Indian Visa Regime

Indian Visa Regime


Jun 5, 2020

Indian Visa Regime
Indian Visa Regime
Indian Visa Regime

Every Foreigner wanting to enter India for any purpose needs to enter India on a valid Visa. The only exception being Diplomats or nationals of Nepal or Bhutan.Most Foreigners coming to India to work on a long term expatriate assignment would necessarily arrive and enter India on an Employment Visa, unless they are persons of Indian origin, in which case they could also enter India on a OCI card. Most of us within the mobility Industry are familiar with the main Indian Visas, namely Employment,Business, Tourist and Dependent Visas, but very few realise that there is more to the Indian Visa regime that is usually commonly known. Below, we share in greater detail the expance and complexity of the Indian Visa regime.

General Policy Guidelines for an Indian Visa

Possession of travel documents – In terms of the provisions in the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, every foreigner entering India must be in possession of a valid national passport with atleast six months of validity, or any other internationally recognised travel document establishing their nationality and identity. and a valid visa for India granted by an authorised Indian representative mission abroad.
Application for grant of visa- An applicant for the Indian visa shall have to submit an application on the on-line system in the standard visa application form and should be present within the jurisdiction of the Indian Mission/Post concerned at the time of making an application and grant of visa. A foreigner can also apply for any type of visa (including Employment/ Business Visa) from a country other than the country of his origin as long as they are residents in the other country. A valid non refundable Visa fee would be charged at the time of the application and the Foreign national must adhere to the purpose forwhich the Visa has been granted and is not allowed to indulge in any other activity other than the one mentioned on the Visa.
Persons arriving from a country which is having public health risk If a person is arriving from a country which is having public health risk with regard to any condition which has been declared as public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) by WHO DG, then he/ she may be required to undergo medical screening or additional measures as decided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Indian Inbound Visa categories:
Indian Visas a are split into 19 different Categories and further sub categorized as per purpose of travel to India.

Categories and sub-categories of Visa

E-Visa ( Electronic Visa ).

e-Tourist Visa
e-Business Visa
e-Medical Visa
e-Conference Visa
e-Medical Attendant Visa

Transit Visa

A transit visa is a visa that is valid for a very short period. A transit visa allows a traveler to
pass through the international zone of an Indian airport, without entering Indian territory.
Tourist Visa

T-1(for individual tourists)
T-2(for group tourists)
T-3(for Cruise tourism)

Medical Visa

MED – For all foreign nationals coming on Medical Visa to undergo treatment.
MED X – For foreign nationals coming as Medical Attendants.

Business Visa

The common Business Visa is also sub categorized into 13 different types.
B-1 – Business Visitor coming to attend business meetings, technical meetings etc. for a short
B-2 – Business Visitor from small and medium business
B-3 – Business Visitor from large business
B-4 – Business Visa for Investors
B-5 – Crew of non-scheduled airlines chartered flights operated by such airlines and Special
B6 – Foreign academicians/ experts covered under GIAN
B7 – Foreign nationals who are partners in the business and/ or functioning as Directors of
the company
B8 – Other Miscellaneous categories eligible for Business Visa not covered by above sub-

B-Sports – Foreign nationals who are engaged in commercial sports events in India on
contract (including coaches) with remuneration
B-1 X, B-2 X, B-3 X, B-4 X (For dependents of Business Visa holders )

Employment Visa

The Employment Visa is further sub categorized into 10 different Types.
E-1 – Short term remunerative employment up to 6 months
E-2 – Long term remunerative employment beyond 6 months
E-3 – For Intra-company transferee
E-4 – For honorary work with NGOs
E-5 – Staff/ Faculty in South Asian University and Nalanda University
E-1 X, E-2 X, E-3 X, E-4 X, E-5 X – For dependents of Employment Visa holders

Project & Films Visa

P Visa – For those foreign nationals coming to execute projects in Steel and Power sectors
P-X Visa – Dependents of Project Visa holders
F Visa – For foreign nationals coming for shooting of a feature film/ reality TV show and/ or
commercial TV serials

Intern Visa

I-1 – Intern under French VIE programme
I-2 – Intern with business house, including those sponsored by AIESEC
I-3 – Intern with NGOs and Educational Institutions including those sponsored by AIESEC
I-4 – Intern with Foreign Media Organizations/ Indian Media Organizations in India

Student Visa

This type of Visa is sub categorized into 10 types.
S-1 – For studies in regular courses in India in Colleges/ Universities etc. imparting higher
S-2 – For School education
S-3 – Provisional Student Visa
S-4 – For studies in short term courses

S-5 – For studies in Yoga, Vedic Culture and Indian Systems of Music and dance and for
Buddhist studies
S-6 – For those coming under Student Exchange Programme in terms of Agreements with
various countries including trainees at a designated civilian or defence establishment
S-7 – For students of South Asian University and Nalanda University
S-8 – For Theological Studies and for Missionary students
S-1 X & S-6 X – For dependents of those coming under S-1, and S-6 visas

Research Visa

R-1 – Research scholar at a recognized Indian Institution
R-2 – Visiting faculty at recognized Indian Institution
R-3 – Research Scholar on a bilateral exchange program
R-4 – Members of Botanical, Scientific, Anthropological etc. expeditions
R-1 X, R-2 X & R-3 X – Dependents of holders of Research Visa

Conference & Mountaineering Visa

C-1 – For participants of conferences organized by Government authorities including Public
Sector Undertakings, Autonomous bodies under Government
C-2 – For participants of conferences organized by non-Governmental agencies/
MX – For foreign nationals coming for Mountaineering expeditions
Missionary Visa
M-1 – For Missionary/ Religious worker of approved organizations
M-1 X – For dependents of Missionary/ Religious worker of approved organizations

Journalist Visa

J-1 – Foreign audio-visual or print media journalists accredited in India
J-2 – Audio-visual or print media journalists visiting India
J-3 – Foreign nationals coming for shooting of advertisement/ documentary films etc
J-T – Journalist visiting India for tourism purpose
J1-X – Dependents of foreign audio- visual or print media journalists accredited in India

Entry Visa

X-1 – For Persons of Indian Origin who do not possess OCI card
X-2 – Foreign nationals married to Indian Citizen/ Persons of Indian Origin/ OCI cardholder
and their children (other than those who are registered as OCI cardholder)
X-3 – For those coming to join Auroville Foundation or Missionaries of Charity or Aurobindo
Ashram, Puducherry or similar approved organizations
X-4 – For those who own property in India
X-5 – Diplomats/ Officials on a personal (Non-official) visit to India
X-5 D – Ordinary passport holding dependents of diplomats/ officials assigned to India
(including in the UN and Non-UN International organizations).
X-Misc – For purposes which are not covered by any other visa category
X-SP – For Sports Persons

Diplomatic Visa

D-1 – Diplomats assigned in India (on Diplomatic Passport only)
D-2 – Diplomat on a visit to India for meetings and other official purposes (on Diplomatic
passport only)
D-3 – Diplomats assigned to NonUN International Organization (such as ADB, ICRISAT, ICRC
etc.) in India
D-1 X, D-2 X, D-3 X – For dependents of Diplomats depending upon the type of Diplomatic

Official Visa

O-1 – Non-diplomatic official assigned to a diplomatic Mission in India (On Official/ Service/
Special Passport only)
O-2 – Non-diplomatic official on a visit to India for official purpose
O1-X – Dependent of Non-diplomatic official assigned in India (on Official/ Service/ Special

UN Diplomat Visa

UD-1 – for UN Diplomat assigned to India
UD-2 – for UN Diplomat on a visit to India
UD-1 X – for Dependent of UN Diplomat assigned to India
UD- 2 X – for Dependent of UN Diplomat on a visit to India

UN Official Visa

UO-1 – for UN Non-Diplomatic official assigned to India
UO-2 – for UN Non-Diplomatic official on a visit to India

UO-1 X – for Dependent of UN Non-Diplomatic official assigned to India (including ordinary
passport holders)
UO-2 X – for Dependent of UN Non-Diplomatic official on a visit to India

Pakistan Specific Visas

V – Visitor Visa
PG-1 – Pilgrim Visa (under Religious Protocol)
PG-2 – Group Pilgrim Visa for minority communities in Pakistan

Bangladesh Specific Visa

X-Double Entry – Double Entry Visa for those coming to India to apply for visa to foreign
missions accredited to both India and Bangladesh

Visa on Arrival

VA – Double Entry Visa for 60 days being offered to nationals of Japan, South Korea and UAE
Visa-on-Arrival is provided to Japanese, South Korean and UAE nationals only at six
designated international airports at Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and