Indian Visa

Indian Visa is one of the important travel documents which a tourist should possess before their Visit to India. Visa Regulation encompasses rules and guidelines pertaining in issuing, extending and addressing various types of Indian Visa. In India the authority which issues visa is under Bureau of Immigration and The Ministry of Home Affairs.

Major airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai in India offers "Visa on arrival" to foreign nationals. The below mentioned are 11 International Airports in India :

  • Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport)
  • Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport)
  • Hyderabad (GMR Rajiv Gandhi Hyderabad International Airport)
  • Bangalore (Bengaluru International Airport)
  • Amritsar (Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport)
  • Chennai (Chennai International Airport)
  • Ahmedabad (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport)
  • Goa (Goa International Airport)
  • Trivandrum (Trivandrum International Airport)
  • Cochin (Cochin International Airport)
  • Kolkata (Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport)

Immigration Check and possession of proper papers is mandatory on arrival at these International Airports in India.

Indian Visa & Documents Required For Foreign Nationals

The foreign nationals need to carry an authentic and valid passport issued by the government of their country. They may also carry other recognized documents that would support their nationality and identity. These documents must also carry a photograph of that individual. For individuals who are nationals of Bhutan and Nepal need not carry passport with them while entering India through the borders of these mentioned countries. Nevertheless, they must carry valid documents that would prove their identity and citizenship. In case they are entering India from another country then possession of a valid passport is mandatory.

The visa for entering India may be obtained from Indian Embassies located in various countries. The visa fee normally varies from country to country. For nationals of selected countries, the Government of India grants "Visa on Arrival".

Types of Indian Visa

While applying for the Indian Visa a foreign national must ensure that the application is made under the right category. Once in India the type of Visa may not be changed. For changing the type of Visa one must apply to the concerned Immigration authorities. If the change is granted then the earlier visa would be cancelled and new one will be issued. The Government of India also issues collective visa to travel groups of not less than 4 people. The group should be a part of a tour program conducted by Tour Operator recognized by the Government of that particular country. This group may divide and visit different places of India after obtaining the license to travel. At the end of the tour they must regroup before departing. The duration of Visa generally starts from the Date of Issue and not from the Date of Entry in India.

Visa On Arrival

A Visa On Arrival is normally granted to the citizens of eleven countries on their arrival in India. These countries are Finland, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Combodia, New Zealand, Laos, Singapore, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It is valid for 30 Days and is issued by the Immigration Officer in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai Airports. For those who want more than 30 days visa must apply to the Indian Mission / Post. Further, any individual whose parents or grandparent were born or are permanent resident of Pakistan must apply through Indian Mission / Post of their country. The visa is granted to those whose purpose of visit is Tourism / Meeting Friends & Relatives. They must produce the return ticket of their journey and must have sufficient cash to bear their stay in India. The applicant must also have a valid passport with minimum 6 months validity and a re-entry permit to their country, if required by the government of the visiting national. The individual should not be listed as an undesirable person or be named in any restrictive list. The applicant must not have residence in India and should not be a person-non-grata to the Government of India.

The charges are onetime payment of USD 60 per person including children. It is also non-convertible and non-extendable. The visa may be extended by the Ministry of Home Affairs if the foreign nationals marries an Indian or has fallen sick and declared unfit for travel.

Tourist Visa

A Tourist Visa is granted to foreign nationals who purpose of visit is Tourism / Meeting Relatives & Friends. It is not issued for any other purpose like Research, Medical Treatment, Employment or Business. Further, it is not granted to :

  • Individuals of Indian Origin
  • Spouse / Children / Dependent of Foreign Individuals visiting India on visas like Business, Research, Employment or Student
  • Spouse / Children of Individual who is of Indian Origin.

Tourist Visa is also non-convertible and non-extendable. There should be a gap between two visits to India on this type of visa. The gap is to be a minimum 2 months. Special permission is required from the Indian Mission in case the gap is less than 2 months.

Research Visa

A Research Visa is valid for a period of 28 Days for entry in India. One must apply 6 Weeks prior to the date of journey. It is issued to those whose purpose of visit is to attend Research Seminars / Workshops / Conferences. The individual must also be a Participant / Research Scholar / Professor to avail this visa.

Employment Visa

An Employment Visa is issued to individuals who are Paid Intern / Employee of an Indian firm. An Entry Visa is provided to the Spouse and dependant members of family. The visa duration is for 1 Year irrespective of the tenure of the contract with the Indian organization. However, extension up to 5 years may be obtained through application filed to the Ministry of Home Affairs. As per the visa regulation, registration is required for those who wish to stay for more than 180 Days. In this case one must register themselves within the period of 180 Days.

Medical Visa

The duration of a Medical Visa is up to the Period of Treatment / 1 Year, whichever is less. 3 Entries in the country are allowed in a year on the visa. Also, 2 Attendants are allowed to accompany the Medical Visa Holder. The attendant must be Blood Relatives of the individual. The treatment must be carried out in Recognized & Specialized Hospitals / Treatment Centers.

Business Visa

A Business Visa is granted for carrying out business activities like Sales / Establishing Business / Providing Technical Knowhow / Recruitment Of Employees / Other Business Related Work. An Entry visa is allotted for Spouse and Dependant family members. The visa is generally valid for 1 Year with multiple entries. For US Citizens the visa period may be of 5-10 Years. The period of stay in India is limited to 6 Months on every visit.

Conference Visa

A Conference Visa is issued to those who are visiting India for the purpose of conference that is being organized by Government at Center & State Level / Public Institution / Public Body. It may also be issued for attending conference organized by reputed NGOs / UN / Specialized Agency. If the organizer is a private organization then one must apply for the shortest Business Visa.

Student Visa

A student visa is generally issued for the term of study in a Recognized Educational Institute. It is a multiple entry visa. Spouse / Dependant accompanying the student must apply for an Entry Visa. The period of entry visa will be same as that of the student visa. In case the student is yet to get the confirmation letter of admission then a Provisional Visa is issued. This visa is valid for 3 Months. On getting the confirmation from the institute a student visa application must be filed.

Diplomatic Visa

A Diplomatic Visa is processed by the Indian Embassy and Consulate and not by Travisa Outsourcing. But individuals holding Diplomatic / Service / Official Passport of UK must apply through Travisa Outsourcing if going on a private visa. The processing time is generally 4 Business Days. The documents required to be submitted are :

  • Letter from Department of State
  • Invitation Letter for Bilateral Visit from the Indian Agency
  • Visa Application Form
  • Additional Information Form 1 & 2.

Entry Visa

An Entry Visa is granted to those who are Spouse / Child of a person of Indian Origin or Spouse / Dependent of a foreign national visiting India on a long term visa. The long term visa may be Business Visa, Student Visa, Research Visa and Employment Visa. The primary long term visa has to be issued first before the application of an Entry Visa. One may also get an Entry Visa if the person had held Indian Nationality or his Parent / Grandparent were of Indian Nationality.

Emergency Visa

An Emergency Visa is issued to individual who are of Indian Origin and holds US Passport. It is issued in case of emergency like Illness / Death of any blood relative. For Emergency Visa one needs to pay USD 35 in addition to the normal visa charges. It is not issued on Saturdays and other holidays falling on Weekdays. The service is not functional on national holidays like August 15, January 26 and October 02.

Journalist Visa

The processing time of a Journalist Visa is 3-5 Business Days and it is valid for 3 Months. This type of visa is issued to Professional Photographers and Journalists.

Missionary Visa

It may take 3 Months for a Missionary Visa to be issued. The tenure of the visa is decided by The Government of India. The visa is issued for visit of Religious Purpose.

Permission To Re-Enter India Within 2 Months

Re-Entry permit is required only to the holder of Tourist Visa. The permit is provided under situation like Death / Illness in the family, Non-Availability of connecting flight to travel to another country, or other similar situation that can be justified by relevant documents. Once getting the permit one must register with the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office (FRRO) at the first place visited after the re-entry. The permit is not required if the individual is on a tour to multiple countries and is following a planned schedule.

Transit Visa

A Transit Visa is issued to an individual provided the ultimate destination is not India but another country. The visa may be Single or Double Entry. It would be valid for 15 Days from the Date of Issue. It is also valid for a direct transit of 3 Days and beyond which one has to apply for the appropriate visa.

Renewal of Indian Visa

In order to renew the Travel Document (Indian Visa) one may visit the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or the office of Chief Immigration Officer located in Madras. The addresses of Foreigner's Regional Registration Offices who renew the Indian Visa are :
Telephone No: +91-33-4433011
Office Address: 9/1, Gariahat Road
  Calcutta – 700020
Telephone No: 91-183-2214186
Office Address: 123-D, Ranjit Avenue
  Amritsar – 143001
New Delhi:  
Telephone No: +91-11-3319489
Office Address: 1st Floor, Hans Bhavan
  Tilak Bridge, New Delhi – 110002
Telephone No: +91-22-430133
Office Address: 2nd Floor, 414 V.S. Marg
  Prabhadevi, Mumbai – 400001
Telephone No: +91-44-8270549
Office Address: 9, Village Road
  Nungabakkam, Madras – 600034

For extension and conversion of Indian Visa, Foreign Nationals must approach the Ministry of Home affairs between 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The ministry has the sole power to consider the applications. Changing of status of Visa is not permitted, but may be considered only by the ministry.

Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division)
Jaisalmer House, 26
Man Singh Road, New Delhi

Documents Required For Indian Nationals

For Indian Nationals who are traveling to any foreign nation require an Indian Passport and Travel Authority / Document (Visa) issued by the government of the visiting country. Also ensure that the passport is valid for minimum 6 Months during the period of journey. Many nations have rules that calls for certain period of passport validity from The Date of Arrival in the concerned nation. Further, some countries provide "Visa on Arrival", as such one is not required to apply for a Visa beforehand.

Last Updated On: 2011/06/30


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Posted on 2011-11-07for how long and at what charge can a multiple entry tourist visa of a US citizen of Indian origin be converted to entry visa