Mahal Resources on Education in India

Immigration and Visa Requirements for India

Instructions for Visa Applicants

  1. Passports valid for a minimum of six months beyond date of intended departure from India should accompany visa applications.
  2. Staple two passport size photographs on the form at specified place.
  3. Foreigners holding other than United States passports should submit proof of long- term (at least three years) / permanent residence (copy of green card) in the United States. For citizens of other countries, who do not normally stay in U. S. a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional $20 fee is applicable and will involve five to seven days processing time. Please refrain from making inquiries about the status of application during this time.
  4. Following visas are available:

    • Tourist Visa: Is given for 6 months to 10 years. However, the period of stay in India (for each visit) under this category of visa is limited to 6 months only.
    • Entry Visa: Valid for six months to five years stay with multiple entry. Five-year long-term stay visas are available to persons of Indian origin only.
    • Business Visa: Valid for one or more year with multiple entries. A letter from sponsoring organization indicating nature of applicant’s business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating there in a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc. should accompany the application. Business visa valid for ten years with multiple entries is available to foreign businessmen who have set up or intend to set up joint ventures in India.
    • Student Visa: Valid for six months to one year with multiple entries for bonafied students to pursue regular studies at recognized institutions in India. (A letter confirming admission from such an institution along with evidence of financial arrangements for stay in India should accompany application). In case of admission in medical or para-medical courses in India, a letter of Approval or No Objection Certificate from Ministry of Health is also required. Likewise, for admission in graduate or post-graduate courses in Engineering or Technical institutions in India, a letter of approval or a No Objection Certificate from Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education) should be submitted. For research purposes detail synopsis of the research project, countersigned by the sponsoring institution in India should be submitted. NOTE: Processing of applications for research may take about three months.
    • Transit Visa: Valid for single/double entry for maximum stay of 15 days for bonafied transit purposes only.
    • MISSIONARIES: Valid for single entry and duration as permitted by Government of India. A letter, in triplicate, from sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, probable length of stay, and nature of duties to be discharged should be submitted along with guarantee for applicant’s maintenance while in India. NOTE: Processing of applications for missionaries may take up to three months.
    • Journalist Visa: Journalist visas are given to professional journalists and photographers for six-month’s stay in India.
    • Conference Visa: A letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference is to be submitted along with the visa application.

  5. Special forms have to be filled by citizens of Pakistan (4 copies with 4 photos) and Bangladesh (2 copies with 3 photos). It usually takes 3 - 4 months to process visa applications of Pakistani passport holders.
  6. Fees: (The fee structure is based on reciprocity between the two countries)

     Type of Visa  US  Other
    Transit Visa $25 $5
    Six months tourist/entry visa $50 $30
    One year tourist/conference $70 $50
    Business/Student/Journalist/Other visa for one year $70 $50
    Beyond one year to Five year tourist/business visa $120 $100
    Ten Year Tourist Visa - Only for U.S. citizens $120 n/a
    Transfer of Entry visa to New Passport $25 $5
  7. All fees should be paid either in cash (accepted only at the counter) or through money orders, bank drafts or certified checks drawn in favor of Embassy of India, Washington D.C., or to the relevant Consulate General of India. Personal checks are not accepted. Fees, once received, cannot be refunded even if the application is withdrawn or service cannot be rendered.
  8. Emergency Service: An amount of $30 is charged over and above the normal fee for rendering emergency service.

  9. Processing Duration: Applications received at the counter between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. will be Processed the same day and serviced passports can be collected at the counter between 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

    Applications sent by mail will take about 15 days to process. This time schedule does not apply to services where prior approval is required from the authorities in India, or embassies in case of applicants not residing in US. Applicants are advised to refrain from making telephonic/written/ email inquires in such cases about status of application, as it takes about 45 days to complete the processing of visa formalities. Applicants would be informed once approval is received.
  10. Receipt and delivery of passports: Following return mail charges should be sent for return of serviced passports:
    For Certified mail: $4 per passport and $1 for each additional passport. For Express mail: $15. For Registered mail: $6 per passport & $ 2 for each additional passport. The Embassy/Consulates is not responsible for documents lost in mail.
  11. Miscellaneous Information: The duration of stay in India, for each visit on a tourist visa or business visa is only for a period of 6 months even though a valid visa may be for more than 6 months.
  12. Rule for the Registration of Foreigners in India: Foreigners who enter India with a visa valid for more than 180 days are required register with the nearest foreigners registration officer within two weeks of their arrival even if they do not plan to stay for more than 180 days. Registration is required only once during the validity of visa. They may leave the country and re-enter as many times as they desire provided the visa in multi-entry. However, they are required to surrender their registration certificate at the time of their final departure from India.
  13. For tourist information to India:
    Government of India Tourist Office:
    30 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 15,
    North Mezzanine, New York, NY 10112
    Tel: (212) 586-4901; Fax: (212) 582-3274

    3550 Wiltshire Blvd, Suite #204,
    Los Angeles, CA 90010
    Tel: (213) 380-8855; Fax: (213) 380-6111



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