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Work from India – Visa Info


Below is a summary of the main categories of India visas.

Indian visas for students
Foreign nationals can apply for a student visa to study in India for a period of up to five years. Research visas are also available to new applicants, or to those wishing to convert their student visa at the end of their studies.

The essential requirement for a study visa is an unconditional offer of admission to a recognized Indian educational institute.

Indian study visas only permit their holders to change either their course or institution with specific permission from the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office).

In India, visas for study allow a foreign national to study in India for up to five years. Whilst the duration granted is based upon the length of the course, there is no limit to the amount of consecutive courses of study that can be undertaken under a single grant.

However, the collective time in India must not exceed the five-year maximum. Study visas issued for less than five years can be extended with the permission of the local FRRO and similarly, the course of study and/or the educational institution may be changed if circumstances are deemed sufficient.

A study visa is normally valid for a single or multiple entries to India, although it is possible to obtain a permit for further entries if required.

As outlined above, the main requirement for an Indian student visa is that the applicant is offered a place in a bone fide course of study from a recognized educational institution in India.

As part of the application, the details of the course and the place of study must be included.

In cases where a letter of admission from the educational institution is not available, a provisional student visa will be issued. However, admission must be confirmed within a period of three months, otherwise the candidate will not be permitted to remain in India. Immigration law in India does not allow a provisional visa of this kind to be extended. Applications must also include a range of other supporting documentation including a current and valid passport from the country of residence, with a minimum of six months validity and at least two blank pages.

Where applicants will be attending a medical course of study, a letter of approval, or no objection certificate must be obtained from the Ministry of Health in India.

For applicants attending courses in engineering or at technical institutions in India, a similar authorization form the Department of Education will be required.

Spouse and dependent Immigration
Indian student visas may be granted for up to five years and as such may result in a long-term period of residency in India.

With this in mind, the spouse and/or dependents of a study visa applicant may apply to join them in India for the same duration as that awarded to the main applicant.

Additional Indian Student Visa Information
Student visas cannot be obtained by those already in the country on a tourist visa or another visa type. As is the case with all Indian visas for long or short-term temporary visits, all student visas issued for a period of 180 days or more will require the applicant to register with the local FRRO within 14 days of arrival.

Indian visa for business/employment
Business visas are for foreign nationals wishing to enter India for business-related activities like conferences and meetings. But to take up employment in India, applicants will require a work permit/employment visa, which covers a huge variety of occupations. For more about the duration of these permits, or help with your India visa application form, contact Global Visas.

Journalist visa for India
Most foreign nationals may enter India on a journalist visa for up to 180 days without the need to register. Different rules apply to nationals of Pakistan and Afghanistan. For longer stays, however, journalists must register with the relevant Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FFRO) or Foreigners Registration Office (FRO). Visa extensions are possible both for accredited reporters and freelancers.

Medical visa
Foreign nationals may obtain a medical visa (MV) or medical attendant visa (MXV) to cover a period of medical treatment in India. For short-term visits (up to 180 days) most applicants will not need to register once they are in the country. Different provisions apply to nationals of Pakistan and Afghanistan. For more details see the Indian Medical Visa page.

Indian visa for tourists
Foreign nationals can obtain a tourist visa for sightseeing, recreation or visiting family. These visas are not extendable or convertible and applicants will normally have to wait at least two months before they can re-enter India on another tourist visa. Foreign nationals from nine countries also have the right to apply for a single-entry tourist visa on arrival.

Indian employment visa
Working permits in India are less defined than work permits in many other countries in that the Indian immigration structure does not present detailed requirements for obtaining one. Work permits are a very subjective area of Indian visa services, however in order to live and work in India all candidates must secure one.

The key benefit of an Indian employment visa is that it permits a foreign national to live and work in India. Unlike an Indian business visa which permits a range of business activities but excludes the right to undertake employment, a successful work permit application offers the right to begin living and working in India upon arrival. In addition, unlike short-term India visa services such as a tourist visa, Indian work permits can be extended in increments of one year as required.

In India, work permit applications can be submitted through one of two routes.

The applicant may apply to the Indian Embassy or High Commission in his or her country of residence, or as is more often the case, An Indian company offering a position of employment can begin the application process in India on behalf of the candidate. Like a UK work permit pplication, this employer led route is the usual route to obtaining an Indian work permit.

In cases where a firm offer of employment from an Indian company is in place, applications will need to be supported by a range of documentation including a completed application form and a current valid passport with recent passport photographs.

In addition, it will be necessary to offer proof of residence and employment, along with documentation to confirm the Indian position of employment is being offered.

Intra Company Transfer
In India, visas can be applied for by employees of a foreign company who need to transfer to an Indian branch of the same organisation.

The Intra Company Transfer is designed to allow the movement of crucial employees between international branches of a company.

The guidelines for this type of Indian visa are more loosely defined that in other countries, but in general, it is preferred that candidates possess a four-year university degree.

Intra company transfers or 'E' visas are granted on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Indian migration officer and will, as with work permits in general, take into account the availability of native Indian workers.

Spouse Immigration and Dependent Immigration
In India, work permits are commonly a long-term immigration solution, therefore immediate family members will be permitted to join the main applicant in India. Immigration law requires any such dependents who wish to engage in employment to secure their own permit for working in India.

Although extended stays in India are possible for visitors on student and employment visas, the main path to long-term residence in India is through the entry (X) visa. The two options for permanent immigration to India are the PIO Card and the OCI Card.

The entry (X) visa
This is granted on a year-by-year basis, up to a maximum of five years. After this period, further extensions can be considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Foreign nationals on an entry visa may not undertake employment or take part in business activities. Extensions of this visa can only be considered where:

The applicant is of Indian origin and previously held an Indian passport.

The applicant’s parents, grandparents or great grandparents were born in and permanently resident in India.

The applicant is the spouse of an Indian or someone who is of Indian origin. In these cases, the application for extension would have to be accompanied by the relevant passport, birth certificate or marriage certificate.

India immigration through the PIO Card
The PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) Card scheme applies to all foreign nationals of Indian origin who hold a passport for any country except those classified as ineligible by the Indian Government. The card is valid for 15 years and entitles the holder to enter India without a visa. It also allows the holder to study or take up employment in India without the need for further visas. Registration is required for any single visit longer than 180 days.

India immigration through the OCI Card
Under this arrangement foreign nationals of Indian origin whose country permits dual citizenship may be able to claim the status as an Overseas Citizen of India. The scheme does not cover nationals of Pakistan or Bangladesh. Holders of an OCI Card are effectively granted a multi-entry, multiple-purpose visa for life and are exempt from registration.


  NRI PIO PIO Card Holder OCI
1.Who ? An Indian
citizen who is ordinarily
residing outside
India and holds an Indian Passport
A person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship/
nationality i.e. he/she is
holding foreign passport
A person registered as
PIO Card Holder under
MHA’s scheme vide Notification No.
26011/4/98-F.I dated 19.08.2002.
A person registered as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) under section 7A
of the itizenship Act, 1955
2. Who is
- - Any person who at any time held an Indian Passport; or he or either of his parents or grand parents was born in or was permanently resident
in India as defined in
Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided
neither was at any time a citizen of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; or who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin as mentioned above.
A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950
or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and
his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
can one
get ?
- - Eligible persons to apply in the prescribed form alongwith enclosures. Form available on MHA’s website:
Eligible persons to apply on line/down load application form from MHA’s website:
4. Where
to apply?
- - To the Indian Mission/Post in the country where the applicant is ordinarily resident; If in India on long term visa(more than one year), to the FRRO, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Amritsar, CHIO, Chennai or to the Joint Secretary(Foreigners),
To the Indian
Mission/Post of the
country of applicant’s
citizenship or where
he/she is not in the
country of citizenship, to
the Indian Mission/Post
of the country in which
he/she is ordinarily
resident. If the applicant
is in India, he/she can
apply to the FRRO at
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota,
Amritsar, CHIO, Chennai
or to the Under
Secretary, OCI Cell,
Citizenship Section,
Foreigners Division,
Ministry of Home
Affairs, Jaisalmer
House, 26 Mansingh
Road, New Delhi-
5. Fees? - - Rs. 15,000/- or equivalent in local currency for adults. For the children upto the age of 18 years, the fee is
Rs. 7500/- or equivalent in local currency.
US $ 275 or equivalent in
local currency. In case of
PIO card holders, it is US
$ 25 or equivalent in
local currency.
- - PIOs of all countries except Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka PIOs of all countries
except Pakistan and
Bangladesh provided the
country of nationality
allows dual citizenship in
some form or other under
the local laws.
one is
All benefits
as available
to Indian
subject to
issued by
from time to
No specific
(i)Shall not require a
separate visa to visit
(ii) Will be exempt from the requirements of registration if his/her stay on any single visit in India does not exceed 180 days.
(iii) In the event of continuous stay in India exceeding 180 days, he/she shall have to get himself/herself registered within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned FRRO/FRO.
(iv) Parity with NRIs in respect of all facilities available to the later in the economic, financial and educational fields except in maters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/ plantation properties. No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.
(i) A multiple entry
multi-purpose life long
visa for visiting India.
(ii)Exemption from
registration with local
police authority for any
length of stay in India.
(iii) Parity with Non
resident Indians (NRIs)
in respect of economic,
financial and educational
fields except in relation
to acquisition of
agricultural or plantation
properties. No parity
shall be allowed in the
sphere of political rights.
Any other benefits to
OCIs will be notified by
the Ministry of Overseas
Indian Affairs (MOIA)
under Section 7B(1) of
the Citizenship Act,
visa for
No Yes and of
specific type
depending on
purpose of
Can visit India without visa for 15 years from the date of issue of PIO card. Can visit India without
visa for life long.
9.Is he
to register
with local
No Yes. Yes, one time when the stay in India exceeds 180 days for the first time. No
can be
Activity as
specified in
the visa
All activities except mountaineering, missionary and research work and existing PAP/RAP which require specific permit. All activities except
missionary and research
work and existing
PAP/RAP which require
specific permit.
can one
He/she is an
As per
section 5(1)
(a) & 5(1) (c)
of the
Act, he/she
has to reside
in India for
minimum 7
years before
for granting
As per section 5(1) (a) & 5(1) (c) of the Citizenship Act, he/she has to reside in India for minimum 7 years before making application for granting Indian citizenship Registered OCI may be
granted Indian
citizenship after 5 years
from date of registration
provided he/she stays for
one year in India before
making application
Posted on Nov 03, 2011

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