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  • Overview of Visa

    What is a Visa?

    Visa is a kind of official document or certificate of endorsement on your passport indicating that you are allowed to enter, leave and stay in a specific country for a specified period of time or permanently. It can be a separate certificate with a stamp marked on your passport. Visas are issued by the immigration authorities of a foreign country after checking and verifying all your credentials properly. Once, you get a visa means you are permitted to enter a country and stay there for a specific period of time. However, the permission received through visa is temporary and subject to approval from the immigration officer at the entry point.

    What are the Types of Visa in India?

    There are different types of visas issued by immigration authorities of a country which include - Single entry Visa, Multiple Entry Visa, Business visa, and Tourist visa, Residence Visa, Visa on arrival, Short Stay visa, Long Stay Visa, Work Visa, and Electronic Visa etc.

    Single entry Visas remains valid only for one visit to a particular country while Multiple Entry Visas permit any number of visits to a particular country within its validity tenure.

    Business Visa is issued to applicants for short term visits to conduct overseas business negotiations.

    Tourists Visas are mainly for the purpose of traveling from one country to another.

    Residence Visa gives permits extended stay at a particular country. But, it does not give permission to take up employment in that country.

    Work Visa permits to you stay and take up employment in a particular country for a specific period of time. This type of visa is also known as work permit visa.

    Electronic Visas are not issued as certificates. Rather, permission is recorded in a computer.

    Indian Visa
    Indian Visa

    Apart from the common categories of visas, there are multiple subclasses of visas offered by different countries such as Medial Visa, Transit Visa, Working holiday visa etc. Based on the purpose of your travel and the method of visa issuance, the categorization of visas are done.

    How to Apply for a Visa?

    You can apply for a visa both online and offline. In case of offline visa application, usually you need to download the application form and fill it with required details. Then, you have to submit the filled application form supported by all required credentials at your concerned visa application center. Different countries may have different application procedures for applying for visas. Many countries may not accept offline visa application. Also, the cost involved in applying for a visa also differ from countries to countries.

    How to Check My Visa Status Online?

    Visa status check can be done online. In order to check your visa status online, you need to visit the visa status enquiry section of a particular consulate and keep certain information handy with you. To know you passport visa status, you may be required to put the following information:

    • Application ID
    • Passport number

    You can also track your visa status by visiting a third party website and entering your passport number and date of birth. It is very easy to track your visa status by using your passport number.

    Visa Provisions

    S.no. Type of Visa Period for which Visa is Granted Type of Entry Required Documents for Application Is the Visa extendable in India?
    1. Tourist Visa 180 days Multiple Entry Applicants need to provide proof regarding their financial standing, that is, return ticket and sufficient money to spend during their stay in the country. No, Visa is not extendable.
    2. Transit Visa 15 days Single Entry Confirmed ticket for onward journey. No, this Visa is not extendable.
    3. Business Visa Maximum of 5 years Multiple Entry Documents that are proof of bonafide purpose such as a letter from the company and so on, along with proof of their financial standing. Yes, this Visa can be extended.
    4. Employment Visa Maximum of two years or until the period of contract ends
    • Maximum period of 5 years in case of a foreign expert or technician coming for the purpose of bilateral agreement between the foreign government and the Indian government as long as the collaboration has been approved by the Indian government.
    • For a maximum of 3 years in case the individual is a highly skilled foreign personnel who has been employed in an IT sector.
    Multiple Entry Documents that prove employment, such as document of appointment. Yes, this Visa can be extended.
    5. Student Visa 5 years or the period of the course, whichever is less 3 entries per the academy year Admission proof in an Indian Institution along with letter of support from the guardian or parent. In addition to the above, applicants will also have to furnish a guarantee certificate from the bank regarding their financial standing. Yes, this Visa can be extended.
    6. ‘X’ entry Visa for foreigners who are of Indian origin 5 years Multiple Entry Proof that the applicant is of Indian origin. Yes, this Visa can be extended.

    List of Required Identification Papers:

    Given below is the list of identification papers that are necessary to establish an individual’s identity as Bhutanese, Nepalese or a citizen of India in case they are entering Bhutan, Nepal or India by air.

    For Indian Nationals:

    • A National Passport that is valid.
    • Photo ID card that has been provided by the Indian government or State government or Union Territory Administration to their employees/Voter ID card provided by the Election Commission of India.
    • Emergency Certificate that has been provided by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
    • Identity Certificate that has been provided by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
    • Individuals above the age of 65 or below the age of 15 will not have to provide approved documents of identity but will have to furnish a document with their photograph confirming their identity and age such as Driving License, CGHS Card, PAN Card and Ration Card and so on.
    • Children who are between the ages of 15 to 18 may be allowed to travel between Nepal/Bhutan and India based on the identity Certificate provided by their School Principal.

    For Bhutanese/Nepalese Nationals:

    • Valid National Passport.
    • Certificate of Nepalese Citizenship (for Nepalese nationals).
    • Certificate of Bhutanese Citizenship (for Bhutanese nationals).
    • Voter Identification Card for Nepalese nationals that has been issued by the Election Commission of Nepal.
    • Voter Identification Card for Bhutanese nationals that has been issued by the Election Commission of Bhutan.
    • When necessary, individuals will have to provide a photo-identity certificate that is of limited validity. This document will have to be issued by the Royal Nepalese Mission in India.
    • When necessary, individuals will have to provide a photo-identity certificate that is of limited validity. This document will have to be issued by the Royal Bhutanese Mission in India.
    • For children between the ages of 10 to 18, a photo identity card provided by the Principal of their School is needed as long as parents have valid travel certificates and documents. For children (Bhutanese and Nepalese nationals) below the age of 10, such documents are not required.

    Apply Visa Application for Different Countries

    1. USA Visa
    2. There might be various reasons for which you may have to travel to USA. The country offers nearly 185 different types of visas and there are two different types of visa categories which include - immigrant visa and non-immigrant visas. The process of US Visa application may differ from one country to another. Indians can apply for two types of visa- immigrant visa and non-immigrant visas, and there different processes for applying for both.

      Click Here: Apply for USA Visa

    3. Australian Visa
    4. Australia is a popular destination that is visited frequently by people from all over the world. However, in order to visit the country, there are certain documentary conditions that need to be fulfilled. We are of course talking about a visa, which happens to be the quintessential document required to enter the country. When it comes to applying for an Australian visa, you will need to fulfill certain criteria and also ensure that you apply for the right visa since there too exist differences based on the purpose of your visit to the country. When applying for the visa you will have the option to apply for either a work visa or a residence visa or even a visit visa but before you can start planning your stay you need to know what goes into getting a visa.

      To get a visa to Australia, you will have to ensure that you apply for the correct visa and submit all the documents that are require. You may also be required to pay a fee for the visa, which will be determined by the type of visa that you are applying for. You can check out all the details about this visa in our Australian visa section.

      Click Here: Apply for Australian Visa

    5. UK Visa
    6. Many people from around the world wish to travel to the United Kingdom. To enter the UK, you need a Visa unless you belong to a country that is exempted from applying for a Visa. There are different types of Visas issued by the UK depending on the purpose of your visit. Indians can fill the Visa application form, pay the fees and book an appointment with the Visa application center online. When you visit the Visa application center, ensure that you carry all the required documents along with you.

      Click Here: UK Visa

    7. Canada Visa
    8. Canada is one of the popular destinations in the world and many people plan to visit the country for various reasons. Some go there to study, some for work and there are others who visit the country for the purpose of tourism or to meet their friends and relatives. To enter the country you require a Visa. Indians can apply for a Canadian Visa by downloading and filling up the application form online, printing it out and then submitting it along with the required documents at the local Canada Visa Application Centre.

      Get Here: Canada Visa

    9. Schengen Visa
    10. The Schengen region is comprised of 26 countries, which have agreed to allow their citizens free movement within the area. Out of these 26, 4 countries are part of the EFTA and 22 countries are part of the EU. To enter the Schengen region you need a Schengen Visa. Indians can apply for a Schengen Visa at the consulate office of any of the 26 countries.

      Get Here: Schengen Visa

    11. Kuwait Visa
    12. There are an increasing number of Indians who are visiting Kuwait for employment, tourism, and business reasons. All the foreign nationals except GCC nationals will need a passport and a visa to visit Kuwait.

      A foreign national whose country holds a “Visa Abolition treaty” with Kuwait will be granted with reciprocal rights with Kuwait. In fact all the international flights that travel to Kuwait has been instructed not to board any foreign nationals if they do not have a valid visa or entry permits (the entry visa procedure is same as that of a visa).

      To get Kuwait visa, you should first have a sponsor that could usually be your employers in case you are applying for work visa, or if it’s a tourist visa or visit visa, the hotel that you book can act as your sponsor.

    13. Turkey Visa
    14. Turkey is a country that offers the best experience in terms of its geographic beauty that’s unique and unforgettable. While there a many reasons for foreign people to visit Turkey, visa is a must for most of the nationalities. Usually one can either get tourist visa or business visa to visit turkey. But if you need student visa or any other kind of visa, you will have to apply with the Turkish Embassy or Consulate. The online e-visa application for single entry to Turkey would cast Rs.3,930 and Rs.13,100 for the multiple entry. (Note: the prices may change with subject to the Turkish Government). Once you apply for a visa, your visa will be approved within 2-3 working days.

      Click Here: Turkey Visa

    15. Malaysian Visa
    16. Foreign nationals who wants to visit Malaysia, must have a visa. Malaysia, being one of the fastest growing cities in the whole, there are number of people across the world who visit Malaysia for many different reasons, due to which there are different kinds of visa issued for different reasons. Visa on Arrival (VOA) is one of the most common type of visa provided by most of the countries, and Malaysia also provides an opportunity to get VOA for the foreign nationals. With effect from 01 October 2015, Indian and Chinese nationals arriving from a third party country are eligible for VOA based on some categories.

      One can apply for Malaysian visa through online or offline. You will have to download the application form and fill in all the fields mentioned in the application form. Then once you submit it take at least 6-7 working days for you to get the visa.

      Click Here: Malaysian Visa

    17. Dubai Visa
    18. With the reputation of being one of the fastest growing cities in the world, Dubai is a place which most of us want to visit at least once in a lifetime. To visit Dubai, a foreign citizen definitely needs a passport and a visa. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals only require passports and national IDs to enter UAE, but the non-GCC travelers must ensure that they have all the required documents from their respective countries.

      Indian citizens who has an American green card or has a valid American Visa can apply for a 14-day visa on arrival at the Dubai airport.

      Click Here: Dubai Visa

    Indian citizens do not require visa to visit Nepal, Bhutan and Mauritius. However, they need visas to enter countries like Argentina, Australia, Armenia, Egypt, France, New Zealand, Singapore, United States, and United Kingdom to name a few. E-Visa is application for Indian citizens in the countries like Georgia, Gabon, Kenya, Kenya, Bahrain, Rwanda etc. The visa on arrival option is available for them in countries like Saint Lucia, Jordan, Guyana, Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia, Burundi, Cambodia etc.

    Get Here: Visa Requirements for India

    Visa exemption refers to the process of entering country without having a visa .It is the same thing like visa free entry. Not all countries get visa free entry. Visa free entries allowed between two countries based on their mutual agreement. For example, certain commonwealth countries do not require tourist visas to enter to other commonwealth countries. Likewise, Nepal and India allow their citizens to enter, stay and work in both the countries without any visa as per the Indo-Nepal friendship treaty of 1951. Again, Indians don't visas to enter Bhutan and vice-versa.

    Visa policies are country specific just as each country has different set of rules for issuing visas. The major reason behind the implementation of visas and adhering to different visa policies by different countries is to prevent illegal migration and ensure better security. Usually, a visa policy of a particular country include the following aspects – Visa free entry, Visa on arrivals, Visa in advance and E-Visa. Some countries allow traveler from select countries Visa free entry while others would need Visa in advance. Again certain countries like India may issue e-Visa to tourists coming from selected countries. Likewise, some countries issue visa on arrivals which travelers collect from the airport directly.

    In case, your old visa has expired and you need to apply for a new visa what you have to do is to start the application an afresh. You have to go through the entire application process every time you want to renew your visa or apply for a new one. In certain cases, the applicant need not go through the personal interview process again. However, the process of new visa application may differ from country to country.

    • Before traveling to a place, make sure whether you need a visa or not. Don't wait for your travel agents or airport authorities to provide you with a visa. You can find out whether you need a visa to visit a particular country by visiting the embassy website of a country.
    • Your passport should have at least 4 to 6 black pages. Your embassy might require those pages for sign. You can add more pages to your passport by informing the national passport processing office.
    • Make sure, your passport has a validity period of minimum 6 months. At the time of applying for visa, if your passport validity period is less than 6 months, you want request for renewal of your passport.
    • Fill up your visa application form with proper guidance so that you can avoid errors and prevent your application from being rejected.
    • Make sure you have copies of all the documents of visa application that you have sent to the embassy of the country where you are visiting.

    An applicant needs to consider the following checklist before applying for a visa:

    • Application - Visa application procedure may vary within the same country based on the embassy you are attending.
    • Embassy security measures
    • Fingerprint collection
    • Visa fees
    • Photographs
    • Know the interview guidelines beforehand.

    Although, the procedure of visa application may varies from country to country, the checklist more or less remain the same. Besides, you also need to prepare yourself for a convincing visa interview.

    Post interview, once your visa application is accepted, you need to check another set of information which include:

    • Your name is spelled correctly,
    • Date of birth and gender are mentioned correctly.
    • Date of issue and expiry are correct
    • Check whether the visa type is written correctly or not. It can be any type of visas such as Single Entry, Multiple Entry or Tourist Visa you may have applied for
    • Photographs are truly yours.
    1. What is an Entry Visa?

      It is an official document that permits persons of Indian origin to enter India. It also permits spouse or children of a person of Indian origin to visit the country. It is also issued to dependents and spouse of foreigners coming to India on a long term visit.

    2. How to Correct Mistakes on My Visa Application Form

      In India, if you have made any mistakes in your visa application form, you can correct them directly on the physical application form or correct it online before submitting the final copy. However, different countries follow different procedures for correcting visa application form.

    3. What is a Visa Number?

      Visa number is provided to foreign citizens by visa issuing authorities of a particular country. In US, the Visa verification number is also known as visa foil number. It is a red colored number printed on the right side of your document.

    4. How to do visa number verification?

      Visa number verification can be done online in select countries. In order to do so, there are many third party online portal as well as government authorized tool like VEVO (Visa entitlement verification online). These tools can help you in visa online verification by entering your passport number and other required credentials.

    5. What is difference between passport and visa?

      A passport stands as a proof that you are a legal citizen of a particular country. It is a document that is used for personal identification during travel to abroad. It certifies your identity and nationality. On the other hand a visa is a kind of official document that gives you official permission to enter and stay at a particular country on temporary or permanent basis.

    6. What are the visa free countries in India?

      Visa-free entry is applicable for people coming from countries like Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal. The visitors from the above mentioned countries do not need any visa to enter India and stay here for a particular period of time.

    7. What is the difference between immigrant visa and nonimmigrant visa?

      An immigrant visa is meant for applicants who intend to stay permanently at US. On the other hand, non-immigrant visas are issued to applicants who want to visit US for a temporary period. Usually, nonimmigrant visas are issued for the purpose tourism, medical treatment, work, study, business etc. Such visas allow you to enter and stay at the country on temporary basis. Non-immigrant visas are issued to persons with permanent residence outside the U.S.A.

    8. What is a non-immigrant Visa number?

      A non-immigrant Visa number is a unique number that is present on the non-immigrant Visa document. In the US Visa document, this number is printed in red color on the bottom right hand corner.

    9. Is Visa number the same as control number?

      No, the Visa number is not the same as control number.

    10. What is visible identification marks?

      According to Indian Visa application rules, a ‘visible identification mark’ refers to body modifications, tattoos or any other noticeable marks.

    *Disclaimer

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    • Moshe Holtzberg and his grandparents get a ten-year multiple entry Indian visa

      India has issued a ten-year multiple entry visa to Moshe Holtzberg and his grandparents, the Israeli survivors of the 2008 Mumbai attack.

      At a meeting in Jerusalem this July, the now 11 year old kid had conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his desire to visit Mumbai. He even wishes to live there when he gets older. To which Modi replied, “Come and stay in India and Mumbai. You are most welcome. You and your family members will get long-term visas. So you can come anytime and go anywhere”.

      7th September 2017

    • India and Sweden to provide a fast visa processing service

      In order to provide fast passport and visa services, India and Sweden will soon implement various changes to their policies concerning the documents. By speeding up the processing duration, both the countries can expect to see a growth in the tourism sector that will lead to economic development. The initiative will also include changes to work permit policies that will boost and enhance business ties with other countries as well. The governments of both the nation have already taken various initiatives to improve the passport and visa services.

      28th August 2017

    • Indians can visit Qatar under the new visa-free policy

      Recently, Qatar has introduced a visa-free policy for citizens from 80 countries. India is a part of the list which allows Indians to visit Qatar with their passport only. Under this new policy, Indians can stay in for a period of 30 days which can be extended for another 30 days on request. The policy allows visitors to avail a visa waiver upon arrival. 47 out of the 80 countries will follow the same policy as India with a stay period of 30 days while the remaining 33 nationalities are allowed to stay for 180 days. People will no longer need to pay any visa fee provided their passports are valid for the next 6 month and they have the return tickets.

      16th August 2017

    • Education is important to Visa's strategy to help Singapore become a cashless city

      Visa announced its Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey 2016 last week that proved that a large majority of Singaporeans are using device-initiated payments, like on demand services and peer-to-peer payments. As much as two-thirds of Singaporeans have used on demand services for transportation, grocery delivery, and meal delivery based on the research. On the other hand, 10 respondents know of the existence of such options and one in four respondents are already using peer-to-peer payment services to divide a bill after dining out.

      While the results were quite expected, given the increase in the use of mobile phones, what might have come as a surprise to a lot of people is that the global payments technology company found the age gap between the older and the younger generation using mobile payments to be very close. Previn Pillay, head of merchant solutions, Visa Asia Pacific, said that many people would just think that millennials are pushing the growth of mobile payments. But this research that was conducted across Asia Pacific earlier this year proves that there's not a huge difference compared to older consumers. It is a quite a big relief to see this change, he said.

      27th July 2017

    • Bangladeshi war veteran from 1971 to get Indian visa for 5 years

      As a special gesture for Bangladeshi veterans who fought in the 1971 war with Pakistan, India has decided to offer five-year tourist visas.

      This move has been arrived upon as a recognition of Bangladeshi freedom fighters who were important in India clinching a victory against Pakistan and subsequently affording freedom of Bangladesh.

      In the same vein, all Bangladeshi nationals over the age of 65 are being offered long-term tourist visas. A spokesperson shared his thoughts on the same and said that those looking to come to India can directly walk in to submit their visa applications in various Indian Visa Application Centres in Dhaka.

      This announcement was made back when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the India back in April.

      8th May 2017

    • Philippines: India reaches the 12th position as an inbound source market

      The Indian Philippines embassy is implementing few advertising methods to attract more Indian tourist to the Philippines. The new government is promoting the Philippines as a tourism destination by offering an extensive range of facilities to tourists. The Philippines has a lot to offer to visitors and tourists from around the globe. The government is working towards offering direct air connectivity, group visas on arrival, and services that will boost trade and tourism. The Philippines is already witnessing an increase in Indians visiting their country, however, they are targeting to attract overall 12 million tourists from around the globe by 2020. Currently, the numbers and facts reveal India to be in the 12th position

      27th December 2016

    • Pakistani Hindus with long-term visas can look forward to ‘Achche Din’

      Pakistani Hindus rejoiced the Ministry of External Affairs’ decision to relax norms for people belonging to minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan living within the country on LTV or Long Term Visas. The community celebrated this news as they feel that this would address quite a number of issues. Majority of these visa holders are Hindus from Pakistan who have currently set up residences in Gujarat. This matter came into consideration when the doctor whose origin is Pakistan, was accused of raping a dengue patient at Apollo Hospital. The Foreigners Act was invoked by investigators for a violation of LTV norms. However, with the new notification, this may not apply any more.

      The Ministry of External Affairs said that members of minorities from the countries mentioned above includes Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists Christians and Parsis will be allowed to do business or be self-employed and will be allowed free movement within the state that they are staying in. They will also be allowed to transfer their LTV from one state to another and will have a reduction of penalty on non-extension of their visa. They will also be allowed to issue Driving License.

      According to police officials, around 3000 individuals of Pakistani nationality should hold LTVs in Ahmedabad currently. The biggest beneficiaries of this decision will be members of community such as doctors and other qualified individuals.

      5th October 2016

    • Services sector to be boosted by liberal visa policy of the government

      The visa regime might be relaxed by the government for promoting trade in services. This fact has been stated by Nirmala Sitharam, Minister of Commerce and Industry. At the Lok Sabha she mentioned that if the visa regime is liberalized then it will help in trade promotion in services in multiple supply modes. Mode 2 in particular will be benefited which includes medical value travel, tourism and education services. The proposition of liberalizing visa policy is being considered at the Mininstry of Home Affairs after consulting all the stake holders. According to her statement, the ministry advocates for a regime that is liberal and substantial safeguards.

      As far as FDI flows, Trade flows, state income and national income are concerned, the services sector has become a prominent sector in this country. 60 % of India’s GDP comes from the services sector. Almost 28 % of the job creation is done by this sector. The contribution that it makes towards imports, exports and trade are 20 %, 35 % and 25 %, respectively.

      Sitharam also added that the cotton exports have gone down from 8.75 lakh bales to 8.03 lakh bales. The India – EU BTIA (Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement) negotiations had started back in 2007. Till date, sixteen rounds of such negotiations have taken place.

      25th August, 2016

    • India Plans Relaxation of Visa Rules to Attract Revenue

      In an effort to attract more investment from trade and investment, India is considering relaxing its notoriously stringent visa policies. A recommendation to this effect was made by the Commerce Ministry to the Indian government, suggesting a new visa policy.

      As per the recommendations, visas will now be clustered into work and non-work categories.

      There will also be provision for multiple-entry visas.

      At present, India issues non-work visas primarily for tourists, medical treatment and education purposes while business and employment visas are under the work visa category.

      As per the new structure, a business visa would come under the non-work visa category.

      It is hoped that this change would result in a greater inflow of investment into the country as it will liberalize the visa process.

      There are also plans to introduce a 10-year multiple entry visa along the lines of those offered by the US. This would reduce the amount of paperwork and save frequent tourists trips to get their visas stamped every time they visit.

      08th August, 2016

    • India May Soon Have A Multiple Entry Long Term Visa

      It is possible that India may soon launch a visa that will allow the holder to possess a multiple entry long term Indian visa. This visa can be considered a combination of a business, tourist, medical and conference visas. If introduced, it will allow people to move in and out of the country with the same visa and also have the privilege for up to 10 years. They will, however, not be allowed to work or live in the country permanently under this vias. The government might plan on waiving off the visa fee as well should the visa be given to a foreigner who restricts his or her stay in the country to 60 days or less, as long as they have the long term multi entry visa which does not allow them permanent work or stay privileges. The applicants for this visa will need to pass security scrutiny and will also be required to provide biometric data. The main aim behind this visa is to help boost India’s trade with other countries.

      04th July 2016

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