Types Of Indian Visas

Indian Visa Types

Visas are mandatory documents required whenever an individual travels from his/her home country to any other county for any reason whatsoever. Every country has their own mandatory requirements and procedures which the individuals need to follow in order to obtain the said visas.

What Are the Different Types of Visas for USA?

There are various types of visas for USA. However, broadly, the visas are classified under two broad headings – Temporary and Permanent. As the name suggests, the temporary visa is only for a limited time whereas the permanent visa is for a longer time, most often for the lifetime. The various types of temporary USA visas include:

  • Visitor Visas or B-1 or B-2 Tourist Visas: This visa is issued to all the visitors visiting USA for either a pleasure trip or business trip. A B-1 visa holder is allowed in USA for only a short duration and that too without the involvement of any local employment. An exception to this rule might be for nationals of some countries who are allowed to visit USA for up to ninety days without having a valid visa.

  • Investor Visas or E-1/E-2 Treaty: Investors and traders from counties with which USA has a commercial treaty can visit USA with this visa.

  • Student Visas (F-1 and M-1): students who wish to pursue a full study course in USA, at times also including a certain period of practical training in the concerned field of study are allowed to enter USA on this type of visas.

  • Professional or H-1 B Specialty Occupation Visas: The professional workers with a minimum educational qualification of Graduation are eligible for this type of non-immigrant visa in case the employer can make sure that the professional would be paid the prevailing wages for the position in USA.

  • L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visas: This type of visa is provided to the managers, executives, or professionals with specialized knowledge who are being transferred to the US affiliate of the company. Such people might also be eligible for permanent residency without the requirement of a labor certification.

Some other types of temporary visas for USA include Exchange Visitor Visas (J-1 and Q-1); Fiancé/e visas (K-1); Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas (O-1); Artists and Athletes Visas (P-1); and Religious Worker Visas (R-1).

The various types of Permanent Visas to USA are further classified under the two categories – Family Sponsored Immigration Visas (where a permanent US resident have the right to petition for the visas of their spouses, children, parents, and siblings) and Employer-Sponsored Immigrant Visas. Some different types of Employer-Sponsored Immigrant Visas include:

  • EB-1: Visas given to Foreign Nationals with some Extraordinary Abilities or are Outstanding Professors and Researchers or are Multinational Executives and Managers. Such visa holders can apply for permanent residency without waiting for the time-consuming labor certification process.

  • EB-2: Such visas are given to Workers having Advanced Degrees or possess Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business. The visa holders should normally have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process (involves a test in order to demonstrate that the visa holder is not taking away the job of a US worker). An exception to this rule (job offer and labor certification procedure is waived off) would be for those applicants who can prove that his/her entry is in the national interest.

  • EB-3: Such Visas are offered to Skilled Workers and Professionals. Such Visa holders must have a job offer and the potential employer needs to complete the labor certification process.

  • EB-4: Such Special Immigrant visas are given to Religious Workers. These visa holders are eligible for applying for permanent residency as well.

  • EB-5: Such visas are also known as the Investor/Employment Creation Visas.

  • DV-1: This special type of visa is also known as the "Green Card Lottery".

What Types of Visa is Required to Visit India?

Indian Government mandates the following types of visas for tourists and visitors planning to visit India for specified reasons:

  • Tourist Visas: Issued to visitors planning to visit India for sightseeing or small yoga camps. Such visas can be granted for six months depending on the nationality of the visitor, but that is the maximum time of stay permitted under this visa category.

  • Employment Visa: Issued to Foreigners working in an organization registered in India. Visas are granted for either one year or the period of the contract and the period can be extended from India itself.

  • Business Visa: Issued to foreign nationals who wish to explore business opportunities or conduct business in India. Such visas are valid for a period of five years and permit multiple entries into India. Individuals setting up Joint ventures in India are offered 10-year business visas.

  • Intern (I) Visa: Issued to foreign nationals who wish to pursue an internship in an Indian organization; issued for the period of internship or one year whichever is lesser. Such visa cannot be converted into any other type of visa.

  • Student Visa: Issued to students who wish to pursue a course of study in India. Such visas are issued for a period of five years depending on the course of study.

  • Research Visa: Issued to Scholars and Professors who plan to visit India for research related purposes.

  • Medical Visa: Issued to those people who seek to get medical treatment at recognized and specialized hospitals and treatment centers in India.

  • Conference Visa: Issued to delegates who wish to attend a conference in India organized by any Indian Government Organization. Visitors planning to attend a conference organized by private organizations require a Business Visa.

  • Journalist Visa: Issued to professional Journalists or photographers; allows access to any particular region or person the journalist wish to cover. Such visas issued for three months.

  • span style="font-style: italic; text-decoration-line: underline; color: RGB(0, 0, 0);">Film (F) Visa: Issued to people who plan to make a commercial film or TV show in India. The Visa is valid for one year. People wishing to shoot a documentary film or advertisement need to apply for Journalist Visa.

  • Transit Visa: Issued to visitors staying in India for a time duration of fewer than 72 hours only. The confirmed airline booking for onward journey needs to be produced while applying for this type of visa.

  • Entry (X) Visa: Issued to those applicants who did not fall under any other category of visa application, specifically to the following visitors: (Such visa holders cannot work in India and visas can be extended in India itself without leaving every six months)

  • A foreigner of Indian Origin
  • Spouse and children of a foreigner of Indian origin or Indian citizen
  • Spouse and dependent children of a foreigner coming to India on any other long-term visa, such as an Employment visa or Business visa

New Rules Declared by Government on Tourists’ Visas

In order to increase tourism to India, The Indian government has amended some of the visa related rules. Some of the major highlights from such amended Visa rules include:

  • Applicants can get Urgent Business and Medical Visa in forty-eight hours only: This would give the tourists visiting India on Business or medical purposes faster access to Indian Visas.
  • The Indian Government, since 2017, has made the process of obtaining e-visas easier. E-Visas which are further subdivided under the following three heads has been the major areas of the amendment.
  • e-Tourist Visa
  • e-Business Visa
  • e-Medical Visa
  • Increase in the application window of these e-visas from 30 days before arrival in India to 120 days.
  • Duration of stay in India increased to 60 days from the original 30 days.
  • Double entry allowed on e-Tourist and e-Business Visa
  • Triple entry allowed on e-Medical visa
  • Separate immigration counters at various airports in India to assist and facilitate medical tourists.
  • Entry with e-visa allowed from 24 airports in India (which was originally 16 airports prior to amendment)
  • 5-year business and tourist visas available for nationals from 94 Missions countries have been made effective since March 1, 2017. The remaining mission counties would be added soon.