Information on the Different Visa Types

#1 May 13th, 2006, 03:01
Join Date:
Mar 2006
  • sanjmeister is offline
Below is a quick summary of the various types of visa for entry into India.

Tourist Visas

The Tourist Visa is a multiple entry visa valid for a period of 180 days, granted for the purpose of tourism. Visits to family and friends are covered by this visa. The six month Tourist Visa is valid from the date of issue. Tourist Visas can also be given for 3 months. Three month visas are valid from the date of first entry into India, which must be within 2 months of the date of issue. Three month visas are gradually being phased out.

General requirements are:

- A correctly completed application form in BLACK INK AND BLOCK CAPITALS. If you use an EasyFill Form, be sure to press the Caps Lock key on your keyboard.
- The applicant's original passport. It must be valid for AT LEAST SIX MONTHS and have AT LEAST 4 FREE PAGES.
- Correct visa fee, payable only in CASH or by BANK DRAFT.
- Two passport-size photographs.
- If you do not hold a passport for the country you are resident in, you must supply proof of residency (e.g. National ID Card, Driver's Licence). You are likely to be charged extra for your visa, and processing time may be longer (allow 3 weeks minimum).

Tourist Visas are the most straightforward to apply for.

Transit Visas

Transit visas are granted by Indian Missions abroad for stops of up to 72 hours within 15 days from date of issue. This visa is issued only for changing of flights en route to another country.

For a successful application for a Transit Visa, you must satisfy the General Requirements, and provide:

- evidence of airline tickets for your onward journey
- a valid visa for the final destination

Business Visas

Visitors travelling to India on business are generally granted multiple entry Business Visas valid for up to 6 months. It is also possible to obtain longer term multiple entry Business Visas, valid for up to 5 years. The period of stay in India for each visit is limited to 180 days.

Together with the General Requirements applications should be supported by:

-Documents from Indian companies/firms confirming a business relationship
- A letter from the sponsoring organization, detailing
i) The nature of applicant’s business
ii) The probable duration of stay
iii) The length of visa required
iv) The places and organizations to be visited
v) A guarantee to meet maintenance expenses

Individual embassies may have further requirements. Contact your local mission for more information.

Employment Visas

The Employment Visa is issued to skilled and qualified professionals who are appointed by organizations as technicians, technical experts, senior executives, etc. In addition to the General Requirements, applicants are required to submit proof of employment by the company or organization. An appointment letter, contract letter, applicant’s resume and proof that the organization is registered in India are required.

Student Visas

The Student Visa is valid for the period of study in India, up to a maximum of 5 years. Multiple-entry visas are given to genuine students to pursue regular studies at recognized institutions in India.


- General Requirements plus
- A letter confirming admission from a recognized institution
- Evidence of financial arrangements for the stay in India
- In the case of admission to medical or paramedical courses, a Letter of Approval or No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Health, Government of India, is required
- For admission to graduate or post-graduate courses in engineering/ technical institutions in India, a Letter of Approval or No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education) is required

Entry Visas

Entry Visas are valid for six months to five years stay with multiple entry. This visa is only given to persons of Indian origin. However, members of the family of a person employed in India are also eligible for Entry Visas. You need to ask your local Indian Mission for full details of supporting documents required.
Note on entry visa: one member reports getting an entry visa when applying for a one year internship, yet he's not not Indian and had no previous contacts with India.

Conference Visas

Visitors attending conferences in India should apply for the Conference Visa. Applications may take up to four weeks.


- General Requirements plus
- A letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference

Visas for international conferences, or on certain subjects as decided by the Government of India from time to time, will be issued only after clearance for the said conference is received from the Government of India.

Journalist Visas (J-Visa)

Journalists can obtain a 3 month, single entry visas from a consular office on submission of documentary proof of status (for example, an employment card or original letter from a reputed News/Media agency). The J-Visa is valid for all purposes other than film shooting. The initial three month period can be extended by applying to:

The Publicity Officer (PR)
XP Division
Ministry of External Affairs
Shastri Bhawan
New Delhi-110001
Phone: 3383462
Fax: 3387075/3782391

A six month, multiple entry J-visa is available to journalists who are going to India to work in a branch office of a Foreign Media Company. You should apply directly to your local consular office. The application must be supported by a letter of appointment from the Foreign Media Company office. This visa is also available to journalists replacing a correspondent already in India.

To shoot films and documentaries in India you need prior approval. Applications can be quite involved, and you should check with your local consular office for details. As an example, the Consular Office in Vienna, Austria requires:

1. Application Form for Visa
2. Application Form and undertaking for filming documentaries in India
3. Application for filming at protected monuments
4. List of team members along with name, nationality, date of birth, passport number, place and date of issue and validity, occupation etc
5. List of cinematic equipment with description and brand name
6. Synopsis of the proposed film project
7. Filming programme stage by stage and date by date
8. Letter from the producer specifying the hospitality required
9. Publicity Returns: TV Channel where the documentary will be screened (details of date/time/duration etc.)

Research Visas

Research Visas are valid for the period of research only. You must obtain Approval from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education), New Delhi. Contact your local Indian Mission for full details, as visas are granted on a case by case basis.

Missionary Visas

The Missionary Visa is a Single entry visa valid for a duration as approved by the Government of India


- General Requirements plus
- Three copies of the letter from the sponsoring organization indicating
i) The intended destination in India
ii) The expected length of stay
iii) The nature and purpose of work to be carried out
- A letter of guarantee from the sponsoring organisation for the applicant's maintenance in India

It can take up to 3 months to process an application for a Missionary Visa.

Collective Visas

Collective Visas can be issued to group tours of not less than 4 members and sponsored by a government recognised travel agency. Such groups may split into smaller groups to visit different places in India after obtaining a collective "licence to travel" from Indian immigration authorities. However, the group must reassemble and depart together. General requirements and supporting documents are as indicated for standard Tourist Visas and detailed here.

Project Visa (P Visa)

This visa has just been added to the list (June 2012) thanks to Nycank. Here's an extract from this documentation.
Question: What is a Project Visa and whether Project Visa guidelines
will cover projects in all sectors?
Answer: Within the Employment Visa regime, a separate visa regime for
foreign nationals coming to India for execution of projects in
power and steel sectors, to be labelled as Project (‘P’) visa
has been introduced. The Project Visa will cover only the
Power and Steel sectors initially.
Last edited by OceanTragic; Jun 10th, 2012 at 15:14.. Reason: added P visa
#2 Aug 29th, 2006, 12:14
Join Date:
Jan 2004
  • NonIndianResident is offline
There is also the PIO Card, which is in effect, a 15-year visa. Technically it is a "card which entitles the holder to visa-free entry into India" for 15 years. It is for Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and their spouses. The information is on consulate websites.
#3 Feb 28th, 2007, 15:48
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Chennai, India
  • Nick-H is offline

The X (Entry) visa seems to have perpetually shifting goalposts.

I was issued one as the spouse of a resident Indian citizen. It is often given to spouses of people on employment or business visas. It used to be given to foreign owners of property.

If you have a valid (according to the Indian Government, of course --- and that definitely does not include just wanting to be here) reason to stay in India longer than six months you should enquire of your local Embassy/Consulate/Mission.
Life gets aadhar every day.
#4 Feb 28th, 2007, 15:48
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Chennai, India
  • Nick-H is offline
I am closing this thread as it is intended for reference only, not to be diluted by miscellaneous questions.

Please, if you have corrections or updates or other information you feel is useful and should be included in one of our FAQ threads, start a new thread to let us have it. We will incorporate it.

If you wish to ask questions or just discuss, you are welcome, that is what we are here for . But not what the FAQ threads are here for. Please join a different thread or start a new one.

Thanks all....

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