In the year 2017, the Government of India introduced some changes in the kind of visas it provided. The following is detail on the several types of visas available.
Tourist Visa – The visa gets issued to those who come to India with the objective of sightseeing or attend a short-term yoga program. The applicant cannot remain in India for more than six months. In late 2009, India rolled out new rules to curb the misuse of tourist visas. It announced that there should be at least a two months gap between the visits to India. However, the rule was removed in late 2012. The tourists can apply for Indian visa online as well.
Entry (X) Visa – The visa is generally issued to the citizens of those countries that do not come under any category of visa applicants. The visa is available to the following people:
- It could be a foreigner of Indian origin.
- It can be a spouse or children of a foreigner of Indian origin.
- The spouse or children of a foreigner coming to India on any long-term visa like employment visa or business visa.
- Foreigners who join specific spiritual communities like Sri Aurbindo Ashram.
- Foreigners who participate in international sports events.
- It is necessary to know that one cannot work on an X visa. These visas can be extended easily and, there is no need to leave India after every six months.
Employment Visa – The visa is issued to the foreigners who work in India for an organization registered in India. Foreigners working as volunteers are issued employment visas as well. People who visit the country to offer skills in the power and steel sectors get issued special project visas. The employment visa is usually valid for one year or according to the validity of the employment contract. The visas can get extended in India. To apply for an Indian visa, you must show your proof of employment with a company in India.
Business Visa – It is available for people who visit India to explore business opportunities or conduct business. The visa differs from an employment visa because the applicant requires a letter from the organization he/she intends to work with, stating the nature of the business, the duration of the stay, places to be visited, and intention to meet expenses. These visas are valid up to five years, with multiple entries.
Student Visa – The visa is available scholars who wish to study in India at an officially recognized educational institution. It could also include the study of yoga, Vedic culture, and Indian system of dance and music. The scholar needs to submit admission/registration papers from the institution. The visas are valid up to five years, depending on the duration of the course. They are open to extension in India.
Medical Visa – The visa is issued to the foreigners seeking long-term treatment in India at the recognized hospitals and treatment centers. The treatment is usually significant in nature including neurosurgery, heart surgery, organ transplant, joint replacement, gene therapy, and cosmetic surgery. Two medical attendant visas are issued to those accompanying the patient.
Intern (I) Visa – Before 2017, foreigners pursuing an internship in India were issued employment visas. However, if they meet certain criteria, they are issued an intern visa. One of the rules including that the gap between the completion graduation or post-graduation and the commencement of the internship should not exceed one year. It is important to note that it cannot be converted into an employment visa.
There are several other types of Indian visas including film, research, journalist, and conference visas.