VISA APPLICATION PROCEDURE IN INDIA
It is the responsibility of the Ministry of External Affairs to issue visas to the foreign nationals visiting India. These visas are granted through various Indian missions abroad.
All visa applications should accompany a Passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India.
It is essential to paste one photo and staple the other one on the form at the places mentioned.
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 citizen 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.
TYPES OF VISA
Indian missions abroad are authorized to issue following types of visas to the citizens of other nations.
Tourist visa is given for six months normally; rest specifically depends on the country of residence. The applicant is required to produce/submit documents in proof of his financial standing. Tourist traveling 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.
Business visa is valid for 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.
Student Visa is issued for the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years, whichever is less, on the basis of firm letters of admission from universities/recognized colleges or educational institutions in India. Change of purpose and institutions are not permissible.
Transit Visa is issued for a maximum period of 15 days with single/double entry facilities to bonafide transit passengers only.
Missionary Visa is valid for single entry and duration as permitted by the Government of India. 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.
Journalist Visa is issued to professional journalists and photographers for visiting India. The applicants are required to contact the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs on arrival in New Delhi or the Office of the Government of India's Press Information Bureaus in other places.
Conference Visa is issued for attending conferences/seminars/meetings in India. A letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference is to be submitted along with the visa application. Delegates coming to attend conferences may combine tourism with attending conferences
Employment Visa is 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 organization.
Apart from above-mentioned regular visas, visa on arrival is also considered. Termed as Group Landing Permit, these visas are issued to foreign tourists in groups of four or more arriving by air or sea, sponsored by recognized Indian travel agencies, and with a pre-drawn itinerary. The maximum period granted for collective landing permit is 30 days on the written request of the travel agencies to the Immigration Officer giving full personal and passport details of the group members, itinerary and undertaking to conduct the group as per the itinerary, and an assurance that no individual would be allowed to drop out from the group at any place.
The fee structure depends on the nationality of the passport holder and type/duration of visa applied. The existing fee structure is:
Transit visa : US $5.00 Visas with validity up to six months : US $30.00 Visas with validity up to one year : US $50.00 Student visa : US $50.00 Visas with validity between one to five years : US $100.00
For each visit on a tourist visa or business visa, the duration of stay in India is only for a period of six months even though a valid visa may be for more than six months.
Visa is given for a period for which passport is valid. For example, if a passport is valid until February 17, 2004 and an applicant is applying for five years visa on June 20, 2000, the applicant will not be issued a five-year visa as the passport expires before the 5-year visa.
Validity of all visas is counted from the date of their issue.
Tourist visa up to five 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.
For extension of visa in Delhi, one should contact Director (F), Ministry of Home Affairs, Lok Nayak Bhawan, 1st floor, Khan Market, New Delhi 110003.
Visa fees indicated in American dollars are payable in local currencies as well. Visa fees are not refundable except in cases where a visa already issued is cancelled thereafter.
Processing time for the visa depends on the type of visa applied.
Information given here regarding visa application and process are general in nature not specific. For more information, tourists may contact the Indian mission located in the country concerned or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of India.