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Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an Indian Visa?

Ans. An Indian visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials of India on a passport that allows the bearer to visit India. Indian Visas are obtained from the proper embassy or local the consulates of India for the purpose of the visit. "Visit" is further defined as the reason for entry, usually business, tourist or transitory.

There are over 270 countries that offer visas and literally thousands of different types of visas available based upon country, type of visit, and length of visit.

Q2.What is the difference between a passport and an Indian visa?

Ans. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The passport serves two purposes: to regain entry to the country of citizenship and is a requirement by many countries to gain entry to the country you are visiting.

An Indian visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes you to be in the country you are visiting. Many countries require a visa to gain entry. The visa usually is in the form of a stamp or a sticker in the passport and is obtained from the country you are visiting.

Q3. Do I need an Indian visa?

Ans. If you are traveling to India, whether for business or tourism, you require a visa to be obtained from a consulate in advance of your trip. There are citizens of few countries who are not required to obtain prior entry visa due to bilateral understanding.

Q4.What is the difference between an Indian tourist and business visa?

Ans. India visas are issued according to the purpose of the trip; if the primary activity of your trip is business - you'll need a business visa - otherwise choose a tourist visa.

Q5. How long is a visa valid?

Ans. TOURIST VISA: Valid for 3 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.

BUSINESS VISA: Valid for three 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 businessm2n who have set up or intend to set up joint ventures in India.

Q6. Is visa fee refundable?

Ans. Visa fees are non-refundable and subject to change without notice.

Q7. After obtaining Indian visa, can I be prevented from landing in India?

Ans. Granting of visa does not confer the right of entry to India and is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Authorities.

Q8. What types of Visas can be obtained to visit India and what are their requirements?

Ans. A1. Specific Visas are granted for a variety of purposes. The principal types of Visa issued are mentioned below.

Tourist visa
Tourists wishing to visit India will normally be granted tourist visa. Tourist visa are non-extendable and non-convertible.

Business Visa:
Business Visa are normally granted to individuals going to India in pursuance of bilateral agreements or joint venture projects having Government approval or looking for new business opportunity.

Student Visa:
Student Visa can be obtained on furnishing proof of admission to recognized University/institutions in India.

Employment Visa:
Employment Visa can also be obtained on furnishing of proof of employment with companies in India. It may however be noted that applications for employment visas are considered only for managerial/highly skilled jobs.

Transit Visa:
Transit Visa are valid for halts of up to 72 hours in India within 15 days from the date of issue of the visa and must be obtained before departure. Transit Visa cannot be obtained from immigration counters at ports of entry in India. Evidence of onward travel to a destination outside India is required.

Please Note:
Persons holding long term Visa (having validity exceeding 6 months) are normally not expected to stay in India for more than 6 months during each visit. For visits for a period longer than 6 months, the visa holder is required to register with the Foreigners' Registration Office (FRO)/Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO)

Q9. If I have to register myself in India, where do I go and register?

Ans. The registration is to be done at any Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or at Foreigners cell at district police headquarters.

Q10. Can my visa be extended in India if I have to stay longer than required?

Ans. If the visa is 'X' category, employment visa or student's visa, it could be extended by the FRRO subject to local checks. However tourist Visa cannot be extended under any circumstances.

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