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.
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
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
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
The applicant is of Indian origin and previously
held an Indian passport.
The applicants 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
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
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.
Comparative Chart on NRI/PIO/PIO CARD HOLDERS/OCI
||PIO Card Holder
citizen who is ordinarily
India and holds an Indian Passport
|A person who or whose any of ancestors was
an Indian national and who is presently holding
another countrys citizenship/
nationality i.e. he/she is
holding foreign passport
|A person registered as
PIO Card Holder under
MHAs 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
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
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.
||Eligible persons to apply in the prescribed
form alongwith enclosures. Form available
on MHAs website:
|Eligible persons to apply on line/down load
application form from MHAs website:
||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 applicants
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,
Ministry of Home
House, 26 Mansingh
Road, New Delhi-
||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
||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.
from time to
|(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
(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.
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,
||Yes and 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.
||Yes, one time when the stay in India exceeds
180 days for the first time.
|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
|He/she is an
(a) & 5(1) (c)
has to reside
in India for
|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
citizenship after 5 years
from date of registration
provided he/she stays for
one year in India before