Visa and passport
What is a Passport
. A passport is issued to a countrys citizens for international travel and identification. It is used for identification purposes and to verify ones country of citizenship. If traveling outside your country, it is used to regain entry into your country of citizenship.
A passport includes a photo of you, your name, birthdate, gender, and physical characteristics For U.S. citizens, some countries only require a passport for entry. Other countries may require a visa before entry. You should confirm if a country specific visa is required before traveling.The most common passport is a tourist passport, but there are others for diplomats and government officials.
What is a Visa
. A visa is official permission from a foreign countrys government to enter the country.
The visa is placed inside of your passport as proof of permission to enter the country.
The visa will indicate how long you can visit a particular country as determined by that countrys government.
The most common visa types are tourist, student, work, and transit visas.
Depending on where you are traveling, a visa can be valid for a single or multiple visits.
Some visas require an application to be filed prior to entering the country and other visas are granted upon entering the country.
Your country of citizenship determines whether or not you need a visa to enter a particular country.
Certain countries require an interview or medical screening prior to applying for a visa.
Diplomatic official un official visa
. Diplomats Officials assigned to their countries Missions Posts in India or Diplomatic Official UN passport holders working in UN or international organizations located in India and their spouses children holding any type of passport are granted diplomatic official visas.
. Transit visas valid for up to 15 days and up to two entries are issued to foreign nationals passing through India on their way to another country. The applicant should possess an air ticket for onward journey to a destination beyond India.
. Entry visa is issued to a Person of India Origin, foreign spouse of Indian national and to spouse children of foreigners holding any type of visa other than tourist transit visa.
. Tourist visa is issued to foreigners who do not have a residence or occupation in India and whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives etc.
Indian Missions Posts abroad may issue multiple entry tourist visas for a maximum period of ten years to US nationals and five years to UK nationals, with the stipulation that stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days. However, should the visa holder desire to stay continuously for more than 180 days, he she should register with the concerned FRRO FRO within 180 days of arrival.
Indian Missions Posts abroad may issue multiple entry tourist visas for a maximum period of five years to nationals of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Vietnam with the stipulation that stay during each visit shall not exceed 90 days.
In respect of foreigners holding multiple entry tourist visas valid for 5 10 years, there should be a gap of at least two months between two successive visits.If a tourist visa holder needs to return to India within two months of his her last departure from the country due to exigencies like death or serious illness in the family, non availability of connecting flights to return to his her country of origin or travel to another country using India as a transit point or any other exigent situation which can be duly justified with proper documentation to the satisfaction of an Indian Mission Post abroad or immigration authorities in India, the condition of two months gap can be waived. In all such cases, the foreign national should register with the FRRO FRO concerned within 14 days of arrival.
Foreign nationals holding six month tourist visas valid for up to three entries would not be subject to the above condition of two months gap between two visits if they submit their itinerary and confirmed air tickets for travel to neighbouring countries.
Travel agents of foreign travel agencies and foreign tourists visiting India frequently for genuine tourism may be granted multiple entry tourist visa with the condition that stay on each visit should not exceed 180 days.
Tourist visa on arrival has been introduced on experimental basis for nationals of eleven countries viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Tourist visa on arrival is valid for 30 days with single entry facility and is granted by Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata international airports.
Tourist visa is neither extendable nor convertible into other type of visa except, in very exceptional circumstances.
. Employment visas valid for one year at a time are granted to foreigners provided the foreigner is a skilled and qualified professional or a person who is being engaged by a company, organization, industry or undertaking in India on contract or employment basis at a senior level, skilled position such as technical expert, senior executive, or in a managerial position. Proof of employment in the form of employment contract is necessary.
. Project visa is a sub set of employment visa and is granted to foreigners employed for executing Steel and Power Sector Projects.
. Student visa valid up to five years or duration of course whichever is less is granted to a foreigner coming to India to pursue a course of regular and fulltime academic studies in a recognized institution. The applicant should furnish proof of admission in a recognized reputed educational institution and evidence of financial support. In case of admission to a medical or para medical course, a no objection certificate from the Ministry of Health must be furnished. Student visa valid for up to 6 months can be granted for exploring admission or for taking admission tests. There is no restriction on the number of courses of study that can be pursued or with respect to change of course or institute or both.
. Missions Posts may issue Journalist visa valid for up to six months to professional journalists, press persons, film persons other than commercial , representatives of radio and television organizations and similar personnel in the field of information such as travel writing, travel journalism, travel promotion photography, television production, advertising and those who write on fashion, costumes and sports. Holders of journalist visa are advised to contact on arrival in New Delhi, the External Publicity Division of M.E.A. and in other places, the Office of the GOIs Press Information Bureau, so that they could be given assistance in various matters including planning itineraries.
. Valid for up to five years may be granted by Missions Posts to foreign business persons to set up industrial business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial business venture in India or to buy sell industrial commercial products. Proof of financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business must be produced. For business visas valid up to one year, visa fee prescribed for one year business visa is charged even when the validity of visa issued is less than one year.
. Visa to foreign missionaries, other than those holding No objection to return to India Endorsements, are granted only after clearance by concerned Ministry Deptt in India.
. Visa for mountaineering expeditions is granted only after clearance by concerned authorities in India.
Conference seminar visa
. Visas may be granted by Missions Posts to foreign delegates to international conferences, seminars etc conducted by Government bodies, Public Sector Undertakings or Government aided bodies and NGOs provided necessary clearance by nodal Ministries Departments of the Government of India State Governments is in place.
. Depending upon recognition reputation of the research institution and eligibility of the applicant, Missions Posts may grant research visa valid for up to three years or duration of research project, whichever is earlier, except scholars of certain nationalities or and where research work involves visits to Restricted or Protected areas in India or areas affected by terrorism, militancy and extremism etc.
Medical and medical attendant visa
. After satisfying themselves, Indian Missions Posts abroad may issue Medical Visa MED valid for one year or the period of treatment, whichever is less, to foreign nationals visiting India for medical treatment in reputed recognized specialized hospitals treatment centres in India. Visa is permissible for treatment under Indian system of Medicine also. Attendants family members of patients coming to India for medical treatment shall be granted Medical Attendant visa MEDX co terminus with the Medical visa of the patient. Attendants should be spouse children or those having blood relations with the patient. Not more than two attendants are allowed.
. Universal visa is a multipurpose life long visa which Indian Missions and Posts abroad or the Ministry of Home Affairs may grant to Foreigners holding Overseas Citizens of India OCI card. The holder of universal visa can study, do business or take up employment in India and is exempt from the requirement of registration with FRRO Police authorities for any length of stay in India.
Restricted protected area permits
. Visas issued to foreigners are not valid for certain specified areas. Special permits viz. Restricted or Protected Area Permits are required to visit them. These permits are issued by Indian Missions Posts abroad and MHA State Governments in India. All Tibetan settlement are Restricted Areas.
. Foreigners entering India on Student visa, Employment visa, Research visa, Missionary visa valid for more than 180 days are required to get themselves registered with the concerned Foreigners Registration Office within 14 days of their arrival in India. Foreigners holding any other type of visa valid for more than 180 days do not require registration if the period of their stay in India on each visit is less than 180 days. However, they must register themselves within 180 days of arrival if the period of their continuous stay exceeds 180 days.
Pakistani Nationals and Foreigners of Pak Origin
. Visa is granted to Pakistani nationals and foreigners of Pak origin only after clearance by concerned authorities. Pakistani nationals holding visitors visa are required to register themselves at the check post of entry within 24 hours of their reaching the specified places. Pak nationals are permitted to enter into and exit from India only through designated check posts.
. Only single entry Tourist and Business visas valid up to 3 months are granted to Chinese nationals. The visa may be extended up to 3 months by FRROs Ministry of Home Affairs. All other types of visas fall in prior clearance category.
Extension of Visa
. Extension of visa , while in India, is dealt by Foreigners Regional Registration Offices, Ministry of Home Affairs.
. In view of the existing bilateral agreements arrangements, all types of visas are issued gratis to the nationals of Afghanistan, Argentina Tourist visa only , Bangladesh, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, South Africa and Uruguay.
Check your visa application status
. If you are a nonimmigrant applicant, you may check your DS 160 and visa application status online here by entering your interview location and your DS 160 barcode number.
. Government authorities usually impose administrative entry restrictions on foreign citizens in three ways countries whose nationals may enter without a visa, countries whose nationals may obtain a visa on arrival and countries whose nationals require a visa in advance. Nationals who require a visa in advance are usually advised to obtain them at a consular representation of their destination country. Several countries allow nationals of countries that require a visa to obtain them online.
Conditions of issue
. Some visas can be granted on arrival or by prior application at the countrys embassy or consulate, or through a private visa service specialist who is specialized in the issuance of international travel documents. These agencies are authorized by the foreign authority, embassy, or consulate to represent international travelers who are unable or unwilling to travel to the embassy and apply in person. Private visa and passport services collect an additional fee for verifying customer applications, supporting documents, and submitting them to the appropriate authority. If there is no embassy or consulate in ones home country, then one would have to travel to a third country or apply by post and try to get a visa issued there. The need or absence of need of a visa generally depends on the citizenship of the applicant, the intended duration of the stay, and the activities that the applicant may wish to undertake in the country he visits; these may delineate different formal categories of visas, with different issue conditions.
Entry and duration period
. Visas can also be single entry which means the visa is canceled as soon as the holder leaves the country; double entry, or multiple entry which permits double or multiple entries into the country with the same visa. Countries may also issue re entry permits that allow temporarily leaving the country without invalidating the visa. Even a business visa will normally not allow the holder to work in the host country without an additional work permit.
. Many countries have a mechanism to allow the holder of a visa to apply to extend a visa. In Denmark, a visa holder can apply to the Danish Immigration Service for a Residence Permit after they have arrived in the country. In the United Kingdom, applications can be made to the UK Border Agency.In certain circumstances, it is not possible for the holder of the visa to do this, either because the country does not have a mechanism to prolong visas or, most likely, because the holder of the visa is using a short stay visa to live in a country.
. Some foreign visitors sometimes engage in what is known as a visa run leaving the country for a short period just before the allowed length of stay runs out to restart the clock. However, immigration officers might also deny re entry under these circumstances, especially if done more than once as such acts may signify that the foreigner wishes to permanently reside and might also work in that country. Some countries may have limits as to how long one can spend in the country without a visa, as well as how much time they may have to stay out before restarting the clock, further creating a barrier to visa runs. For example, Schengen countries impose a maximum limit for visitors of 90 days in a 180 day window. In other countries, on the other hand, a visa run is pretty much tolerated, such as the daily commuting between the Malaysian border town of Johor Bahru and Singapore.
. All foreigners entering India must have a passport or any other internationally recognized travel document and visa.
Nepalese or Bhutanese nationals entering by land must have some Photo Identity Papers as proof of their nationality. But in case of entry by air directly from Nepal Bhutan or from a country other than China, they must have a passport. No visa is required. However, they must have visa if they are traveling from China The visa applicant should ordinarily be within the jurisdiction of the mission post or else it is necessary to make a reference to the Indian mission post in the country to which the applicant belongs. Additional fee is chargeable for making reference to the concerned mission post.
Gratis visa is granted to diplomats and officials , UN officials traveling on duty or those traveling to India on invitation of Government of India as its guest. Those granted scholarship under Cultural Exchange Programmes are also granted gratis visa.
. Lots of countries require a tourist visa for entry, and we can help you find out if you need one, and make it easy for you to buy one. Whether youre climbing the Great Wall in China, taking on the Trans Siberian or chilling in Goa its always best to get your visa sorted as soon as you can.
. Tourist visas often come in the form of a sticker or stamp attached to a passport. Sometimes you are able to obtain a visa on arrival in a country. However for some countries you have to have your visa sorted before you get there. Search below to determine if you might need a travel visa for your next international trip.
Working holiday visas
. Applying for a visa, let alone making sure youre applying for the correct visa can be a stressful experience. We cant emphasise the importance of reading through all information available and seeking assistance with the relevant organisation should you need it. There is nothing worse than arriving to start work and finding out that youve got a standard tourist visa. To save the logistical problems in the long term, do all you can to make sure youve done it right back home.
Passport processing services
. A division of BLS International Services is an exclusive trusted partner to the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of India, Dubai which manages the administrative function of the Passport application process.This website provides you with the latest information and guidelines on the passport application procedures involved in making the application for an Indian Passport from UAE.
Dual nationals travel information
. Provides travel information and tips to dual nationals. Includes information about what dual nationality is, how people become dual nationals and the implications of dual nationality when travelling overseas.
Passports change of Name
. If you wish to change the name that appears in your passport, you must provide originals of documents that explain all name changes you have had since birth or obtaining Australian citizenship.
Advance passenger information
. The authorities in many countries require us to collect various types of personal information on our passengers. We will ask you to provide these if necessary for your trip. You can enter your API details online in My Trip or when you check in or at the airport. You can also provide your API details via your travel agent.
. Governement of India issues the following visas Business Visa, Conference Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Employment Visa, Emergency Visa, Entry Visa, Journalist Visa, Medical Visa, Missionaries Visa, Permit to re enter within 2 months, Research Visa, Student Visa, Tourist Visa, Transit Visa. Please follow the link for details on Visa Provision and supporting documents.
Visa processing time
. Upon receipt of the Visa Application through Indian Visa Application Center or directly, the Indian Mission Post requires a minimum of three working days to process the case and issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.
Fee for indian visa
. The visa fee depends upon the type of applied for and duration of visa. Visa fee is divided into various types depending upon the case viz; Basic fee, special fee, processing fee by out sourcing agency. During the online registration process, at the end of the process the basic fee shall be displayed. However, this fee shall be indicative only and final fee shall be charged while submitting the application at the respective counters Fee once received are non refundable even if the visa application is withdrawn, the visa is not granted, or if visa issued is of shorter duration of period than applied for or otherwise issued or returned at a time or on terms and conditions that may vary from those sought by the applicant. For further information on this, please check with local embassy office or Indian Visa Application center office or websites for information on applicable fee and payment methods.
. If you applied online with an e App, or if you received a request from CIC to submit your passport to the Visa Office, you can use the VAC to securely send your passport. Step 1 Bring your passport to the VAC and pay the appropriate fee s . Please include the letter from CIC requesting your passport, the VAC Consent Form, and your contact information, specifically your daytime telephone number and email address. You may either bring your passport in person to the VAC or send it by courier.
Renewing Your Passport
. How do I renew my passport? If you already have one, you just need to renew the old one. This is simple. You just fill out form DS-82, which you can pick up your local post office. You pay a fee of $110 for a passport renewal. You save $25 on a renewal because you do not have to pay the acceptance fee portion, which you must pay when getting a new one. You need to bring in all the same paperwork that was needed to get a new passport along with your current passport to get a renewal.
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