General Information Consular Services

General Information

  • Before applying for Indian visa, please go through all the information on this page and the checklist and information booklet for Visa.
  • High Commission does not accept any visa application directly. Applications for Visa should be submitted at the BLS Visa Application Center.  For contact details, timings   and other information about these centers please visit their website
  • Acceptance of visa application does not ensure that visa shall be granted. Applicants must note that grant or refusal of visa is sovereign right of Government of India and it cannot be claimed as a matter of right by the applicant.
  • Grant of visa, its duration or number of entries is purely the discretion of the High Commission and BLS has no role in this.
  • Visa fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. Fee, once charged, will not be refunded even in cases where visa is refused or the application is withdrawn.
  • Passport on which visa is applied must have at least 2 blank pages and must have a validity of more than 180 days.  Passengers holding valid visas may be denied entry into India if the validity of their passports is less than 180 days at the time of entry into India.
  • The validity of visa starts from the date of its issue and not from the date of entry into India.
  • Processing time for visa applications is 30 days from the date application has been accepted by BLS and a receipt is generated.  However, in certain cases the processing time may exceed 30 days.
  • Visa applicants are advised not to purchase travel tickets before visa is obtained. 
  • Long-term visa holders intending to stay in India for more than 180 days are required to register at their nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or District Superintendents of Police.
  • High Commission at its discretion, may call any applicant for interview in person in the High Commission of India irrespective of his/her location of residence.  Failure to attend the interview may result in rejection of visa application.
  • In case of visa for Missionary work, Journalism, travel document holders, Pakistani nationals/persons of Pakistan origin, separate rules would apply.
  • Change of purpose is not permitted on any visas, once granted.
  • Foreigners entering India are advised that use or carrying satellite telephone sets such as Iridium, Inmarsat, Thuraya etc. is prohibited in India.Any violations would result in confiscation of these sets and the holder can be prosecuted under Section 6 of Indian Wireless Act and Section 20 of Indian Telegraph Act.


Types of visas

A foreign national desirous of travelling to India is required to obtain specific visa as per the purpose of travel, eligibility, duration of stay in India and other related aspects. Brief details of types of Indian Visas are under :

a. Tourist Visa

A Tourist visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, attending a short-term yoga programme, short duration medical treatment including treatment under Indian systems of medicine etc. and no other purpose/activity. Tourist visa is also granted for short term yoga programme not exceeding 6 months duration and not issued with a qualifying certificate/ diploma etc.

Note : There shall be a gap of at least two months between two visits on a Tourist Visa granted to nationals of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistan origin and Stateless persons.

b. Entry Visa

Entry Visa is granted to foreigner who are persons of Indian origin or are spouse/children of an Indian citizen or person of Indian origin.

c. Business Visa

Foreign nationals who wish to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture; purchase/sell industrial products or commercial products or consumer durables; technical meetings/discussions, Board / general meetings for providing business services support; recruitment of manpower; partners in the business and/or functioning as Directors of the company; consultations regarding exhibitions / participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business fairs etc; buyers to transact business with suppliers/ potential suppliers in India; evaluate/ monitor quality, give specifications, place orders, negotiate further supplies etc., relating to goods or services procured from India; experts/specialists on a visit of short duration in connection with an ongoing project with the objective of monitoring the progress of the work, conducting meetings with Indian customers and/or to provide technical guidance; pre-sales or post-sales activity not amounting to actual execution of any contract or project; trainees of multinational companies/corporate houses coming for in-house training in the regional hubs of the concerned company located in India; tour conductors and travel agents and / or conducting business tours of foreigners or business relating to it, etc; academicians/ experts coming under GIAN (Global Initiative for Academic Networks); Crew members of scheduled/non-scheduled flights operated by scheduled airlines, non- scheduled and chartered flights operated by non-scheduled airlines and special flights; participants in cultural events/ activities with remuneration; engagement in commercial sports events in India on contract (including coaches) like Indian Premier League, Indian Soccer League, etc. with remuneration.


1. The foreign national should not be visiting India for the business of money lending or for running a petty business or petty trade or for employment in India, etc.

2. Applicants holding passports other than Canadian, must have a valid Residence Permit or Work Permitfor at least two years in Canada immediately preceding date of application for Business visas. Foreign nationals in Canada having less than two years stay in Canada are advised to apply for Business visa from their home countries.

d. Employment Visa

Foreign nationals desirous of visiting India for Employment purposes is required to travel / stay in India on Employment Visa. Employment Visa is issued for a maximum period of one year or the term of contract, whichever is less. It is issued to highly qualified/skilled/specialized professionals. Applicants who wish to volunteer or work for charities with non-profit organizations/NGO also require employment visa.

e. Student Visa

Foreign nationals desirous of visiting India to pursue on-campus, full time (structured) courses (including English and other language courses and vocational education) at educational institutions (Central/ State Government Educational Institutions & Private Educational Institutions) duly recognized by statutory regulatory body and have acquired statutory authorization to conduct the course(s) complying with GST regulations.

Student Visa will not be issued to foreign nationals sponsored by franchise Educational Institutes running off-campus centres; Study Centres of Open Universities offering distance learning programmes, Educational Institutes running “outreach” programmes and offering courses without any statutory sanction from regulatory authorities. Student Visa will also not be issued for pursuing ‘Short Term Courses’ in India which are not recognized.

f. Medical Visa & Medical Attendant Visa

Foreign nationals desirous of visiting India for medical treatment in is required travel and stay in India on Medical Visa. The treatment should be undertaken in a established/ recognized/ specialized hospitals /treatment centres in India including under Indian systems of medicine.

Medical Attendant visa is issued to those who are accompanying a patient. Maximum of two attendants are permitted with a patient.

g. Journalist (“J”) Visa

A foreigner who is a professional journalist, photographer, documentary film producer or director (other than of commercial films), a representative of a radio and/or television organization, travel writer/ travel promotion photographer etc; professional journalist working for an association or a company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news or audio visual news or current affairs programmes through the print media, electronic or any other form as defined in clause (R) of sub- section (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 or any other mode of mass communication; correspondent /columnist/cartoonist/ editor/owner of the association or company referred to above; journalist visiting India for any other purpose, such as attending a Conference, tourism, meeting relatives etc.

h. Film Visa

Foreign nationals desirous of visiting India to shoot a feature film/ reality TV show and/ or commercial TV serials or a documentary film/advertisement film in India.

Processing of visa may take up to 8-10 weeks or more from the date of submission of completed application.

i. Conference Visa

A foreign national required to visit India for attending a Conference/seminar/workshop being organized in India by a ministry or department of the Government of India; public sector undertaking; central educational institution; public funded universities; organizations owned and controlled by the Government of India/State Government/Union Territory/United Nations or its specialized agencies is required to obtain Conference Visa. Private institution/NGO/private organizer requires prior permission from Government of India to organize conference/seminar in India.

For Business meetings, to discuss business matters of a particular company/ organization and Board meetings, a foreigner may obtain either a Business Visa or e-Business Visa.

Conference Visa will not be issued for events which involve politically and/ or socially sensitive subjects.

j. Transit Visa

Transit Visa is granted for the sole purpose of enabling the holder to travel through India to reach his/her ultimate destination. The visa will be valid for a single or maximum double entry within fifteen days from the date of issue. The Transit visa is valid for direct transit only for a maximum period of 03 days of stay in India. Confirmed Air Ticket for onward journey and valid visa for final destination are required. For stay in India beyond 03 days an appropriate visa should be obtained.

k. Missionary Visa

A Missionary visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is Missionary work not involving proselytization. Visa shall NOT be granted to preachers and evangelists who desire to come to India on propaganda campaigns, whether on their own or at the invitation of any organization in India.

l. Mountaineering Visa

A Mountaineering visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective is climbing, mountaineering and Trekking Peaks that fall within Indian territory. The mountaineering visa should be applied at least 5-6 months in advance.

The information given here is limited and general in nature and shall not constitute a basis for any claim. Endeavors have been made to keep the information accurate and updated. High Commission reserves the right to change or withdraw the information at any time without notice. Besides, while High Commission advises the general public to visit the relevant/linked website for more information, it accepts no responsibility or liability for the contents of any other website linked to this website.