreign nationals who have to change flights in India while traveling to another country.
- Change of purpose is not permitted under this visa
- Transit is the sole purpose of this visa
- You have to enter within 15 days of receiving this visa
- The maximum time allowed for transit is 3 days
- If the journey does not happen during the validity period you require a new transit visa
- A person who wishes to enter India twice during the same course of the journey can be granted a transit visa valid for entering the country twice.
- However, the stay during each entry should not exceed 3 days
- Submit the application form along with a valid passport and all supporting documents
- Copy of flight tickets for the entire journey
Entry Visa (X Visa)
Entry visa to India is necessary for the following persons.
- You are an Indian origin person living in another country
- You are a foreigner who owns a property in India
- You are a foreign national who is married to an Indian citizen/PIO cardholder/OCI cardholder and their children
- You are an international sportsperson
- You are a dependent family member of an employment visa holder/ student visa holder
- File in your duly filled application along with all the supporting documents
- A copy of your reservations/ return tickets
- A valid original passport and color photographs
- To apply for a dependent/ spouse visa you need to be married.
- Civil partnership is not accepted by the Indian government
Journalist Visa (J Visa)
All foreign journalists require a Journalist visa to visit India even if their purpose of the visit is not journalism. You require a Journalist visa to India if you are one among the following.
- A photographer
- A film director/producer (Commercial films are not included)
- A television representative
- A representative from a radio channel
- A travel promotion photographer
- A travel writer etc.
Only a single entry visa is granted to journalists. The maximum stay allowed under this visa is 3 months.
- Submit a visa application form along with all the supporting documents
- A valid original passport
- Recent passport size photograph
- A letter from your employer that clearly states the following
- Purpose of this travel
- Places you intend to visit
- A detailed schedule of your program
- Copy of hotel reservations and return tickets
You must get authorization from the Indian government for shooting a film documentary or for audio-visual reporting in India. The category, subject, and duration are not taken into consideration. You require authorization for the following.
- Still shoots
- Educational movies
- Institutional films
- Television commercials
- Radio documentaries
- Corporate videos
- Audio-visual reports for telecast/ public diffusion
Types Of Visas To India – Visa for Research (R Visa)
A foreign national who wishes to research one of the universities in India recognized by the government requires a Research visa to do so.
- The duration granted would depend on the nature of your research
- Proof of the applicant’s qualification
- Synopsis (Of the proposed research)
- Background of the researcher
- Details of the supervisor in your native country
- Proof of financial stability to undertake the research work as well as to meet your living expenses in India
- Proposed duration of conducting this research
- Confirmation letter of admission to the institute in India where you intend to pursue this work
- Letter of recommendation from the institute/ university where you are currently studying/working
- Duly filled application form along with a valid passport, recent photographs, and all the supporting documents mentioned
Medical Visa (M Visa)/ Medical Attendant Visa
Foreign nationals who wish to undergo medical and health care treatment in a recognized hospital/medical care center in India require a Medical visa.
If any attendants/family members are accompanying the patient to India they require a Medical Attendant visa. A maximum of 2 persons is allowed in this category of visa. The following documents are mandatory for getting this visa.
- A letter from the doctor/ hospital in India confirming the admission of the patient
- The letter should also contain details of the type of disease and the expected duration of treatment
- A letter from the hospital/doctor stating the details of the accompanying person/persons
- Copies of medical reports of the patient regarding the treatments they are undergoing in their native country
- Statement from the patient/close family states that they’ll bear all the responsibilities themselves while the patient is being treated in India
Types Of Visas To India – Conference Visa (C Visa)
Foreign nationals who intend to visit India for attending a Seminar/Workshop/Conference require a Conference visa.
- This visa is valid for a maximum of 6 months
- A letter of invitation from the organizer
- If it’s an international conference the organizers have the responsibility to get clearance certificates from the authorities concerned
- Copies of reservations made in India along with the return tickets
- Duly filled application form along with a valid passport and recent photographs
You can file your online visa applications on the authorized online portal for visa applications run by the Government of India by clicking on the link (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/). Make sure you collect all the required supporting documents beforehand and attach the same along with your online application. You’ll be granted the visa once your visa application has been processed successfully by the immigration authorities.
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