Visa is an essential document that you will need to enter the Indian Territory. The Government of India has its own rules and regulations for permitting the visa to the foreigners. These rules and regulations change from time to time depending on the political and socio-economic conditions. There have been some critical changes in the types of visa that the Government is currently permitting. These regulations have been in effect from 1st April 2017. Here is a vivid detail about the types of visa that you can procure depending on the purpose of your entrance in India.
• Tourist Visa: If you want to visit India just for touring, you can apply for the tourist visa. You get the permission for including sightseeing or even short-term yoga programs. Usually, the visa term depends on your nationality. On an average, the Government allows a maximum time of six months for a tourist visa. No foreigner receives permission to stay at a stretch for more than a period of six months. The Indian Government had to make amendments to the rules to stop the increasing misuse of the tourist visas. As per the earlier specifications, you would not have been allowed to re-visit India without at least a two months gap from the last visit date. But from November 2012 onwards, this particular order was overruled. If you are applying for the visa even within one month of the expiry, it might take about 45 days to get the approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
• Entry visa: You can apply for the entry visa or the X-visa if you are not falling under the category of any other type of applicants for the visa. Currently, the X-visa is only applicable to you if you who fulfill the following requirements:
1. You are of Indian origin but a foreigner residentially.
2. You are the child or spouse of an Indian citizen or the foreigner having an Indian origin.
3. You are the dependent child or spouse of a foreigner who has been in India for a long time and held the Business visa or the Employment visa.
4. You are joining any specific ashrams or some spiritual community like the Missionary of Charities in Kolkata, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, or other Buddhist monasteries for social work or religious programs.
5. You are an athlete and participating in the international sports event on the professional ground.
You are not eligible to work in the country if you are holding the X-visa. But the benefit is that you can extend the stay permit if required. You don’t need to leave the country after six months. You have to register your name at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office.
• Employment visa: You can apply for this visa if you need to work in India on behalf of an Indian registered organization. You can procure the Special Project Visa if you intend to work in the power and steel industrial segment of India and you possess the extraordinary skill that will be beneficial for the industrial development in the country. You will also get the Indian visa if you have been working in the country for a long time in volunteer jobs. The employment visa is generally for a year or the term mentioned in the official contract paper. You can apply for an extension if the contract renews. To apply, you need to produce the contract paper that will be proof of your association with the Indian organization. The latest amendment on 1st April 2017 states that you can get the visa with an income level below 16.25 lakh rupees or about $26,000. This rule will encourage foreigners like you to start teaching in the Central Institutes of Higher Education. The exception will also be applicable if you are a translator, ethnic cook, member of Embassies, volunteers, or non-English language teacher.
• Intern visa: Before 1st April 2017, you would have to procure the employment visa even if you wanted to pursue an internship program in India. But from April 2017, you will eligible for the Intern visa if you fulfill a set of other requirements. But you have to keep in mind that the internship must start within a year of the completion of your graduation or the post graduation. The term of stay will be as per the internship program duration or one year, whichever will be lower. You won’t be able to convert the Intern visa to Employment visa under any condition.
• Business visa: If you are seeking business opportunities in India or you want to start a business in the country, you can apply for the Business visa. The primary difference between Employment and Business visa is that you will not be working for or earning any salary from an Indian organization if you hold the Business visa. You need to produce the letter from the organization that is keen to start a business dealing with you. The letter must elaborately describe the nature of the business, places that you intend to visit, the average stay duration, and expense management planning. The visa has a validity of five years during which you can enjoy multiple entries. But you cannot stay in India for more than six months at a time that might alter from the business type. If you have a joint venture, the visa will be for ten years.
• Student visa: If you want to study for an extended period in India under an officially registered educational institution, you can apply for the Student visa. The study may include subjects like Vedic culture, music, classical dance, or yoga. You need to show the registration papers as well as admission related documents of the institution. The standard term is for five years. But the stay extends if the course duration is longer. For studying yoga, the Yoga visa term has special mention. The official and certified Indian yoga centers always ask for the Yoga visa as the tourist visa is not sufficient to allow you enough time for learning yoga.