Get The Essential Guide to Different Types Of Visa In India!

(Last Updated On: March 18, 2019)

Visas are the most important document when a person is engaged in the flying activities. Every country has its own rules and regulations regarding the type of visas and the rules attached to it.

With effect from 1st April 2017, there can be witnessed a huge changeover in the types of visas in India. Here we are discussing all the types of visa in India (old as well as new entries) which may help multiple national as well as international passengers while traveling across the country.

No.1 – Tourist Visa:

As per the name define, it is a type of visa which is issued to the people who want to visit India for a short-term program. Basically, the tourist visa is granted for a period of more than 6 months but people cannot remain in India for longer than six months at a time on a tourist visa. The availability of tourist visa depends upon the nationality of the applicant. In the year 2009, India also introduced rules and restrictions in regards to misuse of tourist visas in India. Later, a rule of two months gap is made necessary between the visits to India but in 2012, this requirement was removed. In case, any applicant applies for another tourist visa within a month of expiration of their old one, processing time may take place up to 45 days as approval needs to be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

No. 2 – Student Visa:

Student Visa is a very common type of visa being introduced to people who wish to study in India for a long term period from an officially recognized educational institution. This may include categories like yoga, Vedic culture or Indian system of music and dance. The admission/registration papers from the specific institution are considered as the main documents of the student. This type of Visa is usually granted for 5 years (depending upon the duration of the course). In India, these can also be extended.

No. 3 – Employment Visa:

This kind of visa is generally issued to foreigners who are working for an organization which is registered in India. Along with that, foreigners who are engaged in long term volunteer work in India are also granted the Employment Visa. The time span of this visa is generally of 1 year or it depends upon the term of the contract. And it can also be extended in India.

Talking about the requirements, applicants will need a proof of employment with the company of the organization in India. For e.g. a contract that states the terms and conditions. As per the new rules w.e.f. 1st of April, 2017; the applicants need to earn at least $25000 a year or more to teach in Central Higher Educational Institutes. Some other exceptions are also made for volunteers, translators, non-English teachers and other members of Foreign High Commissions and Embassies.

No. 4 – Business Visa:

For applicants who wish to explore business opportunities or conduct business in India, there is the availability of Business Visa. Now the question arises, how this visa is different from Employment visa? The basic difference is that the applicant doesn’t need to work for and earn an income from an organization in India. The applicants of the Business Visa are required to acquire a letter from an organization which specifies the nature of the business, time span of staying, places to be visited and more.

These visas are generally granted for a period of up to 5 years (with multiple entries) but the applicants are not allowed to stay in India for more than 6 months.

No. 5 – Medical Visa:

For people who are seeing any type of medical treatment in India, there is a special type of visa available which is known as Medical Visa. It should be recognized by specialized hospitals or treatment centers. The treatment includes categories like neurosurgery, heart surgery, organ transplant, joint replacement, gene therapy, and plastic surgery. There are also rules regarding the traveling of up to two Medical Attendants in order to accompany the patient.

No. 6 – Conference Visa:

Conference Visa is a special type of visa which is issued to delegates who want to attend a specific conference in India being offered by an Indian government organization. Applicants who are attending a conference with a private organization in India are also eligible to apply for the Business visa.

No. 7 – Research Visa:

This type of visa is offered for special purposes and is issued to professors and scholars who wish to visit India for a different type of research related purposes. This is not an easy type of visa to get because it comes with a lot of restrictions and numerous requirements. Applications need to get the approval of Ministry of Human Resource Development which may widely take a time span of three months. This is the reason why the majority of the people chooses to apply for a Tourist visa instead of the research of research visa if they’re conducting research informally and don’t need to be in India for more than six months.

No. 8 – Transit Visa:

For visitors who need to stay in India for less than 72 hours, there is a special type of visa known as the Transit visa unless there is a requirement for the tourist visa. For this, the applicants need to confirm the airline booking for the onward journey.

No. 9 – Journalist Visa:

For applicants who are engaged in a profession like journalism or are a photographer, they need to apply for a Journalist visa. One of the main benefits of a Journalist Visa is that if you want access to a particular region or person then you can easily do so by availing this type of visa. The time span of this visa is of three months. Moreover, these types of visas are very difficult to get so apply only in case you really need these.

In case, you are employed by a media company or you fill your occupation as journalist or photographer on your visa application, then your chances become high to avail the Journalist visa; no matter what you intend to do in India.

No. 10 – Entry (X) Visa:

For people who didn’t clearly fall into any of the other categories of visa are granted with a special type of visa named, Entry X Visa. By the year 2010, the ‘X’ visa is only available to the following type of people:

  • A foreigner who has an Indian origin.
  • Spouse and dependent children of a foreigner coming to India on any other long term visa, such as an Employment visa or Business visa.
  • Spouse and children of a foreigner of Indian origin or Indian citizen.

However, Tourist visas are subjected to 2 months gap but ‘X’ visas are not. Hence, people of Indian origin can easily apply for one of these visas while visiting India. ‘X’ visas can be extended in India plus you don’t need to leave every six months.

NEW CATEGORIES:

1st:- Intern (I) Visa

Before 1st April 2017; people are required to pursue an Employment Visa in case they are engaged in any type of internship in an Indian organization for a specific period of time. However, a new entry of Intern (I) visa is there which let the foreigners meet the certain requirements. All it includes is that the gap between the completion of graduation or post graduation and the commencement of the internship should not exceed 1 year. The time span of this new entry is restricted to the duration of the internship program or one year (whichever is less). Along with that, this type of visa can’t be converted into an Employment visa or any other type of visa.

2nd:- Film (F) Visa

Another new type of visa which came into existence is the Film Visa. For those who are planning to make a commercial film or TV show in India, they are required to apply for a Film visa w.e.f. from April 1, 2017. The visa application is reviewed and processed by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within 60 days. The time span related to this visa is up to one year. If you are engaged in an activity like shooting a documentary film or an advertisement, then you need to apply for the journalist visa respectively.

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