Requirement of Visa: All the foreigners who wish to visit India for any purpose require valid Visa which is issued by the Government of India or the Indian Consulates situated in their countries for the specific purpose as mentioned by the applicants. But before the issue of Visa, visitors must possess the valid passport issued by the Governments of their respective countries from where they belong to as Citizens. As a part of their privileges the nationals of two countries – Nepal and Bhutan - got exception with regard the possession of Passport, they only require the suitable means of identifications to enter into this land of India. It is because of the mutual understanding and cordial relations between the two countries that the people-to-people contact is made informal. As an exception India does not issue the Visas at the port of entry as issued by the other countries.
Rules Pertaining to the Issuance of Visa:Rules and regulations differ from country to country and time to time depends upon the situation and circumstances. However, during the normal situation as declared by the Government, the visas can be obtained by the foreigners for the period of six months, one year and ten years depend on the requirement and purpose of the visitors. The validity of the visa will count from the date of issue and not from the date of entry. India does not provide post-dated visas. Government of India also makes the provision to issue the Visas to non-residents. The civil authority of the Government of India may stop any foreigners on the ground of invalid passport, insane, convictions or prejudicial to the interest of the country, suffering from communicable diseases etc. The visitors shall have to furnish true information in the ‘D’ Embarkation Card.
Registration of Foreigners: All the visitors who wish to stay beyond 180 days shall have to register themselves at the Foreigners Registration Officer within 2 weeks of arrival failing which may cause the prosecution under section 5 of the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939. However, children of the foreigners under the age of 16 years residing in India need not register their name as they are exempted from Registration (Exemption) Order 1957 with the condition that they will be issued a residential permit for their stay in India and from time to time they should obtain extension for their stay.
Types of Visas: Specific Visas are issued according to the requirement and purpose of the applicant. However, the principal types of Visa issued are mentioned below. For other purpose like yoga, voluntary work, mountaineering or other expeditions, the applicant has to contact the High Commission of India for further details.
1. Tourist Visas: Foreigners who enter India should have a valid passport, visa or other accredited travel documents valid for the period of 180 days. All foreigners are only allowed to enter into India through authorized check post or airport only. The Indian Parliament passed Acts from time to time that regulate and define the stay, movements and departures of the foreigners depending upon the situations and circumstances.
2. Collective Visas: The facility also exists for the issue to group tours consisting visas of not less than four members and sponsored by a travel agency recognized by the Government of India.
3. Transit Visas: For the issuance of Transit Visas, the applicant must satisfy the general requirements like evidence of airline tickets for onward journey and valid visa for the final destination. The Indian Mission abroad granted this Transit Visa for 72 hours within 15 days from the date of issue.
4. Business Visas:
This is multiple-entry Business Visa which is valid for up to the period of 6 months that can be extended up to five years, however, each visit is limited to 180 days depends on the nature of business
5. Employment Visas: This Visa is especially issued to skilled and qualified professionals who are appointed by organizations on the condition that the applicant has to submit proof of employment like Appoint Letter, Contract Letter etc.
6. Student Visa: This Visa is issued to the genuine students to pursue their higher studies at the recognized institutions in India for the maximum period of 5 years..
7. Entry Visas: This multiple-entry Visa is issued only to the persons of Indian origin valid for six months to five years stay. This visa is also given to members of the family of a person employed in India.
8. Conference Visas: This Visa is issued to the persons who are attending conferences in India that may take up to four weeks. For attending the international conference, the Visa will be issued only after getting the clearance from the Government of India of the said conference.
9. Journalist Visas (J-Visa): Journalists can obtain a J-Visa for initial duration of 3 months which can be extended further from a Consular Office on submission of documentary proof of status. For shooting and documentaries in India one requires prior approval from the concerned office.
10. Research Visas: This visa is issued only after the getting the approval from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education), New Delhi by the Local Indian Mission.
11. Missionary Visas: The Missionary Visa is a Single entry visa valid for a duration as approved by the Government of India.