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Any foreigner who wants to enter India must have a valid visa affixed on his or her passport. This can be obtained from the Indian Consulate in your country. Foreign nationals of Indian origin, their spouses and children can obtain visas from the Consulate. Foreign nationals of Indian origin, their spouses and children can obtain Entry Visas valid upto 10 years.
Tourist Visas can be obtained for six months, one year and 10 years. Visas of the appropriate type should be obtained by students, businessmen, journalists and others who want to visit India for professional purposes.
Validity of visas : All types of visas are valid for the indicated period from the date of issue (and not repeat not from the date of first entry into India).Post-dated visas are not issued.
Application form and picture requirements : All applicants for Entry and Tourist visas are required to fill out an application form and provide one recent passport size photograph. Applicants for Business, Research, Journalist and some other types of visas are required to submit two forms duly filled in and two pictures.
Visas to non-residents : Visas can also be issued to persons who normally do not live in the jurisdiction of this Consulate (this also includes people holding Tourist / Business visas) after obtaining clearance from the Indian Mission under whose jurisdiction the applicant normally resides. This however takes a few weeks. The applicant may, however, pay an additional charge for clearance by fax or telex.
Restricted area permits : Persons desiring to go to a restricted area should fill in special forms and apply well in advance as clearances are required before a permit can be issued to travel to these places. It takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to receive the Government of India's clearances in such cases.
Requirements for student visas : Firm letters of admission from Universities, recognized Colleges or Educational Institutions in India are required for issuance of Regular Student Visas.
Applicants are also required to produce satisfactory evidence of financial support. In case of admission in a medical or a para-medical course, the applicant has also to produce a 'No Objection Certificate' from the Ministry of Health, Government of India, to obtain a Student Visa.
Applicants for Student Visas who want to pursue graduate or post-graduate studies in Engineering / Technology are required to produce a similar 'No Objection Certificate' from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of Education). Provisional Student Visas for a period of 6 months can however be issued on production of a Provisional Admission Certificate issued by a University / recognized Educational Institution in India. It can be changed to a regular student visa in India itself subject to completion of the formalities listed above. However, no change of institute / purpose is allowed.
The entry of foreigners, stay, movements and departure is regulated by the Acts passed by the Indian Parliament and rules framed thereunder by the Central Government from time to time.
Foreigners who enter India should have a valid passport, visa or other accredited travel documents. All foreigners should enter India through authorised checkpost or airport only. They are subjected to immigration check at the airport or check post.
All foreigners who enter India or depart from India either by air or sea shall furnish a true statement of particulars setting it out in form 'D' embarkation card.
The civil authority under Foreigners Order 1948 has powers to impose restrictions on the movement of any foreigner in India. The authority can also refuse a foreigner entry into India if he/she does not posses a valid passport, or is insane or is suffering from any infectious disease or has been convicted for an extradition offence or if his/her entry is prejudicial to the interest of the country.
All foreigners who desire to stay in India beyond 180 days have to register themselves at the Foreigners Registration Office within two weeks of their arrival. Those who intended to stay for less than 180 days but ended up staying longer also have to register themselves. Any violation of this provision makes them liable for prosecution under section 5 of the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939.
The State Registration Officer in the State capital functions as the liaison office between the Foreigners Registration Officers (FRO) and the government. The Foreigner Registration Officer is the primary agency to regulate the registration, movement, stay, departure and also for recommending the extension of stay in India.
A foreigner who enters India on a valid visa shall report before the Foreigners Registration Officer within two weeks of arrival and get himself registered. He has to produce 6 sets of photos, passport copies, visa page, etc. Thereafter the FRO will issue registration certificate and a residential permit upto the validity of the visa period.
A foreigner coming to India on a tourist visa valid for 6 months need not register his name. However this depends on the condition noted on the visa.
Children of foreigners under 16 years of age residing in India need not register their name as they are exempted from Registration (Exemption) Order 1957. But they will be issued a residential permit for their stay in India. They should also obtain extension for their stay from time to time.
Foreigners who wish to stay in India beyond the visa period should apply for extension of stay 90 days before his Residential Permit is due to expire. The Central Government has delegated limited powers to the FROs to grant extension of stay to foreigners and in all other cases the following documents are to be sent to the State government.
Application duly filled and signed by the foreigner in duplicate.
Photostat copy of the valid passport along with visa page.
HIV certificate issued by a recognised medical institution.
Copy of the registration certificate and residential permit.
Financial guarantee given by an Indian citizen on a Rs 10 stamp paper.
Photostat copy of the bank account and remittance and letter given by the bank manager.
Police report in English issued by the jurisdictional police station where the foreigner resides.
Receipt for having paid the prescribed fee to the RBI under
In case of businessmen, the agreement between the firm and the Government of India.
In case of employment visa, letter of consent of the firm where the foreigner is employed.