A visa (short for the Latin carta visa, meaning "the document has been seen") is a document issued by a country giving a certain individual permission to enter the country for a given period of time and for certain purposes. Visa is usually stamped or glued inside of a passport, or sometimes issued as separate pieces of paper.
Guidelines for Visa Applicants
Documents required to be submitted for visa
1. Visa application Form.click here to download the form
a) Visa application form should filled in legibly and clearly, in bold (capital) letters in black/blue ink only. Incomplete and illegible applications may not be processed.
b) Name and other relevant particulars should be filled in as per details in the passport in expanded form.
2. Passport , which should have a minimum validity of six months on the date of application with at least two blank pages.
3. Photographs ; 2 latest identical passport size photographs, depicting front pose against light background
4. Supporting documents, if the visa being applied for is other than a Tourist Visa, the visa application should be accompanied with supporting documents on type of visa applied for. (For details, please see categories of visa given below).
5. Visa Fee, (Please see Fee Schedule for the amount of fee). In case the applications are deposited in person at the counter, visa fee can be paid in cash or by Cashier's Check/Certified Check or Money Order made payable to the Embassy of India, Washington (PERSONAL CHECKS / CREDIT CARDS are not accepted)
5. Persons of Indian Origin applying for a visa for the FIRST time on US passport must submit their Indian passport along with the application form for cancellation and return. If the visa is required on a new US passport booklet, either previous US passport or photocopy of Indian visa are to be submitted with the application.
Categories of Visa
Note:Change of purpose is not permitted once you have reached India. Depending on the nature of your journey, apply for the correct visa category.
Tourist visa is valid for 6 months to 10 years. Ten (10) year visa is available only to US citizens under a bilateral arrangement. Irrespective of the duration of validity of visa, on each visit maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days). Multiple entry visas are given.
Transfer of Visa
For transferring an Indian visa from an old passport to a new passport. The regular visa application form with 2 photographs is required along with a fee of $25.
A transit visa is granted for the sole purpose of enabling the holder to travel through India to reach his/her ultimate destination. Change of purpose is not allowed. The visa will ordinarily be valid for a single/double journey and for entry within three months of date of issue. The Transit visa is valid for direct transit only for a maximum period of 3 days. Confirmed airline ticket for onward journey and valid visa for final destination are required. For a stay in India beyond 3 days, an appropriate visa should be obtained.
Entry visa is valid for six months to five years stay, with multiple entry given only to persons of Indian origin. However, members of the family of a person employed in India are also eligible for Entry visa.
Business visa is valid for six month or one/more years with multiple entries. However, the period of stay in India (for each visit) under this category is limited to six months only. A letter from the sponsoring organization indicating nature of applicant's business, probable duration of stay, validity of visa, places and organizations to be visited and also 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.
For employment visa,an appointment letter, contract letter, applicant's resume and proof that the organization is registered in India are required. Duration of visa would depend on the period of the contract.
Student visa is valid for the period of study in India. Multiple-entry visas are given to bona fide 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 the application. In case of admission in medical or paramedical courses in India, a letter of Approval or No objection certificate from the Ministry of Health, Government of India, is also required. Similarly, for admission to graduate or post-graduate courses in engineering/ technical institutions in India, a letter of approval or a No objection certificate from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education) is required.
Approval of Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education), New Delhi, should accompany the visa application. The validity of the visa would coincide with the research period.
Single entry visa valid for the duration approved by the Government of India is issued. Three copies of the letter from the sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, expected length of stay, and nature of work to be discharged should be attached along with a guarantee for applicant's maintenance while in India. (Note: Processing of application for a Missionary Visa may take up to three (03) months.)
Journalist visa is given to professional journalists and photographers for up to three months' stay in India. (If you are intending to make a documentary in India, kindly contact the Press and Information wing in the Embassy /Consulate General of India).
To obtain Conference visa, a letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference is to be attached along with the visa application. Visas for international conferences, or on certain subjects, as decided by the Government of India from time to time, can be issued only after clearance for the said conference is received from the Government of India.
Visa Fee Schedule