Types Of Visas Available In India
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- TATA AIG Team
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India is an incredible country that has relentlessly attracted people from all over the world to explore the tourist, business, educational, spiritual, job, and many more opportunities it offers. Approximately 6.19 million tourists from all over the world visited India in 2022, which was four times the number of arrivals in 2021.
In order to visit India, most foreign nationals require a visa that is in line with their purpose of visit. Read further to know the various types of visas you can apply for when visiting India.
Types of Visas in India
In case you are wondering how many types of visas in India are available, the answer is there are many types of visas in India. Here is a comprehensive list of the different types of visas and eligibility, validity, restrictions, and more.
Tourist visa: Foreign nationals who wish to visit India for sightseeing, holidaying, or visiting friends and relatives can apply for a tourist visa. As per Indian visa rules, the maximum duration for which a foreign national can stay in India on a tourist visa is six months.
US nationals can apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa with a maximum validity of 10 years. However, such a visa holder can only stay in India for up to 180 days at a time.
Similarly, UK nationals can apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa with a maximum stay of five years, with a single stay not exceeding 180 days at a stretch.
Visitors from countries like Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Vietnam can also get a multiple-entry visa for India with a maximum validity of five years. Visitors from these countries can stay in India for a maximum duration of 90 days at a stretch.
As per the Indian visa requirements, the gap between two successive visits of a multiple-entry visa holder should be at least two months. Indian Missions and Posts can allow a visa holder to visit India within the gap period in case of an emergency.
People of Indian origins and their dependents, those owning property in India, visiting India for business purposes, or visiting the country for any other reason apart from sightseeing, recreation, or visiting friends and relatives, cannot get a tourist visa.
Student visa: Foreign nationals wanting to visit India to pursue education at an officially recognised university or college can apply for a student visa. According to Indian visa rules, the maximum duration of a student visa can be the entire duration of the educational course or a maximum of five years. A student visa can be renewed or extended depending on the course’s duration.
International students can pursue various courses in India, including unique and enriching courses like yoga, Indian dance and music, and study of the Vedic culture. Additionally, a student visa is a multiple-entry visa, and the visa holder need not reapply for a visa when making multiple visits to his home country. Students awaiting some documents, like their admission letters, can get a provisional visa for students. This visa has a validity of three months and cannot be extended.
Conference visa: Foreign delegates who want to visit India to attend an international conference, workshop, seminar, etc., conducted by an Indian government organisation or department can apply for a conference visa. If a private organisation is organising the conference, foreign nationals attending the conference have to apply for a business visa. The conference visa is a single entry visa in India with a validity period of three months.
Diplomatic visa: Foreign nationals having diplomatic or official passports can apply for a diplomatic visa. Only the Indian Embassy and Indian Consulates can process a diplomatic visa. However, official, diplomatic, and service passport holders from the UK can submit their visa application through Cox & Kings Global Services if they wish to travel on a private visa.
A diplomatic visa carries no fee or charge, and one can apply for this type of visa at the Indian Consulate between 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM on all working days.
Entry visa: You can get an entry visa India under the following circumstances:
- If your spouse or children are of Indian origin.
- If you are a person of Indian origin. It means that you have held Indian nationality at some point.
- If you are a spouse or a child of a foreign national who is travelling to the country on a business visa, employment visa, student visa, or any other long-term visa.
The duration of an entry visa is the same as the duration of the principal visa. Once the principal visa gets approved and issued, you can apply for an entry visa for the dependent family members.
Business visa: Foreign nationals wanting to explore, establish, and conduct business activities in India can apply for a business visa. A business visa is different from an employment visa. A business visa holder need not work in an Indian company and earn a specific remuneration. A business visa is valid for up to five to ten years. Visa holders who have not registered with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office can only stay in the country for up to 180 days at a stretch.
Employment visa: A foreigner working in India with a registered company can apply for an employment visa. Volunteers working for long durations can also apply for an employment visa. The validity of an employment visa is usually one year or the duration of the employment contract. This validity can be extended as per requirement.
Medical visa: Foreigners who want to undergo medical treatment in India for ailments and conditions such as organ transplant, gene therapy, radiotherapy, joint replacement, etc., can get a medical visa. The treatment should be taken from a reputed and recognised hospital or treatment centre. The duration of a medical visa is the duration of the treatment or one year, whichever is less. A Medical Attendant Visa (MEDX visa) is provided to up to two blood relatives of a medical visa holder. Patients undergoing short-term treatment can conveniently apply for an e-medical visa.
Emergency visa: In case of a genuine emergency, a person of Indian origin having a US passport can apply for an emergency visa. The Consular Office decides if the purpose of the visit falls under the emergency category and issues or denies the visa application accordingly.
Journalist visa: Professional journalists, photographers, etc., from foreign countries who want to do journalism in India, can apply for a journalist visa, which has a maximum duration of three months.
Missionary visa: Foreign nationals wishing to visit India for religious purposes can apply for a missionary visa. The Indian government decides the validity and duration of a missionary visa.
A visa is the primary document you need to visit India. There are different types of visas in India, depending on the purpose of the foreign national’s visit. Along with a visa, another essential document to carry when travelling abroad is travel insurance. A travel insurance plan protects you during exigencies that arise when you are away from your home in a foreign land. We at Tata AIG bring you various travel insurance plans designed to meet different travel requirements. Compare travel insurance plans to understand the features and benefits they offer and choose the most suitable plan that suits your travel needs.
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