A person who wishes to stay in a country for a specific period of time to fulfill a specific motive a person needs to attain a Visa. Usually a visa is attached or stamped in the individual passport. All travelers visiting India must possess visas (excluding citizens of India going Nepal and vice versa). Check below the India visa rules.
Duration of Visa
Tourist visas are generally obtainable for time period of three months to six months for multiple entries (important for side trips to Nepal and other countries). One-year student visa, journalist visa or business visa, or five years visa for non-resident Indians are other option. Make sure that while applying for a visa your passport should have validity of 6 months ahead the date of intended return journey.
Getting a Visa for India
If you wish to get a visa for India, then you can apply for it through Indian Embassy in your inhabitant country which is quite a fast process. You are requisite to fill an application form along with your current passport and at least two passport size photographs. Applications and Payment (in form of money orders) is required to be sent through mail. Cash and cheques are not acceptable. Cash is usually accepted by the consulates and embassies if and only if applying in person.
Few regions of India necessitate a special permit in addition to an Indian visa. Permits are allotted by Indian High Commissions and Embassy of India abroad, by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi, or by Foreigner's Registration Offices (FRRO's) in Indian cities.
These areas include:
Northeast India (Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram): A bare minimum of four people can travel jointly, and the group should be sponsored by a Government accepted travel agency. Cost of these special permits is normally Rs. 300-400. They come with a validity of 15 days and can be renewed within next 15 days at the Foreigner's Registration Offices in each state capital. Depending on the state these permits are issued in time span of 2 days-2 months.
Sikkim: Foreign nationals need a permit to go into Sikkim and that too with a maximum stay period of not more than 15 days. You will not be charged for these permits and they are readily available in the major Indian cities. Under special conditions validity of permits can be extended at the Commissioner's Office in Gangtok, but then only for 3-5 days, and only once a while. An inner line permit is required for North Sikkim and is issued only via tour companies to the groups of four or more. The group must be accompanied by a guide.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands: The Nicobar Islands are exclusive. If applying for a permit for Andaman Islands from the Ministry of Home Affairs or from Indian Embassies abroad then leave plenty of time. Permits are available on arrival for those reaching by air.
Lakshadweep: Only Bangaram Island of this archipelago is accessible by foreigners. The essential free permit can be acquired through the Liaison Officer, Lakshadweep or at some of the hotels in Cochin. For permit, you need to carry along your four passport sized photographs. The permit can be obtained in a day or two.
Main types of visas in India are mentioned below:
Tourist Visa: This Visa is normally approved for time duration of six months. Applicants are mandatory to produce/submit credentials in proof of his financial standing. Tourist Visas are non-extendible and non-convertible.
Business Visa: This Visa is in general granted for a year or more with multiple entries. A letter from the supporting organization should accompany the application signifying nature of business, possible time period of stay, places and organizations to be visited including therein a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc.
Student Visa: Student Visa is issued for time period of the academic years or for duration of five years whichever is less. It is vital to provide proof of admission to recognized Universities / Institutions in India. Alteration of purpose and institutions are not allowable.
Transit Visa: Issued for a maximum period of 15-days, transit visa comes with single / double entry facilities. In India Transit Visa cannot be attained from immigration counters at ports of entry and is non-extendable in India.
Visa to Missionaries: Valid for single entry and duration, this Visa is permitted by Government of India. A letter in triplicate indicating intended destination in India, probable length of stay, and nature of duties to be discharged issued by sponsoring organization should be deposited together with guarantee for applicant's maintenance while in India.
Journalist Visa: Top professional journalists and photographers who wish to visit India need to attain Journalist Visa. On arrival in New Delhi applicants are requisite to get in touch with the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, and if visiting any other state they should contact the Office of the Government of India's Press Information Bureaus.
Conference Visa: Conference Visa is required to attend conferences, seminars and meetings in India. Applicants are required to submit a letter of invitation from the organizer of the mission along with the application.
Varied Information: Validity of all visas is counted from the date of their issue. Tourist visa in India up to 5 years may be granted if the foreigner is associated with the tourism trade. If visa is for more than 180 days, registration is compulsory within 14 days of first arrival in India.