All Foreign Nationals desirous of coming into India are required to possess a valid passport of their country and a valid Indian Visa.
There is no provision of 'Visa on Arrival' in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports. Foreign passengers should ensure that they are in possession of valid Indian Visa before they start their journey to India except nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who do not require visa to enter India and nationals of Maldives who do not require visa for entry in India for a period up to 90 days (a separate Visa regime exists for diplomatic / official passport holders).
The Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuance of Indian visas to the foreign nationals for their visit for various purposes. This facility is granted through various Indian missions abroad.
Visa fees are non-refundable and subject to change without notice. The High Commission reserves the right on granting and deciding type/duration of visa irrespective of the fees tendered at the time of making application. Granting of Visa does not confer the right of entry to India and is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Authorities.
Specific Visas are granted for a variety of purposes. The principal types of Visa issued are mentioned below.
This Visa is normally granted for a period of six months. The applicant is required to produce/submit documents in proof of his financial standing. Tourist Visas are non-extendible and non-convertible.
This Visa is normally granted for one or more years with multiple entries. A letter from the sponsoring organisation indicating nature of business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating therein a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc should accompany the application.
This Visa is issued for the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less. It is important to furnish proof of admission to recognized Universities / Institutions in India. Change of purpose and institutions are not permissible.
This Visa is issued for a maximum period of 15-days with single / double entry facilities. Transit Visa cannot be obtained from immigration counters at ports of entry in India. Transit Visa is non-extendable in India.
Visa to Missionaries:
This Visa is 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.
This Visa is issued to top professional journalists and photographers for visiting India. The applicants are required to contact the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs on arrival in New Delhi, and the Office of the Government of India's Press Information Bureaus in other places.
This Visa is issued for attending conferences / seminars / meetings in India. Along with the application you are required to submit a letter of invitation from the organiser of the mission.
This Visa can be obtained on furnishing proof of employment / engagement of foreign nationals by the company or organisation in India.
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.
Visa is given for a period for which passport is valid. For example, if a passport is valid until April 30,2003 and an applicant is applying for 5 years visa on December 31,1999, the applicant will not be issued a 5 years visa as the passport expires before the 5 year visa.
Validity of all visas is counted from the date of their issue.
Tourist visa up to 5 years may be granted if the foreigner is connected with the tourism trade.
If visa is for more than 180 days, registration is compulsory within 14 days of first arrival in India.
For Extension of visa contact
MHA - Director (F)
Lok Nayak Bhawan, Ist floor
New Delhi - 110003.
Source: Government of India Website