Every foreigner coming to India should have a valid visa, valid passport and all accredited travel documents granted by Indian High Commission in the country of their residence except Nepalese or Bhutanese citizens who should possess suitable documents for their identification. Foreigners should enter India through authorised check post or airport only. They are subject to immigration check at the airport or check post. A foreigner can be refused entry into India India if he or 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 or her entry is prejudicial to the interest of the country. Generally, permits are not given to foreigners to visit any Military installations and areas, Defence organisations and research organizations, as they are considered protected areas. Foreigners can visit restricted /protected areas only after getting a valid permit for such a purpose as visa alone is not enough to visit such places.
Visas are issued by the Indian High Commission or Embassy in the country of residence of the applicant. An applicant must present the following documents: -
Passport (valid for a minimum period of six months)
Non-immigrant visa application signed by the applicant
Proof of intent to return to his/her country of residence
Any supporting documentation to prove bonafide purpose (a letter explaining the nature of business and duration from the foreign company and a letter of invitation from an Indian company, etc.)
Appropriate visa fee
There are different kinds of Visas granted for different purposes.
Tourist Visas - A Tourist Visa is a multi-entry visa which is valid for a period of 180 days and is granted for the purpose of tourism. The visa is valid from the date of issue. As a rule no extension of stay is granted on a Tourist Visa.
Collective Visas - Collective Visas are granted to group tourists consisting of not less than four members and sponsored by a travel agency recognized by the Government of India.
Transit Visas - Transit visas are granted by Indian Missions abroad.
Business Visa - Foreigners can obtain Business Visa from an Indian Embassy abroad a multiple entry visa, which is valid for 5 years but with a cumulative stay in India of not more than 180 days, provided he wishes to come for some business. Foreigners of Indian origin can obtain a 5-year multiple entry Visa for business, to meet their relatives etc.
Student Visa - Student visas are granted by the Indian Embassy on the production of proof of admission and means of sustenance while in India, etc. The visa is valid for one year but can be extended in India for the duration of the course.
Conference Visa - Conference Visa is granted to Delegates coming to attend international conferences in India, to cover the conference as well as for tourism in India. Delegates are advised to apply to Indian Embassies well in advance.
Employment Visa - Employment Visa or a Work Permit is granted by Indian Missions abroad to foreigners desirous of coming to India for taking up employment. Initially granted for a period of one year, it can be extended in India upto the period of contract.
Recreation Visa - Recreation Visa is granted to Foreigners wishing to undertake any international sporting event, trekking, botanical expeditions, yoga, journalists, media men, documentary and feature film makers for the required duration on presentation of full details of he touring members, nature of the event, area to be visited and any other tourist information that may be asked for by the Indian Embassy. The Indian Embassies may grant visas for a period of one year which may be extended on an annual basis in India.