• Indian Missionary Visa

    A Missionary Visa is one of the 18 types of visa issued by the Government of India to people seeking to enter the country for religious reasons, or to those willing to join a foreign organization in India doing Government of India approved missionary work.

    Missionary visas are issued for single entry to India, up to the duration allowed by the Government of India.

    Eligibility

    The missionary work cannot include proselytization. This means any attempts at conversion of Indian nationals practicing one religion to the religion practiced by the said missionary won’t be permitted.

    A letter of invitation from the missionary organization you are going to work for is mandatory. The letter must clearly mention your intended destination, estimated duration of stay and the nature of work you are supposed to undertake.

    Duration & Validity

    As Missionary Visas need prior approval of the Indian Government, you should apply for the same at least 3 months before your intended date of travel. Missionary Visas are valid from the date of visa issue, not from your date of travel.

    Missionary Visas are available to US citizens for up to 5 years. This is a special case under India-US bilateral treaties.

    All non-US passport holders must provide their home country address as their permanent one failing which the visa application will be rejected. Non-US citizens can get Missionary Visas valid for up to 1 year only.

    The tenure of Visa or the number of entries allowed is purely on the discretion of the Indian Embassy/Consulate. Visa is not a matter of right and hence the Indian Mission can deny visa to applicants they deem ineligible for reasons such as not providing adequate supporting documents. The Embassy/Consulate can also grant you a visa for a lesser duration than what you applied and consequently paid for. The Indian Embassy/Consulate is under no obligation to give reasons for denial of a request and the decision of the Mission is final and binding.

    Fees Applicable

    For Missionary Visa valid for:

    • up to 6 months - US$80
    • up to 1 year - US$120
    • up to 5 years - US$200

    Note that the 5 year visa tenure is applicable for US nationals only under special bilateral arrangements. All citizens of non-US countries get a 1 year maximum tenure of stay in India with Missionary Visa.

    Besides the visa charges there are other fees applicable varying from country to country:

    Nation Additional Charges
    Pakistan Rs.15 for all types of visa
    Japan US$1 for Transit Visa and US$8 for all other types of visas
    Russia Service charges of US$40
    Romania Service charges of Rs.4,000
    USA Visa Application Processing Fee of US$20/- in addition to Visa Fee

    Almost all the missions of India has delegated Visa and Passport services to third party operatives who charge an additional service fee for processing a visa.

    Visa fees for SriLankan nationals is again different from the rest of the world.

    • Single entry visa for 6 months - Rs.135
    • Multiple entry visa for 6 months - Rs.270

    Checklist For Missionary Visa Application

    • Online Application form fully filled available at the exclusive service provider in your country. For the US it’s Cox and Kings. For most other countries including Australia and the United Kingdom it’s VFS Global.
    • A recent 2” x 2” photograph of the applicant adhering to strict specifications:
      • Passport photo taken within the last 6 months showing current appearance.
      • Photograph for OCI has to be different than the one already in your passport.
      • Photograph should be square-shaped or 2 inches x 2 inches in size, with 80% face coverage.
      • Photographs cannot be stapled or adhesive taped.
      • The photograph must be in color.
      • The photograph must be taken against a white background.
      • The photograph must show front view of the full face.
      • The photograph must have been taken in normal but colored attire. The attire must not be patterned or textured.
      • The photograph has to be an original, printed only on glossy photo paper.
      • You must not take photos in uniform unless it’s a religious attire that is daily worn.
      • If your normal appearance include prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, the item should be worn in the photograph.
      • However, you cannot be wearing dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses unless required for medical reasons. In such cases a medical certificate may be required to prove the case.
      • Avoid glare on eyeglasses by tilting your head slightly upward or downward.
      • You must not wear a hat/headgear that hides the hair or hairline. Head coverings are, however, permitted for religious reasons.
    • Current Original passport with a minimum validity of six months from the date of Application and must have at least two blank page.
    • Letter from the sponsoring organization listing intended destination in India, probable length of stay and nature of duties to be discharged.
    • Proof of Renunciation of your Indian Citizenship, if you were previously an Indian National or Form N if you still haven’t renounced your Indian citizenship. Indian passport law doesn’t allow for dual citizenship.
    • If you currently hold dual nationality of Pakistan/Bangladesh/Sri Lanka and another country, both passports need to be submitted. Visa will be issued on Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Sri Lankan passport.

    Mandatory Registration For Missionary Visa

    Foreigners entering India on Missionary visa valid for more than 180 days are required to get themselves registered with the concerned Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) within 14 days of their arrival in India. This rule is also applicable for Student visa, Employment visa and Research visa.

    Pakistani nationals are required to register themselves at the check post of entry within 24 hours of their reaching the specified places.

    Procedure For Online Application For Registration Of The Foreigner

    After arriving in India you can apply online through the FRRO website for availing of visa registration services in the FRRO office nearest to you. You will be required to fill the online registration form and schedule your appointment in the FRRO before your visit. Once the application form is filled and submitted, a unique Registration number will be generated by the system.

    Make sure to go through the regulations and instructions listed in the FRRO website cited above in order to ascertain your eligibility for registration and to understand the procedures involved in the process. The procedure for registration is as follows:

    1. Select the Online Registration option from the main menu at the website. The online application form will be displayed automatically. If for any reason you cannot file an online application before heading to FRRO, you will be permitted to fill the online application form at the FRRO itself.
    2. The officials at the FRRO shall assist you to either fill the online form at the FRRO or guide you to the next step after online registration.
    3. When filling the online form you will have to furnish the below mentioned details:
      1. Personal Details
      2. Nationality (both present and previous)
      3. Persons accompanying the applicant
      4. Contact address and number in India
      5. Passport and visa details etc.
      6. Contact person in case of any emergency.
    4. After filling all the compulsory fields in the online form, you can submit the application form and move to the next page to schedule an appointment at the concerned FRRO.
    5. As soon as the appointment is scheduled, a unique application Id will be generated for you which you have to cite when visiting the concerned FRRO on the scheduled date. A PDF file of the application form will also be generated by the system and you will need to take a print out of the file.
    6. Do keep your Registration number with you as can be further used for any further modifications in the details submitted online and during your visit to the FRRO.
    7. On the scheduled date, visit the FRRO/FRO to meet the registration officials along with the print of the PDF file and the requisite supporting documents. You will have have to provide the supporting documents to the FRRO/FRO officer to verify with the data already available in the application file.
    8. Once the registration is approved you shall be provided by the registration official with a Registration booklet as a proof of your registration.

    Documents To Submit For Registration

    1. Your recent passport size photo
    2. Passport (photo page, page indicating validity, page bearing arrival stamp of Indian Immigration.
    3. Visa with endorsement.
    4. Residence Proof can be any of the following:
      1. Form C copy from Hotel or Lodge.
      2. Electricity bill/Landline Telephone/Municipal Bill of the landlord in case you are staying in the house of a relative or friend, along with a letter and photo-id card of the landlord.
      3. In case of rented accommodation copy of the Lease and License agreement, 1st and last page & page.
    5. Request Letter from the missionary/religious organization working for.
    6. Undertaking/guarantee bond by the missionary/religious organization where you are working to ensure your repatriation in case of any problem.
    7. Proof of registration of the missionary/religious organization in India to validate that you have come to work under the said organization.
    8. Proof of Govt. of India approval, if coming to work in new a missionary centre.

    Extension Of Missionary Visa

    After staying for the period of your visa you feel that your work is unfinished and you need to stay for a longer duration, the Indian government has the provision of visa extension for you. Please note that any such extension should be requested with at least 2 months remaining in your current visa, as missionary visa extensions take time to process.

    You can request for extension at the same FRRO/FRO where you registered in the first place.

    Mandatory Documents For Extension Of Visa

    1. Your recent passport size photo.
    2. Passport (photo page, page indicating validity, page bearing arrival stamp of Indian Immigration).
    3. Visa with endorsement.
    4. Residence Proof can be any of the following:
      1. Form C copy from Hotel or Lodge.
      2. Electricity bill/Landline Telephone/Municipal Bill of the landlord in case you are staying in the house of a relative or friend, along with a letter and photo-id card of the landlord.
      3. In case of rented accommodation copy of the Lease and License agreement, 1st and last page & page.
    5. Registration Certificate/Residential Permit.
    6. Request Letter from the missionary/religious organization working for.
    7. Undertaking/guarantee bond by the missionary/religious organization where you are working to ensure your repatriation in case of any problem.
    8. Proof of registration of the missionary/religious organization in India to validate that you have come to work under the said organization.
    9. Proof of Govt. of India approval, if coming to work in new a missionary centre.

    Getting a Missionary Visa is, however, not that easy if you do not follow the correct protocols. Find the Visa service provider for the Indian Embassy/Consulate for your area and apply for a visa only through them. They are professionals who will guide you through the process and you’ll have a greater chance of visiting India on a Missionary Visa.

    *Disclaimer

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