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Types of Visas in India

Types of Visas in India

The types of visas in India allow foreign nationals to enter the country for various purposes and for different periods. Single and multiple-entry visas are available and some of these, depending on their type, can be further extended in the country.

Before coming to the country for business or employment purposes, among others, it is useful to consult with our team of lawyers in India to find our more about the types of visas available, the requirements for application, and what is expected of you before and after you enter the country.

This article briefly describes the types of visas available for those who wish to come to India. The documents requirements will differ and so will any particular requirements, depending on the applicant’s status. If you need further details, we invite you to reach out to our team of attorneys in India.

The main types of visas in India

Long and well as short-term visas are available to foreign nationals who wish to enter India. Some of the available visa types are also awarded solely for the purposes of transit. The list below includes the main types of visas as well as the period for which this is available:

  • Tourist visa:  used by those who wish to visit the country’s many beautiful cities; it is granted for 5 years, allows for multiple entries in the country and cannot be renewed;
  • Business visa: available to foreign nationals who wish to do business in the country; it is also available for a 5-year period, with a renewal option;
  • Employment visa: used by foreigners who will work in India; it is valid for 1 year and it is subject to first being able to secure employment;
  • Student visa: awarded for the period of the courses or for 5 years; it also allows the holder to enter the country multiple times and it can be extended.

Foreigners who wish to use one of these types of visas for acquiring residency in India can reach out to our team for more information about the registration requirements. Those who wish to remain in the country for long-term purposes will likely stay more than 180 days and, after the end of this period, all foreign nationals are required to register with the FRRO.

Remaining in the country for a sufficient amount of time will allow the foreign national to apply for citizenship in India. The process and the requirements can be described in greater detail by our team upon request, however, for most individuals, this process will take place through the naturalization option. In some cases, citizenship can also be obtained by registration and there is also the option to acquire this status according to one’s descent.

Other visas can be awarded for medical purposes (such as the medical visa or the medical attendant visa) or for those working in different industries, such as the film visa or the research visa. Visas for journalists or missionaries are also available, as well as those for diplomats or UN officials. A separate conference visa is issued for those admitted to seminars held by Indian authorities. A special type of visa, the project visa, is awarded to highly qualified individuals in selected sectors.

Our team of lawyers in India can give you more details upon request.

Regardless of the type of visa you choose to apply for, you will need a residence permit, as opposed to a visa, if you plan on remaining in the country for more than 180 days. Moreover, you will also be expected to register with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office. Our team can guide you throughout these mandatory stages. You can reach out to us as soon as you need to apply for a permit or if you are interested in immigration to India.

Visa FAQ

The experts at our law firm in India can assist foreign nationals who wish to apply for one of the types of visas described above. if you have questions about the general requirements, you can read below our answers to a number of questions and you can also reach out to our specialists who will answer any other questions you may have in more detail.

Does everyone need a visa to enter India?

The visa policies currently in place implemented by the Ministry of External Affairs stipulate that most foreign nationals need to obtain one of the types of visas in India before they can enter the country. Only three countries are exempt from this requirement (and in their case all passports are allowed to enter; this is the case of foreign nationals from Barbados, Bhutan and Nepal). Exceptions also apply in case of diplomatic and official passport holders. If this is your case, our lawyers in India will give you more details.

What documents are required when applying for a visa?

The needed documents depend on the type of visa one applies for. Understandably, those for the business visa will be different from those for employment purposes. A number of documents are, however, the same irrespective of the visa type and these include the applicant’s identification documents, among others. Our lawyers can provide you with adequate guidelines according to the type of visa in India you are applying for.

What are the visa fees?

The visa fee depends on the visa type. All fees are non-refundable. When applying for a visa with an Indian Embassy in the applicant’s country of origin, the Embassy may require that the payment is made in the country’s currency.

What is the visa processing time?

The usual processing time, once the visa application has been received by the Indian authorities is at least 3 working days. Our lawyers do however recommend that foreign nationals prepare their visa application in due time, and that they schedule their travel to India once their visa has been approved.

Contact us if you want to know more about the type of visa in India that suits your travel purpose. Our team can help you apply for the visa and help you handle any needed matters related to immigration or business once you are in the country.