Although India has been a developing country for quite some time now, the level of healthcare offered by hospitals here is almost on par with several American and European nations. Hence, it is of no wonder that foreigners from around the world choose to come to India in order to get their medical needs tended to. To begin with, cost of healthcare in India is extremely cheap when compared to that of the United States of America, this is often why there’s been a rapid influx of Americans coming to India for treatment. The situation is likewise for people from Middle Eastern and African nations as well, which again is evident going by the medical visa applications.
In the mainstream media, this phenomenon of foreigners coming to India for treatments is referred to as Medical Tourism, meaning people come here as tourists for medical reasons. But do you know anything about the various aspects of an Indian Medical Visa? Well, that’s what this page is here for. Here, you will find all the information you will ever need in case you are about to embark on a medical journey towards the Indian shores.
While India has a rather lenient Visa policy for a vast majority of American and European nations, there still is a set procedure that everyone needs to abide by to get into the country. The first of which requires you to meet the eligibility criteria.
Any foreign national can get a medical visa to India as long as they have a genuine health concern that needs to be addressed. So, if you are looking to get treatment in one of the thousands of high-specialty hospitals around the country, you will get your visa approved. An applicant (patient) can have a maximum of two attendants who can accompany the patient into the country.
However, their entry will require another form of visa called the Medical Attendant Visa. This visa will have the same validity of the medical visa.
Below is a brief list of ailments that are considered a priority case when processing an application:
- Heart-related problems
- Organ transplantation
- Renal disorders
- Congenital disorders
- Ophthalmic disorders
- Joint replacement
- Gene therapy
- Plastic surgery
- Radio therapy
When applying for a medical visa, the applicant should know that the Indian mission may thoroughly vet the applicant’s reason for entry.
Visa Validity And Extension
Typically, the validity of a medical visa is for a maximum of 1 year and for the total period of treatment, whichever comes early. This visa will allow the patient to enter the country for a maximum of 3 times in a calendar year. Also, one thing worth noting here is that the countdown for the visa begins from the day of issuance and not from the day of entry into India. If the patient needs a visa extension, they need to produce a medical certificate for the same and submit it to the state department and Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO). In such cases, their visa will be extended for an additional year.
The visa can be extended furthermore, however this time the request will be handled by the Ministry of Home Affairs who will provide or reject the visa depending on the recommendations from the FRRO or the concerned state governments.
Every individual entering India on an ‘M visa’ is required to register themselves with the FRRO/FRO within the first 14 days of their arrival into the country. While the registration process is the same for most countries, it is slightly different for the subcontinental nations. For instance, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals are required to get the registration done within 24 hours of their arrival in the country. Their visa registration will be done as per the provisions specified in Para 118 and Para 106 respectively.
Visa For Family Members
While the medical visa is only applicable for patients, their family members are required to apply for a visa as well. The patient’s closest blood relatives need to have a Medical Attendant Visa. However, the problem with this visa is not more than two people are allowed to enter the country at a particular time. This visa is called the MX visa and the holders are required to register themselves within 14 days of their arrival into the country.
Fees For Medical Attendant Visa
People from different nations are required to pay different fees to avail a medical attendant visa. Here’s a table that lists out the fee structure:
|Country name||Duration of stay||Consular Fee||Reference Fee||ICWF Fee||Service Fee||Total|
|US nationals||One year (Triple Entry)||$140||$0||$3||$4.70||$147.70|
|Six Months (Triple Entry)||$100||$0||$3||$4.70||107.70|
|Other nationals||1 year (Triple Entry)||$120||$0||$3||$4.70||$127.70|
|Six Months (Triple Entry)||$80||$0||$3||$4.70||$87.70|
|UK nationals||1 year (Triple Entry)||$129||$0||$3||$4.70||$134.70|
|Six Months (Triple Entry)||$129||$0||$3||$4.70||$134.70|
|Sri Lankan nationals||One year (Triple Entry)||$7||$20||$3||$4.70||$34.70|
|Six Months (Triple Entry)||$4||$20||$3||$4.70||$31.70|
Note: People with green cards and long term visa of more than three years will not be charged any reference fee.
Things To Keep In Mind When Applying For Indian Medical Visa
There are plenty of things you need to keep in mind before applying for an Indian medical visa. These are as follows:
- Have your medical documents ready:
The Indian consulate is very particular about providing medical visas for foreign nationals and is known to thoroughly vet an individual’s medical history before actually signing off on a visa. To avoid unwanted delays or possible rejections, make sure to have all the relevant medical documents ready.
- Fill the right forms:
Be sure to fill the right visa application forms so that it doesn’t get rejected by the consulate.
With India becoming a prime destination for medical tourism, having access to the right information is highly essential. This page helps you with all that and then some more if you are considering a trip to India to get your medical needs tended to.
News About Medical Visa In India
2.6x Increase in India Medical Tourism
India has seen an increase of 2.6x so far as medical tourists to the country are concerned. Over the past three years, the Ministry of Tourism has seen an exponential increase in the number of individuals flying to the country for treatment. More than two lakh people came to India for medical tourism in the last year alone.
The Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Mahesh Sharma, said "We have made amendments to facilitate hassle free visa for medical tourists. In case of medical emergency recommended by registered Indian hospitals, Indian missions abroad should decide on such request within 48 hours of getting the application.
The Ministry of Tourism released data according to which the number of medical tourists in the country in 2014 was 75,688. But in 2015, the figure had risen to 1.34 lakh. In 2016 alone, there were more than two lakh people.
30th March, 2017