Types of Indian Visas - Two month gap period rule for tourist visa

Two month gap rule applies only to tourist visas . . .

Tourist visas are the most common type of visa. In 2009, a new rule was announced by the Indian government regarding tourist visas. Foreign nationals holding tourist visas with multiple entry facility were required to have a gap of at least 2 months between two visits to India. According to this rule, once a tourist leaves India, they could not return to India until at least two months had lapsed. In case a foreign national wanted to visit India again within the two month period, they are required to obtain special permission from Indian consulates. This two month gap rule was later relaxed to accommodate genuine visitors, who wish to visit neighboring countries during their visit to India. They are now permitted to re-enter India if they provide a detailed itinerary and supporting documentation. Special permission to re-enter India can be taken when applying for tourist visas in their country of origin. Those tourists who have already left their country of origin, and require a permit to re-enter within the two month period, can do so by contacting the nearest Indian consulate. Immigration authorities at all Indian check posts may also allow such tourists arriving in India without specific authorization to make two or three entries into India subject to the production of an acceptable travel itinerary and travel documents. PIO/OCI card holders are not affected by the two month gap restriction as this only applies to those who visit India on a tourist visa. (*http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/faq-tvis.pdf)

Types of Indian Visa

There are several different types of visas available. The type of visa a person should acquire would of course depend, on the purpose of their trip to India. Every Indian visa is issued with the stipulation that the visa be used only for the purpose it was issued for.

Tourist Visa

Tourist Visa is granted to those who visit India for tourism purposes such as, sightseeing, visiting family and friends etc.  No other activity is allowed on a tourist visa. Tourist visas are normally valid for 6 months to 1 year with single or multiple entries. Irrespective of the duration of validity of visa, on each visit maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days) only. Tourist visa holders also have to abide by the two month gap rule, which requires that there should be a gap of at least 2 months between two separate visits to India.

Business Visa

Those who plan to conduct business in India should apply for a business visa. A 'Business Visa' is granted to those who do business in India such as, making sales or establishing contacts, on behalf of a company outside of India.  Business Visa is not for employment purposes. Business visas may be valid for 6 months to one year or more, with single or multiple entries, depending on your requirements. Irrespective of the duration of validity of visa, on each visit the maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days) only. Those who are applying to work for an Indian company should apply for an Employment Visa.

Employment Visa

An Employment Visa is granted to those who are an employee of an Indian company, or preform honorary work (without salary) with registered NGOs in India. Indian Consulates may grant 'Employment visa' valid for a limited validity irrespective of the duration of the contract. Further extension up to 5 years could be obtained from MHA/FRRO in the concerned state in India.  To be considered for 'Employment Visa' all foreign workers must earn the equivalent of $25,000 per annum or more.

Student Visa

Student visa is granted to genuine students, to pursue regular studies at recognized institutions in India. Visa is valid for the period of study as approved by the educational institution in India, for multiple entries. 

Entry Visa

An Entry Visa is granted for a specific purpose (short term courses and unpaid internships) or other non-business related purposes. An Invitation letter is required from concerned organization/authorities in India. Members of the family of a person employed in India are also eligible for Entry visa. In the latter case, documents establishing the employment of the spouse, along with a copy of his/her Employment visa must be attached.  As of June 16, 2011, foreign nationals who own property in India can apply for a one year Entry Visa. This type of visa can be extended later, by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer in India, on a yearly basis up to a maximum period of 5 years.

Long Term Entry Visa

Long term, 5 years entry visa is normally issued to people of Indian origin only. Five and ten year tourist visas are available only to US citizens under a bilateral arrangement.  Persons of Indian origin may find it more prudent, to simply get a PIO card.

Conference Visa

A Conference visa is granted for people who wish to attend international conferences in India. Those seeking conference visas, should apply in a timely manner. Indian consulates normally issue this type of visa, only after clearance for the conference is received, from the Government of India.

Journalist Visa

A Journalist Visa is granted to professional journalists and photographers. Journalist visas generally have a validity of three months with single entry. Those who intend to make a documentary in India are required to contact the Press and Information wing in the Indian Embassy. 

Research Visa

A Research Visas is granted to Research Professors or Scholars who wish to conduct research work in India. Applicants need to obtain prior permission from the concerned authorities, to conduct research projects in India. Validity of a Research visa usually coincides with the research period.  Transit Visa A transit visa is granted to enable the holder to travel through India to reach their ultimate destination.  Change of purpose is not allowed. Transit visa is valid for direct transit only within 15 days of date of issue, for a maximum period of 3 days with single or double entry.

Medical Visa

A Medical visa is granted to those who need to travel to India for medical treatment. Visa is valid for up to three months with single entry. Documents explaining details of the treatment from the concerned hospitals/doctors are normally required.

Medical Escort Visa

A Medical Escort visa is granted to a person who has to accompany a patient traveling to India, for a medical treatment. This visa can be given to a close relative/family member or a friend of the patient.  This type of visa is valid for up to three months for a single entry. The patient in such cases would need a medical visa, and the escort would apply for a medical escort visa. (Note: As rules & regulations change do check with the appropriate Indian consulates for current information.)
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Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006 Nriinformation.com

Types of Indian Visas - Two month

gap period rule for tourist visa

Two month gap rule applies only to tourist

visas . . .

Tourist visas are the most common type of visa. In 2009, a new rule was announced by the Indian government regarding tourist visas. Foreign nationals holding tourist visas with multiple entry facility were required to have a gap of at least 2 months between two visits to India. According to this rule, once a tourist leaves India, they could not return to India until at least two months had lapsed. In case a foreign national wanted to visit India again within the two month period, they are required to obtain special permission from Indian consulates. This two month gap rule was later relaxed to accommodate genuine visitors, who wish to visit neighboring countries during their visit to India. They are now permitted to re-enter India if they provide a detailed itinerary and supporting documentation. Special permission to re-enter India can be taken when applying for tourist visas in their country of origin. Those tourists who have already left their country of origin, and require a permit to re-enter within the two month period, can do so by contacting the nearest Indian consulate. Immigration authorities at all Indian check posts may also allow such tourists arriving in India without specific authorization to make two or three entries into India subject to the production of an acceptable travel itinerary and travel documents. PIO/OCI card holders are not affected by the two month gap restriction as this only applies to those who visit India on a tourist visa. (*http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/faq-tvis.pdf)

Types of Indian Visa

There are several different types of visas available. The type of visa a person should acquire would of course depend, on the purpose of their trip to India. Every Indian visa is issued with the stipulation that the visa be used only for the purpose it was issued for.

Tourist Visa

Tourist Visa is granted to those who visit India for tourism purposes such as, sightseeing, visiting family and friends etc.  No other activity is allowed on a tourist visa. Tourist visas are normally valid for 6 months to 1 year with single or multiple entries. Irrespective of the duration of validity of visa, on each visit maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days) only. Tourist visa holders also have to abide by the two month gap rule, which requires that there should be a gap of at least 2 months between two separate visits to India.

Business Visa

Those who plan to conduct business in India should apply for a business visa. A 'Business Visa' is granted to those who do business in India such as, making sales or establishing contacts, on behalf of a company outside of India.  Business Visa is not for employment purposes. Business visas may be valid for 6 months to one year or more, with single or multiple entries, depending on your requirements. Irrespective of the duration of validity of visa, on each visit the maximum period of stay in India is limited to 6 months (180 days) only. Those who are applying to work for an Indian company should apply for an Employment Visa.

Employment Visa

An Employment Visa is granted to those who are an employee of an Indian company, or preform honorary work (without salary) with registered NGOs in India. Indian Consulates may grant 'Employment visa' valid for a limited validity irrespective of the duration of the contract. Further extension up to 5 years could be obtained from MHA/FRRO in the concerned state in India.  To be considered for 'Employment Visa' all foreign workers must earn the equivalent of $25,000 per annum or more.

Student Visa

Student visa is granted to genuine students, to pursue regular studies at recognized institutions in India. Visa is valid for the period of study as approved by the educational institution in India, for multiple entries. 

Entry Visa

An Entry Visa is granted for a specific purpose (short term courses and unpaid internships) or other non- business related purposes. An Invitation letter is required from concerned organization/authorities in India. Members of the family of a person employed in India are also eligible for Entry visa. In the latter case, documents establishing the employment of the spouse, along with a copy of his/her Employment visa must be attached.  As of June 16, 2011, foreign nationals who own property in India can apply for a one year Entry Visa. This type of visa can be extended later, by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer in India, on a yearly basis up to a maximum period of 5 years.

Long Term Entry Visa

Long term, 5 years entry visa is normally issued to people of Indian origin only. Five and ten year tourist visas are available only to US citizens under a bilateral arrangement.  Persons of Indian origin may find it more prudent, to simply get a PIO card.

Conference Visa

A Conference visa is granted for people who wish to attend international conferences in India. Those seeking conference visas, should apply in a timely manner. Indian consulates normally issue this type of visa, only after clearance for the conference is received, from the Government of India.

Journalist Visa

A Journalist Visa is granted to professional journalists and photographers. Journalist visas generally have a validity of three months with single entry. Those who intend to make a documentary in India are required to contact the Press and Information wing in the Indian Embassy. 

Research Visa

A Research Visas is granted to Research Professors or Scholars who wish to conduct research work in India. Applicants need to obtain prior permission from the concerned authorities, to conduct research projects in India. Validity of a Research visa usually coincides with the research period.  Transit Visa A transit visa is granted to enable the holder to travel through India to reach their ultimate destination.  Change of purpose is not allowed. Transit visa is valid for direct transit only within 15 days of date of issue, for a maximum period of 3 days with single or double entry.

Medical Visa

A Medical visa is granted to those who need to travel to India for medical treatment. Visa is valid for up to three months with single entry. Documents explaining details of the treatment from the concerned hospitals/doctors are normally required.

Medical Escort Visa

A Medical Escort visa is granted to a person who has to accompany a patient traveling to India, for a medical treatment. This visa can be given to a close relative/family member or a friend of the patient.  This type of visa is valid for up to three months for a single entry. The patient in such cases would need a medical visa, and the escort would apply for a medical escort visa. (Note: As rules & regulations change do check with the appropriate Indian consulates for current information.)
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Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006 Nriinformation.com
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