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India – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering India

  • It is necessary for most foreign nationals to have a valid visa to enter India.
  • Visitors must carry their passport and visa at all times during their stay in India.
  • Visas can be obtained prior to arrival through the Indian Missions abroad or e-Visa online.
  • Visitors must arrive within the validity period of their visa and must not exceed their permitted stay.
  • Visitors who overstay their visa may face a fine and/or deportation.

Types of Visas in India

Tourist Visa:

  • Issued to those who wish to visit India for tourism, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, etc.
  • Validity of 6 months to 10 years.
  • Can be single or multiple entry.

Business Visa:

  • Issued to those who wish to visit India for business purposes such as conferences, negotiations, or establishing business contacts.
  • Validity of 6 months to 5 years with multiple entry options.

Employment Visa:

  • Issued to those who are employed by an Indian company or a foreign company operating in India.
  • Validity of the visa is usually 1 year but can be extended.

Student Visa:

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  • Issued to students who wish to study in India.
  • Validity of up to 5 years.
  • The student must be enrolled in a recognized educational institution in India.

Medical Visa:

  • Issued to those seeking medical treatment in India.
  • Validity of up to 1 year.
  • A letter from the hospital in India confirming the treatment is necessary.

Journalist Visa:

  • Issued to journalists covering events or stories in India.
  • Validity of up to 1 year.
  • A letter from the media organization confirming the assignment is necessary.

Visa Exemptions in India

  • Citizens of Bhutan and Nepal do not require a visa to enter India.
  • citizens of Maldives and Indonesia can enter India without a visa for a stay of up to 30 days.

Relationship between Visas and Residency Status in India

  • A visa does not automatically grant residency status in India.
  • Residency status is determined by the length of stay in India and the purpose of the stay.
  • Visitors who wish to stay in India for longer periods may have to apply for a long-term visa or residency permit.

Reliable Information on Visas for Entry into India

  • The official website of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India (https://mha.gov.in/), provides comprehensive information on visas for India.
  • The official website of the Bureau of Immigration, Government of India (https://boi.gov.in/), also provides useful information and services related to visas.
  • The official website of the Embassy of India in your country (https://www.mea.gov.in/Embassy.htm) provides detailed information on visa requirements, fees, and procedures specific to your country.

To enter India, you will need a valid visa unless you are eligible for visa-free entry or visa on arrival. The best time to apply for a visa is 4 to 6 weeks before your planned travel date. This allows enough time for the processing of the visa and any necessary additional steps.

You can apply for an Indian visa through the official website of the Government of India’s Bureau of Immigration: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html. The website provides information on the different types of visas, the requirements for each, and the application process.

Relevant Authorities:

-Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Where to Apply for a Visa forIndia

For US expats, you can apply for an Indian visa at the Indian Consulate General in your jurisdiction. There are several consulates located in the US, including in New York, Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco.

For UK expats, you can apply for an Indian visa at the Indian High Commission in London or at any of the Indian visa application centers in the UK.

Relevant Documents for India

The following documents are required for an Indian visa application:

-A completed online visa application form
-A recent passport-size photo
-Your passport with a minimum validity of 6 months
-Proof of purpose of visit (business, tourism, study, etc.)
-Proof of financial support for your stay in India
-Round-trip air ticket or travel itinerary

Additional information on the required documents can be found on the Bureau of Immigration’s website.


Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Visa Application Processing Time for India

The processing time for an Indian visa can vary depending on the type of visa and the volume of applications. The normal processing time is 5-7 working days.

Visa Application Cost for India

The cost of an Indian visa depends on the type of visa and the length of validity. The fee can range from $25 to $160 for US citizens, and from £44 to £100 for UK citizens.

Associated Costs

In addition to the visa fee, there may be additional costs for expedited processing, courier services, or biometric services. These additional costs will vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and the processing time desired.

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