VERY IMPORTANT; Please note that the duration of the visa is at the sole discretion of the Issuing Authority. All visa fees once paid are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome of the visa application and duration granted. Please note the validity of the visa is effective from the date of issue.
You must ensure all the fields of the visa application form are completely filled before submitting including your UK and India referees.
If you are going to India as a tourist and you do not have Indian referees you need to attach a self-undertaking that you will book your accommodation/ hotels on arrival in India.
Q1. What is the maximum period for which one can obtain a Tourist visa?
The maximum validity of a tourist visa is one year.
Tourist visas are normally issued for three /six months or one year.
One year tourist visa will need further approval.
Q2. What is the difference between a one year and a six month visa?
A one year visa can be issued to those needing to spend long periods of time (beyond six months) in India either continuously or intermittently i.e. travel in and out of India on several occasions during the course of one year.
Visas can be issued for multiple entries provided the applicant provides proof of travel plans.
Tourist visa holders are required to maintain a two-month gap between each visit to India.
Tourist visa holders intending to stay in India continuously for more than 180 days ( six months), are required to get registered with the local authorities within 14 days of their arrival in India.
Those with six month multiple entries OR single entry visas do not have to register with the FRRO.
Tourist visa holders (regardless of the length of the visa or of whether it is a single or multiple entries visa) are required to maintain a two-month gap between each visit to India.
Note : The gap of two months between any two visits does not apply to foreign nationals coming to India with any other Visa category. The rule does not apply to PIO/ OCI card holders either.
Q3. Can an individual, who is on a Tourist visa, do tourism in India while simultaneously seek business opportunities, deliver lectures, write articles, do research work?
A Tourist visa is only meant for tourism. The sole objective of visiting India must be recreation, sight seeing.
Q4. If an individual holds a single/multiple entry Tourist visa and returns to the UK, can he immediately re-enter India as a tourist?
Single Entry Tourist Visa: Single Entry Tourist Visa holders can enter India only once and are required to obtain a new visa if s/he intends to travel to India again. The applicant must wait for two months from their last exit from India before filing their application for a new visa.
Double Entry Tourist Visa: Double Entry Tourist Visa holders can travel to a 3rd country from India during the trip and can re-enter India without a gap of two months to resume their holidays. They will however need to be issued with a permission to re-enter India from a particular country. A detailed tentative itinerary will be needed. Re-entry on a double entry visa is only allowed from neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand..etc.
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa: Holders of such a visas can travel to India multiple times within the duration of the visa. However if the holders leave India, they will only be able to re-enter after a gap of 2 months from their last exist date out of India.
If a Multiple Entry Tourist Visa holder wishes to re-enter India without having to wait for 2 months, s/he will be required to obtain a special re-entry permit from the Local India Consulate/Foreign Mission.
Q5. Can I travel to any part of India on a Tourist visa ?
As a general rule foreign nationals can travel to all part of India on a Tourist visa with the exception of `Restricted’ places.
These include some states in the North East of India, which require `Inner Line Permit’. Such permits are issued by the concerned state governments.
Other areas, which fall in the `Restricted’ category can be visited by Tourists for seven to fourteen days subject on the Indian Embassy permitting the visit.
It is therefore crucial that the applicants clearly mention the places to be visited during their stay in India together with the reasons for visiting such areas.
Q1. What is a Business Visa?
Indian Business Visas are granted to foreign nationals, who wants to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture, or wants to purchase/sell industrial products in India.
Indian Business Visas are granted subject to following conditions:-
(i) The applicant is a person of assured financial standing and expertise in the field of the intended business.
(ii) The applicant is not visiting India for the business of money lending or petty trading, or for a full time employment in India involving payment of salary in India etc.
(iii) The facility of Business Visa will also be extended to senior executives of firms, experts, tour conductors and travel agents, etc., visiting India in connection with work, related to projects of national importance, including those undertaken by public sector undertakings, and conducting business tours of foreigners or business relating to it, etc.
(iv) A foreign national will have to comply with all other requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc.
(v) The grant of Business Visa is subject to any instructions issued by the Government of India on the basis of reciprocity with other foreign countries from time to time
(v) The Business Visa must be issued from the country of origin, or from the country of domicile of the foreigner, provided the period of permanent residence of that applicant in that particular country is for more than 2 years.
Q.2. Who are eligible for a Business Visa?
(i) Foreign nationals who want to visit India to establish industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture in India.
(ii) Foreign nationals coming to India to purchase/sell industrial products or commercial products or consumer durables.
(iii) Foreign nationals coming to India for technical meetings/discussions, attending Board meetings, general meetings for providing business services support.
(iv) Foreign nationals coming to India for recruitment of manpower.
(v) Foreign nationals who are partners in the Business and/or functioning as Directors in the company.
(vi) Foreign nationals coming to India for consultations regarding exhibitions, for participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business fairs, etc.
(vii) Foreign buyers who come to transact business with suppliers/ potential suppliers at locations in India, to evaluate or monitor quality, give specifications, place orders, negotiate further supplies etc., relating to goods or services procured from India.
(viii) Foreign experts/specialists on a visit of short duration in connection with an ongoing project with the objective of monitoring the progress of the work, conducting meetings with Indian customers and/or to provide some high level technical guidance.
(ix) Foreign nationals coming to India for pre-sales or post-sales activity not amounting to actual execution of any contract or project.
(x) Foreign Trainees of multinational companies/corporate houses coming for in-house training in the regional hubs of the concerned company located in India
(xi) Foreign students sponsored by AIESEC for internship on project based work in companies/industries
Q.3. What is the duration of a Business Visa?
An Indian Multiple Entry Visas are granted for a period up to 5 years or for a shorter duration as per the requirements.
The length of the visas is entirely at the discretion of the Indian High Commission.
Q.4. Can I enrol on a short term course or undertake an unpaid internship as a business visitor?
No, foreign nationals wishing to visit India to follow a short term course or undertake an unpaid internship will be required to obtain an Entry Visa – Entry Visas are valid for 3 months and only allow one entry into India.
Q.1. What is an Employment Visa?
Indian Employment Visas are granted to foreign nationals who wish to go to India for the purpose of employment.
Indian Employment Visas are subject to following conditions:-
(i) The applicant must be a skilled and qualified professional or person who is being engaged or appointed by a company, organization, industry, or undertaking, etc. in India on contract or employment basis at a senior level, skilled position such as technical expert, senior executive, or in a managerial position, etc.
(ii) Indian Employment Visas are not granted for jobs for which large numbers of qualified Indians are available.
(iii) Indian Employment Visas are not granted for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.
(iv) The Employment Visa must be issued in the applicant’s country of origin or domicile – if the latter the applicant must provide evidence of residence in that country for more than 2 years
(v) The Indian company/organization engaging foreign nationals for executing projects/contracts must be responsible for the conduct of the foreign nationals during their stay in India and also for their departure upon the expiry of their Visas.
(vi) Foreign nationals will have to ensure that they comply with all the other applicable requirements like payment of tax liabilities, etc.
Q. 2. Who are eligible for Employment Visa?
Ans. Subject to the conditions enumerated in Question B5 above, the following will be eligible for Employment Visa:-
(i) Foreign nationals coming to India for execution of a project/contract [irrespective of the duration of the visit].
(ii) Foreign nationals who are coming to India on short visits to customer location to repair any plant or machinery as part of warranty or annual maintenance contracts.
(iii) Foreign engineers/technicians coming to India for installation and commissioning of equipments/machines/tools in terms of the contract for supply of such equipment/machine/tools.
(iv) Foreign experts coming to India for imparting training for the personnel of the Indian company.
(v) Foreign personnel deputed for providing technical support/services, transfer of know-how, services supplies for which the Indian company pays fees/royalty to the foreign company.
(vi) Foreign nationals coming to India as consultants on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration, (may not be in the form of monthly salary).
(vii) Foreign artists engaged to conduct regular performances for the duration of the employment contract given by Hotels, Clubs, other organizations.
(viii) Foreign nationals who are coming to India to take up employment as coaches
(ix) Foreign sportsmen who are given contract for a specified period by the Indian Clubs/organizations.
(x) Self-employed foreign nationals coming to India for providing engineering, medical, accounting, legal or such other highly skilled services in their capacity as independent consultants.
Q.3. What is the duration of an Employment Visa?
Indian Employment Visa issued by the Indian Missions abroad are usually granted for up to one year.
The first extension, if necessary, must be sought from the MHA.
Foreigners coming on Employment Visa are required to register with concerned FRRO/FRO within two weeks from the date of arrival.
Q.4 Can foreign nationals coming to execute projects in India be granted Business Visas?
No a foreign national going to Indian to execute projects/contracts will need an Indian Employment Visa.
Q.5 Can foreign nationals already in India as a Business Visitor switch into an Employment Visa in country?
No switching in country is not allowed.
Q.6 Which category of Visa will be granted to the accompanying family members of Indian Employment Visa holder
Accompanying family members are usually issued with a Dependant Visa (X Visa) in line with the main applicant’s Employment Visa.
Q.7 Whether a foreign company/organization that does not have any Project Office/subsidiary/joint venture/branch office in India can sponsor a foreign national/employee of a foreign company for Employment Visa?
Unless an Indian company has awarded the execution of a contract for a foreign company that does have a based in India, an Indian located entity will usually be required to sponsor an employment visa.
Q.8 Must the Indian sponsoring organisation be the legal employer of the applicant?
Q.9 Which category of Visa will be granted to the foreign language teachers/interpreters?
An Indian Employment Visa.
Q10 Which category of Visa will be granted to the foreign specialist Chefs?
An Indian Employment Visa.
Q.11 Which type of Visa would be granted to senior management personnel and/or specialists employed by foreign firms who are relocated to India to work on specific project/management assignment?
An Indian Employment Visa.
If you have a question which has not been answered above please contact us.