Visas for India

Getting a visa for India isn’t too difficult, but the process can take some time. Indian visa rules aren’t always clear and concise, so expats who plan on visiting or moving to India must begin by identifying the visa that’s right for their situation. It is best to start the process as far ahead of time as possible.

Tourist visas for India

Indian tourist visas are for travellers wanting to visit friends or sightsee. They are generally granted for 60 days.

Most foreign nationals will apply for their visa in their home country before they leave – this can either be done at a local application centre or via the online e-Visa system. Nationals of certain countries won't need to apply in advance and can instead obtain a visa on arrival in India. Expats should determine which category they belong to well ahead of time.

Work visas for India

Expats can either apply for an employment visa or business visa to legally work in India – no separate work permit will be needed.

Employment visas

Employment visas are issued to expats wanting to work for an organisation registered in India. Expats are eligible for employment visas if they are relocating to India with a guaranteed offer of employment or via an intra-company transfer. Employment visas for India are usually valid for one year or for the term of the employment contract, though in certain cases they may be granted for two, three or five years. It is possible to renew an employment visa from within India.

Business visas

Business visas are available for expat entrepreneurs or investors who want to conduct business in India. They must be able to prove that they are in good financial standing and that they have expertise in their field of business.

Business visas holders can be in India for up to six months at a time, but sometimes a visa with a longer validity with be issued in order to allow multiple entries over the course of several years. 

*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

Beverly Rodrigues Our Expat Expert

Born and brought up in Mumbai, I have seen its transformation take place from just another Indian city to India's mega-metropolis. However, being the destination of many Indians as well as expats, Mumbai can be overwhelming at first. In the last five years of my career, I have worked closely with expats and I am aware of the many problems that they face when relocating to Mumbai. I now provide assistance to expats to help make their transition as simple and enjoyable as possible. Should you need any help with your relocation to Mumbai, you can follow my blog, Expat Guide Mumbai.

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