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.
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.
|Sl.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.|
Maximum of two years or until the period of contract ends
|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, 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.
Application Visa for Different Countries
- USA Visa
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
- Australian Visa
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
- UK Visa
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. Check out more details in our uk visa section.
- Canada Visa
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. Know more about this Visa from our canada visa section.
- Schengen Visa
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. To get more information about this visa, visit our schengen visa section.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 colour on the bottom right hand corner.
- Is Visa number the same as control number?
No, the Visa number is not the same as control number.
- 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.
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
Myanmar Government Simplifies Tourist Visa
The Myanmar government is looking to change the tourism sector and is starting by simplifying the process of tourist visas. For those looking to holiday in Myanmar, new reforms will make it easier to enter the country. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has stated that the visa process for entry of foreigners who are blacklisted will be reformed. The ministry will also reform visa overstays. A committee has been formed with officials from 8 ministries. This committee will overlook the massive numbers of tourists arriving at Myanmar and will have to ensure a smooth experience for them. The relaxations in the rules will enable the country to enhance the tourism industry. Myanmar has been on the path of political reforms to win international recognition and become an attractive holiday destination.
29th May 2016
Lucknow Residents can now Obtain UK Visa
The government of Uttar Pradesh in an effort to facilitate its residents will commence the British visa application service starting from the 17th of May. The Samajwadi Party-led state government is helping in initiating the service along with the British High Commission in order to reduce the tedium of people travelling to Delhi to obtain their visas. Applications for a UK visa can now be made on www.gov.uk/apply.uk-visa
15th May 2016
Restrictions on Canadian Immigration Temporary Work Visas Lifted
Firms in Canada can now recruit more foreign employees as the Canadian Federal Government has lifted certain restrictions that were placed on temporary workers entering Canada. The Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker program earlier allowed seasonal workers to come from overseas but there was a cap on the percentage of an employer’s workforce that could be allowed with temporary Canadian work visas. The ceiling limit on the percentage is currently 20% but will be reduced to 10% from July 1st, 2016.
The Government has exempted seasonal industries that require workers for a maximum of 180 days from this cap. But even with this exemption, employers have to undertake a labour market assessment for every job role they wish to fulfill with overseas employees to ensure that there are no suitable local candidates to fill the position.
10th May 2016
Campaign Against Visa Amendment by the UK
Professionals from India working in the UK, who are in dire straits after the UK government amended the criteria surrounding Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the country on Tier-2 visa, have begun a ‘Stop 35K’ campaign group.
The campaign hopes to push the UK Home Office to rescind the amendment and reconsider the threshold after an industry-wide study. The UK government announced that from April 6 only those earning GBP 35,000 or more can be accommodated in the Tier-2 visa. Earlier the salary threshold for indefinite stay in the UK with a Tier-2 visa was GBP 21,000.
Thousands of Indians and other nationals living in the UK on Tier-2 visa are likely to have to return to their countries or be deported.
6th April 2016
Difference of opinion on relief for visa for Bangladeshi visitors
While the foreign ministry is quite vocal about implementing certain amendments to the visa procedure in India for visitors from Bangladesh, the home ministry is apparently not very forthcoming on the same terms.
The home ministry has opined that such proposals would need more careful consideration as border countries needed more regulations due to the rising concern of terrorism. The former Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh though says that terrorists did not use visas to enter the country in any case.
6th April 2016
Indian Government expresses concern over the new visa rule announced by UK.
Expressing concern over the new British Immigration Law, the Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says that India would take up this issue with the British Immigration authorities. The new regulation is applicable for professionals who have Tier-2 visas to Britain, and live and work there. As per the new regulation, if they earn less than 35,000 pounds in a year, their stay in Britain would be deported at the end of five years of stay. Considering the future impact of this rule on the Indian employees working in the United Kingdom, the Government of India decides to raise its concerns over this new rule. Already, a list has been prepared including the Indian individuals who are staying in UK with Tier-2 Visas. The new rule is expected to be effective from the month of April.
31st March 2016