Immigration & Citizenship in India

The constitution of India and its Citizenship Act governs the laws pertaining to immigration or citizenship.  Articles 5 to 11 in Part II of the Indian Constitution ascertain the status of a person as citizen of India and pertaining provisions relating to citizenship of India. In addition to this, there are other Acts governing immigration into India which includes The Citizenship Act, 1955; The Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939; The Immigration (Carriers Liability) Act, 2000; The Passport (entry to India) Act, 1920 etc.

The Government of India has formed Bureau of Immigration (BOI) to systematically carry out immigration functions in India.

Immigration Categories

Foreigners with an intention to come to India must carry valid passports of their country of origin and a valid Indian Visa.  Any foreign national without a visa bearing apt validity dates and number of entries is subject to instant deportation.

   
  • Immigrant: An immigrant is a person who moves or migrates from any country to India for long-term permanent residence/ long term residence.
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  • on Immigrant: Any person who visits another country for short term purpose i.e. tourists, visitors, holiday makers, official etc. fall into the category of non-immigrants.
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  • verseas Citizenship of India card: OCI Card is provided to foreigners of Indian origin (except Pakistan and Bangladesh) subject to meeting of certain conditions. It allows the person to hold dual citizenship i.e. of India and of the foreign country, provided its nationality allows dual citizenship.
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  • Indian Citizenship: In accordance to Citizenship Act, 1955; Indian citizenship can be obtained by birth, descent, registration and naturalization.
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Eligibility criterion for immigrant and non-immigrant visas

Immigrant Visas: There are different types of Immigrant Visa namely Long Term (i.e. more than 180 days) Student Visa, Medical Visa, Research Visa and Employment Visa.

 
       
  • Employment Visa: It is granted to:
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  1. An employee or paid intern of an Indian Company.
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  1. People’ travelling to India for volunteer work with any registered NGO and it requires a special endorsement on the E-visa saying ‘To Work with NGO – (Name of NGO & place of work).
  2.  
 
       
  • The embassy may grant this visa for only 1 year irrespective of the duration of the contract. The maximum extension under this visa can be up to 5 years. The duration of this visa starts on the day of issuance.
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Eligibility Criterion:

Only following categories of foreign national are eligible for an employment visa:

 
       
  • Consultants on contract for whom Indian companies pay a fixed remuneration not monthly salary.
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  • Foreign artists engaged to organize performances on regular basis under an employment contract by Hotels or other organizations.
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  • To take up employment as coaches of national/state level teams or reputed sports clubs.
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  • Foreign sports person who have signed a periodical contract with Indian clubs/organizations.
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  • Self-employed foreigners visiting India to provide highly skilled services in diverse fields in their capacity as consultants provided it is permissible under the law of their country.
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  • Foreign specialist chefs
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  • Foreign language teachers/translators
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  • Foreign engineers/technicians coming to India for installing or commissioning of machines/equipments as per the contractual terms for supply of such equipments.
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  • To provide technical/support services in lieu of fees/commission/royalty paid by Indian companies.
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  • To complete/execute project or contract.
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  • Senior managers or employees as employed by foreign companies relocated to India to execute/monitor work on specific projects
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  • To impart training for personnel of Indian Company.
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 Conditions for getting employment visa

 
       
  • The applicant must possess the expertise or is a qualified professional being engaged or appointed by an Indian company/undertaking or hired on employment basis at higher position or senior/managerial position by such Indian company.
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  • There should not be a competent or eligible Indian available to perform the same job that visa holder would be doing.
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  • This visa is not given for any routine/clerical or secretarial work.
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  • The employment must be done by an Indian business entity or by a foreign business entity which is engaged in completion of some venture in India.
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  • The salary of that visa holder must be over US 25,000 dollars p.a. This condition is not applicable to ethnic cooks, foreign language teachers or any staff working for the concerned foreign embassy in India.
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  • He/she must comply with necessary and applicable legal requirements.
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  • He/she must provide all the supporting documents as required for the visa and they will be thoroughly checked before deciding the category of visa to foreigner.
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  • Any foreign company (that does not have any project office in India) cannot sponsor a foreign national or employee but if the Indian company has awarded any execution contract for any project to a foreign company and if that company does not have a base office in India, it can still sponsor the employee for employment visa.
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Process or procedure involved  

 
       
  • Foreigners entering India must carry a national passport with a valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad.
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  • All the applications for India’s employment visa can be made online.
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  • Simultaneously, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents and 1 photograph in the manner stated in the instruction guide.
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  • The applicant here has to submit an appointment letter from his/her employer certifying his/her confirmation for a job position in the company. The letter must highlight the nature as well as the duration of the position along with his/her salary.
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  • The holder of employment visa must register at FRRO office within 14 days of arrival in India.
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  • After receiving the Visa application, IVAC or Indian mission/post need minimum 3 working days to process the application and issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.
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  • The status of Visa application can be seen on the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the aforementioned website.
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  • If the applicant stays employed by same Indian Company and intends to continue and stay beyond the validity period of his/her existing visa, he/she must get the visa renewed in India. Applications for II employment visa can only be submitted in USA along with special consul approval.
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Entry Visa

Generally, Entry Visa is granted to a spouse or dependent family member of a foreign national who has come to India on a long term visa on employment, business, and research or student visa.

Eligibility criterion

 
       
  • It is granted to Person of Indian Origin and his spouse & to his child.
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  • It is granted to the spouse or dependent member of the family of a foreign national to India on a long term visa. His/her visa will also be valid till the end on the same date as that of the principal visa holder.
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Condition for getting entry visa

The principal visa holder or foreign national must have obtained his/her visa. It is a pre-requisite for the applicants i.e. spouse or dependent family members.

Process of obtaining an Entry Visa

 
       
  • Foreigners entering India must carry a national passport with an over 6-month valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad. The passport must contain atleast 2 blank passport pages for India Visa Stamps.
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  • All the applications for India’s entry visa can be made online.
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  • Simultaneously, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents and 1 photograph in the manner stated in the instruction guide.
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  • In case the dependent family member is minor, then there are additional requirements and documents like copy of both parent’s signed passports, notarized visa application signed by minor as well as by both the parents etc.
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  • If applicable, documents establishing the relationship with spouse/parent like marriage license and a copy of principal visa holder’s current or previous Indian Passport or a copy of his/her employment or any other long term visa.
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  • The holder of entry visa must register at FRRO office within 14 days of arrival in India.
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  • After receiving the Visa application, IVAC or Indian mission/post need minimum 3 working days to process the application and issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.
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  • The status of Visa application can be seen on the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the aforementioned website.
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Medical Visa

Initially, the duration of the visa is up to a year or till the period of treatment, whichever is less. This is valid for maximum of 3 entries during the one year.  The duration of visa begins from the date of issuance.

Eligibility criterion

 
       
  • Medical visa is issued to the applicants who seek or look for medical treatment from the reputed/recognized hospitals or treatment centers in India. There is a primary list of ailments which are considered on priority, though it is not an exhaustive list, which are: - neurosurgery, ophthalmic disorders, heart-related ailments, renal disorders, radio-therapy, organ transplant etc.
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  • In addition to this, the applicant can be accompanied with up to 2 attendants who must be blood relatives under separate medical attendant visa and their visa validity stands same with the applicant.
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  • This visa is not applicable for surrogacy.
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Process of obtaining medical visa

 
       
  • Foreign Nationals entering India for medical visa must carry a valid national passport with an over 6-month valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad. The passport must contain minimum 2 blank passport pages for India Visa Stamps.
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  • All the applications for India’s medical visa can be made online.
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  • At the same time, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents and 1 photograph in the manner stated in the instruction guide.
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  • The applicant for medical visa must also submit a certificate of preliminary medical advice from his/her country of origin which must reflect the doctor/specialist/medical center’s advice to go for specialized medical treatment.
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  • In case, the applicant wishes to undergo a treatment under Indian system of medicine, the said case will be specially considered by Indian consulate before granting visa.
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  • After acknowledging the Visa application, IVAC or Indian mission/post need minimum 3 working days to process the application and issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.
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  • Visa application status can be seen on the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the said visa application website.
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Student Visa (Long term visa)

Eligibility criterion

It includes multiple entry visas to genuine students who wish to pursue continuous studies at Indian Universities/educational institutions. It is valid for the period of study as permitted by the respective institution in India. The visa duration begins from the date of issuance and not on the date of entry.

Conditions for getting student visa

 
       
  • The applicant has to submit a letter from a well-known Indian Educational Institution with a registration number in India. The letter must confirm admission, duration and details of the course. It must also reflect the financial arrangement for the student applicant, while his/her stay in India.
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  • In case of admission in paramedical or medical courses in India, there is a need to obtain a letter of approval and No objection certificate (NOC) from Health Ministry of Government of India.
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  • If the applicant has got admission in the graduate or post graduate course in engineering or technical institutions, then also a letter of approval or NOC from Ministry of Human Resources Development needs to be obtained.
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  • If the applicant is from San Francisco, USA then Copy of the Registration Certificate is required from inviting school in India exhibiting that it is a registered/recognized school in India.
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Process of obtaining student visa

Foreign Nationals entering India for studying or pursuing degree courses, must have their valid passport with an over 6-month valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad. The passport must contain minimum 2 blank passport pages for India Visa Stamps.

 
       
  • All the applications for India’s Student visa can be made online.
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  • At the same time, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with necessary supporting documents and 1 photograph in the manner stated in the instruction guide.
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  • The applicant must fulfill applicable documents as mentioned above under conditions.
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  • IVAC or Indian mission/post need minimum 3 working days to process the application after receiving the application and then, issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.
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  • Visa application status can be checked on the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the said visa application website.
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Non- Immigrant Visa

It includes short term stay visa for less than or equal to 180 days. There are different types of Non-Immigrant Visa namely, business visa, conference visa, emergency visa, research visa, student visa (provisional), tourist visa, tourist visa on arrival, transit visa and urgent visa.

Business Visa

This visa is granted to those applicants who intend to make a business related visit in India such as setting up a contract on behalf of its company, business meeting, making sales, exploring possibilities or monitoring supplies etc.

It is valid for minimum 1 to maximum 10 years with multiple entries and for US citizens it is valid for 5-10 years (Multiple-entry visa) and period of stay in India for each visit is limited to 6 months.        

Eligibility criterion

 
       
  • If the visit is to set-up a business/industrial venture or to explore plausible opportunities for setting it up.
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  • If the visit is to purchase/sell industrial/consumer products.
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  • If the visit is to conduct/attend technical, general or board meetings or discussions in order to render business support.
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  • If the visit is to recruit people for projects/business.
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  • If he/she is functioning as director or partner for any business corporation in India.
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  • If the visit is to participate in or consult on any exhibition or trade/business fairs.
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  • If the visit is to transact business with suppliers/probable suppliers or to assess or supervise the quality, place orders; negotiate etc. in relation to procurement of goods and services from India.
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Conditions for getting Business Visa

 
       
  • The applicant has the expertise in his/her field of business and holds assured financial status.
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  • He/she must not visit India for the business of money lending or petty trading.
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  • He/she must not seek any full time employment in India which involves salary payment/receipt in India etc.
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  • He/she has to comply with all the applicable regulatory requirements like due payment of tax liabilities etc.
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  • The grant is subject to any instructions given out by Indian Government depending on the reciprocity with other foreign countries from time to time.
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  • It has to be issued from the country of origin of the foreign national provided the period of permanent stay in that country is more than 2 years.
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Process of obtaining business visa

Foreign Nationals entering India for aforementioned business purposes must have their valid passport with a valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad.

 
       
  • All the applications for India’s Business visa can be made online.
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  • At the same time, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with necessary supporting documents and 1 photograph in the manner stated in the instruction guide.
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  • The applicant also has to submit certificate of incorporation from the inviting company in India.
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  • In certain cases, the applicant has to submit the letter of invitation/business in the prescribed format on company letterhead and signed by an appropriate person in the inviting company, such as HR, executive or inviting business contact. This letter must also indicate the relationship to applicant & the purpose of travel.
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  • IVAC or Indian mission/post need minimum 3 working days to process the application from the date of receiving the application and then, issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.
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  • Applicant can check his/her Visa application status from the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the said visa application website.
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Conference Visa

It is granted to applicants who wish to visit India to attend International conferences or in some cases to delegates, on certain subjects. The duration of this visa starts on the day of issuance and is valid for 3 months single entry visa.

Eligibility criterion

 
       
  • The delegates must have received an invitation to a conference/seminar/workshop being conducted by Ministry/department of Indian Government, state government, PSUs, Central educational institutions, public funded university or government owned corporation, UN or its specialized agencies and reputed NGOs.
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  • If the conference/seminar/workshop is organized by any private company then he/she has to apply for shortest duration business visa.
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Conditions for getting conference visa

 
       
  • Conference Visa is issued to delegates only if they can produce an invitation to a conference/seminar/workshop being organized by mentioned authorities.
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Process of obtaining conference visa

 
       
  • Foreigners entering India for attending conferences held in India must carry their valid passport with a valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad.
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  • All the applications for India’s Conference visa can be made online.
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  • Simultaneously, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with necessary supporting documents and a photograph in the manner prescribed in the instruction guide.
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  • The applicant must submit the letter from the organization of his country of origin, which nominated him to attend the conference as well as an invitation letter from the conference organizer i.e. Ministry or Department of Indian Government/State Government/PSU/Public funded University etc.
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  • After acknowledging the application, the IVAC or Indian mission/post takes minimum 3-5 working days to process the application from the date of receiving the application and then, issue a visa depending upon the nationality and after excluding special cases.
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  • Applicant can check his Visa application status from the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the said visa application website
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Emergency Visa

Eligibility & conditions

It is granted to persons of Indian Origin only who hold US passport during emergency situations like death or illness of blood relative or for the fulfillment of legal commitment. The consulate office will decide whether a situation constitutes emergency or not. This visa will not be available to applicants falling under reference categories.

Visit relating to wedding or for religious purposes or any visit for tourist/family do not fall within the scope of emergency visa.

Process of obtaining emergency visa

 
       
  • Foreigners entering India for emergency purposes must carry their valid passport.
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  • Applications for emergency can be made online. In addition to relevant visa fees, an additional emergency fee of 20$ has to be paid to the country of their origin.
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  • The processing time in cases relating to emergency visa is about 5-7 days.
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  • In addition to general supporting documents, the applicant needs to submit documentary proof of emergency i.e. death or medical certificate.
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  • Applicant needs to submit a confirmed printed flight ticket for the same day on which visa is being sought.
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  • After acknowledging the application, the IVAC or Indian mission/post process the application and then, issue an emergency visa depending upon the nationality and after excluding special cases.
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  • Applicant can check his/her Visa application status from the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the said visa application website
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Research Visa

Eligibility & duration of visa validity         

It is granted to research professors or scholars or people participating in research conferences/seminars/workshops. It will be valid for entry into India for 4 weeks after it is issued. Its duration stands till the period of research. It has to be applied for at least 6 weeks prior to the date of departure to India.

 
       
  • Foreigners entering India for research purposes must carry their valid passport with a valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad.
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  • All the applications for India’s Research visa can be made online.
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  • Simultaneously, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with necessary supporting documents and 9 photographs in the manner prescribed in the instruction guide.
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  • The applicant has to submit evidence of the research project, details of places to be visited, former visits, evidence of financial resources & original document of admission into a recognized Indian research Institution
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  • In addition, he/she has to submit 7 copies of prescribed Proforma Form.
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  • For research professors/scholars, in addition to above, they have to submit an invitation from Central Education Institution or publicly funded State University.
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  • In case of foreign participants attending conferences/seminars/workshops, they have to submit an invitation letter from the authorities mentioned under conference visa in addition to proforma forms.
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  • After acknowledging the application, the IVAC or Indian mission/post takes minimum 3-5 working days to process the application from the date of receiving the application and the decision of granting visa in this category lies with Indian Mission.
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Student Visa-Provisional

It is valid for only 3 months and is granted due to different reasons such as pending exams, in wait of admission letter from the University or other requirements. The applicant has to submit proof like provisional admission certificate or letter of offer from the institution etc. This visa cannot be extended further.

The process of application is same as that of Student Visa.

Tourist Visa

It is granted to the applicants who wish to visit India for sight-seeing, traveling, recreation or informally to visit their friends or attend any personal occasion. It is valid up to 180 days for non-US nationals and starts from the date of issuance. As per the bilateral agreement with USA, US nationals can obtain a 6 month, 5 years or 10 year tourist visa. It doesn’t allow any extension of stay or any conversion into any other visa.

Eligibility:

It allows only those people who intend to visit India for tourism purposes. Following people are not granted tourist visas:-

 
       
  • Person of Indian Origin, his spouse and children
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  • Spouse and dependent family members of foreigners coming to India for long term visit.
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Condition for getting tourist visa

 
       
  • The applicant must not have a residence or occupation in India.
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Process of obtaining tourist visa

 
       
  • Foreigners entering India, as tourists for sight-seeing or recreational purposes, must carry their valid passport with a valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad.
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  • All the applications for India’s Tourist visa can be made online.
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  • Simultaneously, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with necessary supporting documents and a photograph in the manner prescribed in the instruction guide.
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  • After acknowledging the application, the IVAC or Indian mission/post takes minimum 3-5 working days to process the application from the date of receiving the application and then, issue a visa depending upon the nationality and after excluding special cases.
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  • Applicant can check his/her Visa application status from the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the said visa application website
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Visa on Arrival for Tourism purposes

It is granted to applicant of certain countries and would be valid for only 30 days. It will be considered as single entry visa and is available only at international airports of India. It doesn’t allow extension or conversion into any other visa except under extra-ordinary circumstances.          

Conditions for getting visa on arrival for tourism

 
       
  • This visa is granted only for tourism purposes.
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  • The validity of applicant’s passport should be for at least 6 months.
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  • They should have enough money to sustain, return, travel or board during their stay in India.
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  • Pakistani nationals have to apply for regular visa only.
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  • A maximum of 2 ETA visas can be issued within 1 year.
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Tourist on Arrival Visa procedure

As per the latest e-Tourist Visa facility, the applicant coming from any of the listed foreign countries can avail this facility in 4 simple steps.

 
       
  • Apply online where the applicant has to upload his/her photo and page of passport. The application must be submitted no later than 4 days prior to the departure for India and not earlier than 34 days before the arrival date in India. In addition to this visa process, the applicant has the option to apply for a traditional India Tourist visa up to a number of months in advance.
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  • Pay visa fees via online mode i.e. debit/credit card.
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  • An approved E-tourist visa will be sent on e-mail of the applicant.
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  • Take a print and carry at the time of travel.
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  • The processing application is typically approved and issued within 3 business working days.
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Transit Visa

It enables the visa holder to travel via India to reach his/her final destination. It is valid for a single/double entry or for entry within 15 days from the issuing date. The maximum validity period of this visa is 3 days and only allows direct transit. The process of applying for transit visa is same as that of tourist visa.

Urgent Visa (San Francisco)

It is granted to applicants holding US passports and is issued on urgent basis i.e. on the same day of the application.  Here no prior appointment is required and applicants have to appear in person on walk-in basis to apply for the same. No agents are entertained or authorized to present any person’s application. Any person having dual nationality or original link to countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran etc. are not eligible.

OCI CARD:

The eligibility criterion for persons (except Pakistani and Bangladeshi Nationals) applying under OCI scheme is as follows:-

 
       
  • The person who is a citizen of any other country but was an Indian citizen at or after the commencement of constitution of India;
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  • The person who is a citizen of any other country but was entitled to become a citizen of India at the time of inception of Indian Constitution;
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  • The person who is a citizen of any other country but belonged to a territory that became part of Indian Terrain after 15th August’1947;
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  • The person is a child/grand-child/great grand-child of such a citizen
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It also include

 
       
  • A person who is a minor child and whose:-
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  1. Parents are the citizens of India ; or
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  3. One parent is a citizen of India; or
  4.  
 
       
  • Spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India;
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  • Spouse of foreign origin of an overseas citizen of India cardholder registered U/s 7A of Citizenship Act, 1955 and whose marriage being registered as well as existed for more than 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of application.
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‘LIFELONG VALID’ OCI CARD Process:

 
       
  • Apply online to get the registration number for OCI Card.
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  • Submit necessary documents to applicable assembly/consulate/ Indian Immigration office along with applicable fees.
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  • All the documents are centrally processed in New Delhi, India.
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  • After scrutinizing the validity of documents and on satisfactory completion of formalities, the Ministry sends OCI Cards to respective embassy/consulate.
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  • The applicant has to submit his/her passport to get OCI Card stamped.
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  • The total processing time is about 3-4 months.
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Exception under OCI Card

If the applicant holds a dual citizenship with Pakistan, then he/she has to apply for Indian Visa on his/her Pakistani Passport unless he/she shows that he/she has renounced his/her Pakistani Citizenship by showing his/her renunciation certificate as its evidence. While applying for visa on Pakistani Passport, the applicant must submit the Special Pakistan Application along with Sponsorship Certificate Form from Indian citizen residing in India.

Indian Citizenship:

As per Citizenship Act, 1955, foreign nationals who have legally migrated to India can also acquire citizenship.

By Naturalization

A Foreigner not an illegal migrant can also acquire Indian citizenship if he/she is ordinarily resident in India for 12 years (where he/she should have resided throughout the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application and for 11 years in the aggregate in the 14 years preceding the twelve months). He/she has to fulfill other requirements specified in III schedule to the said Act also.

Procedure (Naturalization)

 
       
  • The application can be made online/ physical mode via Form XII and will be submitted along with necessary documents and required fees.
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  • The application is thoroughly scrutinized by Ministry of Home Affairs in terms of its eligibility criterion and other qualifications as per III schedule of the Act.
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  • Once the application is accepted and citizenship is granted in the form of Naturalization Certificate, the applicant has to furnish the following to the respective state government:
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  1. Certificate of renunciation of his/her foreign citizenship issued by the Mission of concerned country.
  2.    
  3. Original Challan as proof of deposit of prescribed fee.
  4.    
  5. 3 passport size photographs duly attested by gazette officer.
  6.    
  7. 3 specimen signature of the applicant
  8.    
  9. Personal Particulars in Form X
  10.  
 
       
  • State Government after completing all the formalities as prescribed in the Act will grant citizenship certificate to the applicant.
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Immigrant/Non Immigrant Indian Visas process

It is significant to understand the process of applying India visa. The brief glimpse is as under:

 
       
  • Foreigners entering India must carry a national passport with a valid visa obtained from Indian Mission or consulate abroad.
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  • All the applications for Indian visa can be made online..
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  • Simultaneously, a duly signed physical version of the application has to be submitted in duly completed form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian mission/post at their particular country on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents.
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  • After receiving the Visa application, IVAC or Indian mission/post need minimum 3 working days to process the application and issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.
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  • The status of Visa application can be seen on the ‘visa enquiry’ link at the aforementioned website.
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WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS AND SPECIAL RULES?

 
       
  • Nationals of Nepal & Bhutan do not need any visa to enter India. But, if they are coming to India from other countries, then they are required to hold their passports.
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  • Maldives citizen do not require a visa to enter India up to 90 days. For diplomatic/official passport holders of this nation, Diplomatic Visa regime has to be followed.
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  • In case of Temporary Landing on emergency situations, one has to apply for temporary landing permit/visa without an Indian Visa at payment of just 40 US $. It can be extended to 72 hours if the foreigners have booked confirmed onward/return tickets.
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  • In case group of 4 or more foreign tourists arriving by air, sea, sponsored by recognized travel agencies, may be granted collective landing permit for a stipulated duration after sending written request to immigration offices from travel agencies. It is not applicable to the citizens of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Iran, Ethiopia and Algeria.
  •    
  • In case foreigners desire to visit Protected/restricted areas then they are also required to get Protected/restricted area permit.
  •    
  • Foreigners holding long term tourist visa of 10/ 5 years with stay condition of 180/90 days and with multiple entry facility, there should be a minimum gap of 2 months between 2 visits to India. In case there is a need to visit India within these 2 months, then permission is needed from the concerned Head of Mission after providing substantial reasons for another visit within the said period. It needs Re-entry permit 2 months.
  •    
  • Foreigners having long term visa but their continuous stay do not exceed 180 days in a year; will not require getting them registered unless there is a special endorsement asking for registration.
  •    
  • Pakistan Nationals are required to get registered at check post of entry to India.
  •    
  • Afghan Nationals with valid visa for more than 30 days are also required to register within 7 days of arrival. But, those who have valid visa for 30 days or less don’t need to get registered and have to provide their local address in India to Indian Mission or FRRO/FRO.
  •    
  • No registration is required for children aging below 16 years but even children have to obtain Indian Visa to enter India.
  •    
  • Foreigners entering on Journalist or any such related category and do not have any special endorsement are required to get registered within 180 days of their arrival.
  •  

Conclusion

Foreign Nationals visiting India for business, employment, research, tourism, study or other valid reasons have to follow the governing rules, regulations, procedures specified in the Acts enacted by Government of India. Digitization has facilitated the processes by mere click of buttons. Bureau of immigration and other government portal for visa applications provide all the relevant information and instructions as required for submitting application by foreign nationals. The aforementioned article gives a detailed view on main visa categories and process of immigration.

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