Indian Visa is a document that acts as a permit to let residents of other countries visit India for a stipulated period of time. If a traveler doesn’t possess a valid visa, they are not let inside the boundaries of the country. Citizens of India do not require a visa to enter the country or travel within its boundaries. There are several kinds of visas issued by the Consular, Passport and Visa Division Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. One’s purpose of visit is important in determining the kind of visa they should apply for.
Types Of Indian Visa
The kind of visa one needs depends on the purpose of their visit. A Sri Lankan traveler can choose from the following types of visa that are granted in India:
- Business Visa
- Tourist Visa
- Employment Visa
- Student Visa
- Transit Visa
- Research Visa
- Conference Visa
- Journalist Visa
- Entry Visa
- Medical Visa
What Are The Documents Required For A Sri Lankan To Get An Indian Visa?
The visa application form should be duly filled and should be submitted with the following documents:
- 2 recent passport-size colored photographs (2"x2" with a white background). These photographs should provide complete frontal view of the face and they should be neatly pasted on the application form. Scanned pictures are not accepted.
- Valid latest passport (with a minimum of 6 months validity with 2 blank pages for visa).
- Applicants must submit the previous passports also. Failing to submit previous passports can cause refusal/delay of visa. The photos of the applicant on the visa application form and the passport should tally with their current appearance. If the photograph on the passport does not match the appearance of the applicant, they may face deportation after arriving in India.
- A copy of the applicant's birth certificate or NIC card with a valid address proof should be attached.
- If the applicant is a minor and is travelling alone or with their relatives, they should submit a consent letter from both the parents. If the applicant is a minor and is travelling with either of the parents, then a no-objection letter from either of the parents should be submitted.
Requirements for Each Category of Visa
Every category of visa has different requirements. The following are the category-wise requirements that an applicant should fulfill:
- Business Visa: A Business Visa is generally granted for short trips to India for applicants involved in business, or for those attending business-related negotiations or seminars. Seeking employment opportunities or stay in India while travelling on a Business Visa is illegal.
Valid endorsement of profession or occupation on the passport as a businessman is significant. Apart from this, documents like their company’s registration certificate, designation of the applicant in the firm, letter from their firm sponsoring their business visit to India and stating the duration of their stay, purpose of visit, and names of places and firms in India that are scheduled to be visited should be attached. If the applicant has received invitation letters from India, they should submit them along with their application. The following are some of the other documents required by Sri Lankans while applying for an Indian Business Visa:
- A copy of Business Registration Certification issued by the relevant authorities in Sri Lanka attached with the application.
- Applicants looking for entries more than once must attach the latest copy of "Bill of Lading" issued by relevant authorities in Sri Lanka or India.
- A copy of the certificate of registration of the Indian company or the business group issued by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) of the place where the main office is situated.
- Copy of the latest income tax return of the business entity.
- Latest 6 months’ bank statement of the Sri Lankan business firm.
- Copy of the return ticket of the applicant.
- Tourist Visa: An applicant travelling on a Tourist Visa cannot extend or convert it to any other type of visa. Any kind of misuse will result in deportation by the relevant authorities in India. It can also result in denial of visa later. The following are some of the other documents required while applying for a Tourist Visa:
- Latest 6 months’ bank statement of the applicant or the sponsor letter if in case their visit is sponsored by someone else.
- Copy of the return ticket of the applicant.
- Employment Visa: An Employment Visa can be extended in India by the Immigration Department. For that to happen, registration is compulsory. Non-residents of Sri Lanka will not be issued an Employment Visa. The following are some of the requirements for applying for an Employment Visa:
- A copy of the agreement or the contract of employment proposed by the Indian employer in case of executive or senior managerial posts or for jobs that demand a specific set of skills, will be required.
- Copy of the company’s registration under rules and guidelines laid by the Government of India.
- A letter from the company hiring the applicant stating the nature of the job, salary, and duration of employment.
- A letter stating proper reasons from the employer for opting to employ a foreigner should be submitted.
- Proof of work experience and qualification of the applicant should also be submitted.
- The spouse and kids coming with the applicant will be given a visa only after the applicant receives an Employment Visa.
- A copy of the Employment Visa (once granted to the applicant) should be attached with the visa application of the spouse and the children.
- A copy of marriage and birth certificate(s) of all the family members who intend to move to India should be submitted.
- Student Visa: Student Visa is issued only for applicants who want to pursue any recognized course in colleges or educational institutions that are recognized by the Government of India. Applicants cannot convert Tourist Visa into Student Visa. Looking for college admissions under Tourist Visa is illegal. Before looking for admission, applicants should be clear about the affiliation of the university they want to join and whether the course is recognized or not.
Student Visa will be issued only for full term of the chosen course. This visa will not be issued for primary education. The following are the some of the requirements for applying for a Student Visa:
- The concerned educational institution will have to issue a bonafide certificate stating the full term of the course and the year during which the applicant will be attending the course.
- Proof of academic records from completion of degrees will be important.
- Proof of admission to the course or institute from the recognized university or board. The proof must contain the name of the institution, address, email id, and telephone number.
- Copies of relevant academic certificates based on which the applicant is seeking admission or has been admitted to the course should be submitted.
- Proof of ample financial support, letter of support from parents or guardian, and bank guarantee. The applicant should also submit proof of evidence of funds for at least 4 months stay in India. Copies of travelers’ cheques for an equivalent amount can also be submitted.
- A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Government of India is compulsory to get Student Visa issued to attend medical or para-medical college in any recognized medical college. Same is applicable to applicants of degree/diploma/post-graduate courses in any recognized engineering institution or polytechnic college.
- Applicants are suggested to get Government of India’s NOC from the organization before filing in an application for visa. Admission to professional courses is handled by the Government of India and organizations cannot provide admission directly without getting the approval of the Government of India or the relevant state government.
- Students can seek guidance from the consular wing or the Consulate about colleges and process of admission.
- Transit Visa: It is issued just to enable a foreigner to travel through India while going to their final destination. If a Sri Lankan applicant wants to spend more than 3 days in India, a tourist Visa should be obtained. However, no Transit Visa is needed if the person is crossing India by air. In case there is no through flight and the traveler is not leaving the premises of the airport, they don't require a Transit Visa. Applicant will have to submit a detailed travel itinerary along with their application form. They will also have to submit copies of their confirmed tickets.
- Research Visa: Foreigners keen on engaging in research work in India should apply for a Research Visa in the authorized format. The application has to be submitted at least 3 months before the date of travel. It should be addressed and submitted to the Secretary, Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi. Copies of the applicant’s curriculum vitae and a detailed synopsis of their thesis should be attached along with the application form. Apart from the application, the following document should be submitted:
- Letter of acceptance from the chosen Indian institution and relevant details like the duration of the proposed research, lodging arrangement, educational qualifications, source of funds for the expenditure during stay in India.
- Conference Visa: As the name suggests, Conference Visas are issued to delegates belonging to other countries who are scheduled to attend international conferences/meetings/seminars/symposia/workshops held by the government or international organizations, NGOs, or Public Sector Units, among others. The seminar or conference should possess an approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and should have been cleared by the State Government/ Union Territory before inviting foreign delegates to attend it. Applicants of the Conference Visa should submit the following document along with their application form:
- A copy of the letter of invitation by the organizing committee.
- Journalist Visa: Applicants representing reputed electronic or print media and intend to come to India on a professional tour are advised to apply well in advance. They must get in touch with the Consul (Consular) to get a Journalist Visa.
- Entry Visa: Entry Visa is issued to spouse of Indians, especially those who intend to live in India with their Indian husband or wife. It is compulsory for the Indian national to have a permanent residence in India. Foreigners visiting India to learn Yoga or Vedic Culture at recognized universities can also apply for this Visa. Following are the documents required to apply for an Entry Visa:
- A copy of the Indian passport of the spouse with the applicant’s name clearly mentioned in it.
- A copy of the marriage certificate. At the time of Visa application, the applicant will have to show the original marriage certificate.
- Entry Visa can be extended in India. One need not return to Sri Lanka to renew it.
- Medical Visa: Applicants travelling to India for any kind of medical treatment can apply for Medical Visa. Following are the documents required to apply for a Medical Visa:
- Original papers with details of medical appointments in India and prior treatment in Sri Lanka.
- Latest 6 months’ bank statement and a certificate of solvency issued by the bank.
The following details should be filled in a separate sheet and submitted along with the application form:
|Information about treatment in Sri Lanka||Information about treatment in India|
|Name of the hospital or clinic that referred the applicant to India||Name of the hospital or clinic that the applicant wishes to go to. Name of the doctor must be mentioned as well.|
|Address of the hospital or clinic.||Address of the hospital or clinic where the applicant wishes to go for treatment.|
|Phone number or fax number of the hospital or clinic.||Complete address of the hospital or clinic where the applicant wishes to go for treatment.|
Visa Fee Structure
Since there are so many different types of Visa issued in India, each one of them entail a different validity period, and fee. Here’s a chart containing details about different types of Visa, duration of stay allowed under each of them, and fee structure.
|Type of Visa||Validity||Visa Fee in Sri Lankan Rupees|
|Tourist Visa (Single Entry)||90 days||2,310|
|Tourist Visa (Double Entry)||30 days||2,310|
|Tourist Visa (Double Entry)||90 days||3,840|
|Tourist Visa (Double/Multiple Entry)||6 months||3,840|
|Transit Visa (Single/Double)||Up to 15 days||1,540|
|Business Visa (Single Entry)||90 days||4,140|
|Business Visa (Multiple Entry)||30 days||3,840|
|Business Visa (Multiple Entry)||90 days||6,130|
|Business Visa (Multiple Entry)||6 months||12,255|
|Business Visa (Multiple Entry)||1 year||12,255|
|Business Visa (Multiple Entry)||5 years||18,380|
|Employment Visa (Multiple Entry)||1 year||24,050|
|Entry Visa (Single Entry)||90 days||450|
|Entry Visa (Double Entry)||90 days||880|
|Entry Visa (Double/Multiple)||6 months||880|
|Entry Visa (Multiple Entry)||1 year||3,840|
|Student Visa (For institutions that come under bilateral agreement)||1 year||6,590|
|Student Visa (For institutions that come under bilateral agreement)||More than 1 year||12,410|
|Student Visa (For institutions that do not come under bilateral agreement)||Any duration||12,410|
|Medical Attendant/Medical (Single Entry)||90 days||450|
|Medical Attendant/Medical (Single/Double Entry)||6 months||880|
|Medical Attendant/Medical (Triple Entry)||1 year||880|
|Research Visa||1 year||880|
|Research Visa||More than 1 year||12,030|
Visa Application Process
A resident of Sri Lanka can apply for an Indian Visa at the Consular Department of the Consulate General of India in Hambantota, Jaffna, Kandy, and Colombo. After filling up the application form, the applicant must submit it with the necessary documents at the Indian Visa Application Centre. Applicants can also fill an online application form by logging into the website http://cgihambantota.com/ . After the submission of the application, the applicant is summoned after 7 working days to submit their passport.
- Applicant should be a resident of Sri Lanka.
- Applicant's passport should have at least 6 months validity from the date of arrival in India.
- The passport of the applicant must have at least 2 blank pages for the stamp.
- Travelers should have a proper return ticket with adequate amount of money to meet their expenses while staying in India.
- Applicant must have adequate photo id, address proof, and bank statements to support the details filled by them on the Visa application.
- If the applicant is applying for any Visa other than a Tourist Visa, they should have the other supporting documents.