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India Travel Guide Help » Visa & Passport

Visa & Passport

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.

Tourist Visa:

Tourist visas valid for six-month and one year (six months stay each time) are available. Ten-year Tourist visas permitting a stay of maximum of six-month on each visit are available to U.S. citizens who are frequent visitors to India. A person desirous of visiting India frequently but not intending to stay for more than six months at a time is advised to apply for this type of visa. Please note that it is not possible to extend your stay in India beyond 6 months if you are visiting India on this visa. For non-US nationals, who are permanent residents of US 5 year tourist visa with six months stay each visit is available.

Entry Visa:

Valid for six months to one-year stay with multiple entries for legitimate purposes only. Five-year long-term stay visas are available only for US citizens of Indian origin. The five-year entry visa allows the holder to stay in India for up to 5 years after they have registered themselves with the authorities in India. This visa is advisable for people who intend to live in India on a long-term basis and for more than six months at a time. There is no Ten-year entry visa.

Business Visa:

Valid for six months and one year with multiple entries. A letter from Sponsoring Organization indicating the nature of applicant's business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating therein a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc. may accompany the application. Ten-year Business visas are available to U.S passport holders. A business letter from India or US may accompany the application.

Student Visa:

Depending upon the duration of the course, multiple entry student visas for bonafide students to pursue regular studies at recognized institution in India are available. Visa is valid for up to five years or the duration of the course whichever is less. 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 para-medical courses in India, a letter of approval or No Objection Certificate from Ministry of Health, Government of India, New Delhi, is mandatory. Likewise for admission in graduate or post-graduate courses in Engineering or Technical Institutions in India, a letter of approval or a No Objection from Ministry of Human Resources Development (Dept. of Education), Government of India, New Delhi, should be submitted. For research purposes detailed synopsis of the research project, countersigned by the sponsoring institution in India should be submitted. Processing of applications for research may take about three months.

Transit Visa:

Valid for single/double entry for short stop over for travelling to a third country is available. Confirmed onward tickets must accompany the applications.


Valid for single entry and duration as permitted by the 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. Processing of applications for missionaries may take up to three months.

Journalist Visa:

Journalist visas are given to professional journalists and photographers for three months stay in India.

Employment Visa:

Employment visas are initially issued for one-year stay. A copy of the contract with the employer has to be enclosed. Kindly note that Employment Visa is given only for jobs that require very high level of skills and expertise. This can be extended by Foreigners Regional Registration Office in India, if the job contract continues. Spouses and children are granted co-terminus entry visas on request.

Conference Visa:

Letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference and approvals of Indian authorities are to be submitted along with the visa application.

Transfer Of Visas:

To transfer visas from an expired passport to the new passport, application form duly filled in along with one photo and the required fees. It is possible to travel with expired old passport with valid Indian visa and valid new passport issued subsequent to issue of Indian visa.

Miscellaneous Information

  •  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, Khan market, New Delhi-110003.

Immigration Procedures

The Bureau of Immigration handles the immigration procedures at the major international airports and the foreigner's registration work at five major cities in India. The field officers in charge of immigration and registration activities at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Amritsar are called Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs). The designation for the equivalent in Chennai (Madras) is Chief Immigration Officer (CHIO).

New Delhi

Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO)
Ist floor, Hans Bhavan,
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg,
Near ITO, New Delhi
Phone: 011-3319489/3755183/5652389
FRRO & Deputy. Commissioner of Police
Special Branch – II (CID)


Phone: 022-2621169/2620721/8350098
Chief Immigration Officer
Shastry Bhavan Annexe
26, Haddows Road, Mumbai


Phone: 044-8277036/8277036/2340589
S. P. (Immigration and CID)
Interrogation Centre
PCP Attari Rail Mal Mandi, Chennai


Phone: 0183-225456/227605/382630
DIG (Border)
Intelligence Branch
13-Lord Singh Road, Amritsar


For further clarification on Visa rules or related problems, contact the Officer of the Consular Division, of the Mission in which Visa is to be applied.

Download Visa Forms
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Form for Visa Related Services

Indian Missions/Embassies Abroad
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