Types of Visas and their requirements
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Intern Visa

Intern Visa is only granted to an applicant who is an intern under French VIE programme, intern with business houe, including those sponsored by AIESEC, intern with NGO’s and Educational Institutions including those sponsored by AIESEC and for intern with Foreign Media Organizations in India. The validity of Intern visa (I) will be upto one year with multiple entry.

 Film Visa

Film Visa is only granted to an applicant who is coming for shooting of a feature film / reality TV show and / or commercial TV serials. The validity of Film visa (F) will be upto one year with multiple entry.



Tourist Visa

Tourist Visa is issued to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is tourism, recreation, sight-seeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives etc.
Tourist visa is normally issued for a period of 1-6 six months with Single Entry or maximum double entry decided by the High Commission/Consulate General of India on case to case basis. However, if a tourist visa is issued with double entry.

The condition of minimum two months’ gap between the two visits of a foreign national to India on a tourist visa has been waived off by the Government of India w.e.f. 21st November, 2012 except in case of few nationals.

Tourist visa is neither extendable nor convertible into any other visa except in emergent cases such as acute illness or similar exigencies. Requirements: Completed online visa application form duly signed by the applicant (scanned, photocopy of the application form, signature will not be accepted). Signature on applicant’s passport and application should be the same.
Return air-ticket with detailed itinerary.

Proof of accommodation (Hotel voucher or signed copy of invitation letter with complete address of relative/friend along with his ID in the form of copy of passport/voter’s card/driving license/utility bill/ration card/3 years personal IT papers/School ID Card or fee payments etc. in case the applicant is invited by his/her relative/friend or copy of foreigners’ registration in case your relative/friend is a foreigner currently living in India). (May please check if the amendment done in italics is correct as desired by DHC)

Bank Statement of the applicant for the last six months with sufficient funds as and when asked by the Mission/Consulate.

A 2 inch x 2 inch (51mm x 51mm) size latest coloured photograph with white background properly pasted (not stapled) at the given space.

Business Visa
Business Visa is granted to foreign nationals desiring to establish an industrial/business venture or explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture in India; to purchase/sell industrial products or commercial products or consumer durables; to conduct technical meetings/discussions, attend Board meetings, general meetings for providing business service support; to recruit manpower; consultations regarding exhibitions or participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business fairs; to transact business with potential suppliers at locations in India; to evaluate or monitor quality, give specifications, place orders, negotiate further supplies etc. relating to goods or services procured from India; experts & specialists providing technical guidance in connection with joint ventures/project or with the objective of monitoring the progress of the joint venture/project; conduct meetings with Indian customers and/or to provide some high level technical guidance; foreign 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 conducting business tours of foreigners or business relating to foreign tours.

Requirements
Original / Fax copy of Invitation letter from a recognized Indian company bearing the complete passport details of the applicants.

Certificate of Incorporation of Indian company

Recommendation letter from the company of applicant giving a brief introduction of the South African company and the purpose of visit

Certificate of incorporation of the South African company

Return air-ticket.

Conference visa
Single Entry Conference Visa up to one month stay can be granted for participation in International Conferences/Seminars/workshops organized in India. Participants for International Conferences in India may note that they should apply only for Conference visas and not for any other category of visa.
Requirements
Visa Application should be submitted along with invitation/recommendation letter (original/fax) and other relevant documents related to the conference.
Return air-ticket

Employment Visa

Employment visa is only granted to an applicant who is highly skilled or qualified professional. It is not meant for unskilled or routine/ordinary secretarial or clerical jobs. The foreign nationals being sponsored for Employment in any sector in India should draw a minimum salary of US$ 25,000 per annum. This annual salary limit does not apply to (a) Ethnic cooks, Language Teachers (Other than English language teachers), translators and officials working in Embassies or High Commissions in India.

Employment Visa may be granted to the following categories of South African nationals coming to India for employment in a company/firm/organization registered in India or for employment in a foreign company/firm/organization engaged for execution of some project in India;

Engineers/technicians coming to India for installation and commissioning of equipments/machines/tools in terms of the contract for supply of such equipment/machine/tools.
Personnel deputed for providing technical support/services, transfer of know-how/ services supplies for which the Indian company pays fees/royalty to the foreign company;
Foreign nationals coming to India as consultant on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration (this may not be in the form of monthly salary).
Artists engaged to conduct regular performances for the duration of the employment contract given by Hotels, Clubs, and other organizations;
Coaches of national/state level teams or reputed sports clubs;

Sportsmen who are given contract for a specified period by the Indian Clubs/organizations.
Note:
Conversion of business visa or any other type of visa into employment visa is not permitted. S.A. nationals who want to convert their business or any other visa into employment visa must return to their country and apply to the Mission/Consulate for Employment Visa by furnishing all relevant papers required for grant of employment visa.

Requirements
Letter of Appointment from Indian company/ or Copy of the contract signed between two parties explicitly stating annual income of more than US$ 25,000 per annum
CV of the applicant.
Documentary proof of the educational qualification.
Professional expertise certificate
Registration certificate of the employing company under the Companies Act / Proof of registration of the firm in the State industries department or the Export Promotion Council.
No-Criminal record certificate issued by the Police and duly attested by Notary.
Return air-ticket or onward ticket if the duration of the employment is not more than six months.

Student Visa

Student visa is granted to foreign students intending to study in recognized/reputed educational institutions/Universities in India. Besides, student visas are also granted to foreigners interested to study yoga, Indian classical dance or music at a recognized institution.
Requirements
Original Letter of Admission/sponsorship from the recognized Indian Institute / University

Return ticket or onward ticket if the duration of the course is more than six months.

Proof of finances to cover to and fro traveling expenses and all expenditure in India in connection with his /her education and stay.

Proof of educational qualification required to pursue the study/course chosen by the applicant.

Medical Visa
Medical visa is issued to get medical treatment in recognized specialty hospitals or treatment centers in India. Serious ailments such as neuro-surgery; ophthalmic disorders; heart related problems; renal disorders; organ transplantations; plastic surgery; joint replacement etc will be of primary consideration for grant of medical visas.

Attendant/family members of the patient coming to India for medical treatment shall be granted Medical Attendant visa validity of which will be co-terminus with the Medical Visa. Such visa may be granted to the spouse/ children or to those who have blood relations with the patient.

Requirements
The applicant should have preliminary recommendation from South Africa clearly advising the applicant to seek specialized medical treatment in India.

A letter of admission from the recognized hospital or treatment centres in India

Proof of finances to cover the cost of the treatment and other expenses in India

Return air-ticket.

Transit Visa
Transit visa is granted for the sole purpose of enabling the holder to travel through India to reach his/her ultimate destination. If the holder intends to perform some work or business in India, irrespective of the duration of his/her proposed stay, he /she should obtain a visa of appropriate category. Transit visa is valid only for direct transit, which is not more than 3 days for each visit. For a stay in India beyond 3 days, a visa of the appropriate category should be obtained. Normally, transit visa is valid for a single journey and for entry within 15 days from the date of issue. If the journey is not performed within the period of validity of the visa, a fresh transit visa would be required. Transit Visa is not required in the following cases:

Direct transit by air and traveling through India by the same flight.

Less than 24 hours halt at an Indian airport to catch a connecting flight

Transit visa will be required:

In case the person desires to leave the airport while in transit.

If the person desires to make a stopover in India for more than 24 hours.
Requirements
Copy of air-ticket booking from India to place of final destination or evidence of joining a sea vessel from the Indian port to port of final destination (in the form of letter from the shipping company)

Journalist Visa
Journalist Visa is issued to a professional journalist, a press person, a film-person (other than commercial), a representative of a radio and television organization and similar personnel in the field of information such as travel writers, travel journalists, travel promotion photographers, television producers, advertising, commercial persons and those who write on fashion, costumes and sports. The applications for journalist visas are to be submitted at the High Commission of India in Pretoria. Applications submitted at Consulates would not be processed.

The applicants are required to contact on arrival in New Delhi, the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and in other places, the Office of the Government of Indias Press Information Bureau, so that they could be given necessary assistance in various matters including planning their itineraries.

There is no requirement for accreditation for journalists on brief professional visits to India, but temporary accreditation may be extended for journalists from reputed media organizations, if so requested by them. However, all journalists on long-term assignment in India are obliged to apply compulsorily for accreditation with Press Information Bureau (PIB), when they are based in Delhi. This can only be done after arrival in India.

J visas are extendable after arrival in India, for representatives of established media organizations, on the basis of letters of nomination specifying the duration of assignment and provided they hold valid PIB accreditation. Extensions are issued for up to one year at a time. Visa extensions are issued by the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) in the city where the journalist is based.

Requirements:
Proof of identity as a journalist
All relevant supporting documents for the assignment
Return Air ticket

Research Visa

Research visas are applicable for foreign research scholars who seek to undertake research in India. It is also applicable for Professors, and scholars who are invited as visiting faculty by a recognized Indian Institute/University.
Requirements
Original Letter of Admission from the recognized Indian Institute / University (e-mail of photocopies of admission letters will not be accepted)
Recommendation Letter from the Institute / University of the applicant
Return air-ticket

Entry Visa
Entry visa will be granted to the following categories of the applicants:
Family members/dependents of foreign nationals who is granted Employment; foreigners married to Indian nationals and their dependent children; artists, sports persons, cultural troupes, academicians and professionals who visit India to participate in non-profitable/non-commercial performances sponsored by reputed federations/institutions/government departments/bodies etc. Note applicants of sports visa/office bearers of sports associations etc should choose High Commission of India Pretoria as place of submission of visa.
Family members/dependents of a foreign national, who holds employment visa, will be granted Entry Visa co-terminus with the validity of the visa of the principal applicant.
PIOs and their dependent family members.
Requirements Copies of contract, birth/marriage certificates for family members/dependents of foreign nationals who hold employment visas.
Original invitations issued by federations/institutions/government departments for sports persons cultural troupes, academicians and professionals who intend to participate in non-profitable/non-commercial performances in India.
All Persons of Indian Origin must apply for Entry Visa if the purpose of their visit is to meet their family and close relatives in India. However, a documentary evidence to establish the Indian origin is must for them to qualify for entry visa.
Return air-ticket
Note:
It is mandatory for persons of Indian origin, who have acquired South African citizenship by way of naturalization to surrender their Indian passports at the High Commission/Consulate General of India. This must be done against a Surrender Certificate issued to them by the High Commission/Consulate General of India. Non-fulfilment of this condition may invite heavy penalty if it is established that they have not surrendered Indian passport and/or misused it after acquiring South African citizenship.

Foreigners, who intend to link themselves with the registered NGOs in India for honorary work or charity and are found eligible to do so, must apply for employment visa and not entry visa.

Apart from the above-listed requirements for different types of visas, the applicants must be willing to provide any other documents that may be required by the High Commission/Consulate of India to prove the genuineness of the visa applicants.

For FAQs regarding various types of visas, please visit website http://mha.nic.in/foreigDiv/FAQs.html
Miscellaneous
Airport Entry
Visit the website of Airports Authority of India [www.airportsindia.org.in] for obtaining more information on the various types of airports in India.
Currency Declaration
The unit of the Indian currency is the Rupee. Travellers can bring into India any amount of foreign exchange, subject to the condition that on arrival a declaration is made to the custom authorities in a Currency Declaration Form. It is necessary to fill out a declaration form if the foreign exchange exceeds US$ 10,000 or its equivalent and /or the aggregate value of foreign currency notes is US$ 5,000 or its equivalent. Traveller cheques in US Dollar and Pound sterling are easily exchangeable and ATMs are available in major Indian cities. Credit cards are accepted in hotels and large stores.
  
Customs and Baggage Rules
There are two channels for customs clearance:-
Green Channel for passengers not having any dutiable goods;
Red Channel for passengers having dutiable goods.
Passengers walking through the Green Channel with dutiable / prohibited goods are liable to prosecution/penalty and confiscation of goods. Details of articles allowed free of duty for visitors to India are provided at the website www.cbec.gov.in
The transfer of residence scheme applies to foreign nationals visiting India for long durations. Under this scheme, foreign nationals can import certain personal effects without paying customs duty. A bank guarantee has to be provided for this purpose, which is returnable after the individual has stayed in India for a year. To avail of this scheme, the goods have to be shipped within two months before the entry into India or one month after entry into India. The goods brought into India under the transfer of residence scheme have to be owned by the importer or his family for at least one year.
For more details, please visit the website www.cbec.gov.in

Travel Maps
Detailed and digitized maps helpful for travelling inside India are now available from the Internet. These also provide interactive facilities for obtaining more detailed information about specific locations by zooming inside the maps. Visit: Maptell website www.maptell.com or Maps of India website www.mapsofindia.com
  
Interstate Travel
Most parts of the country are well connected by air, rail, and road transport infrastructure. Indian Airlines, the government-owned airline, and a number of private airlines such as Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Jetlite, Kingfisher Red, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Go Air, Paramount Airways, etc., run scheduled flights to various destinations. Charter flights are offered by a few private companies. For more details on Indian Airlines services, please visit indian-airlines.nic.inwww.jetairways.com, www.jetlite.comwww.airindia.com Railway reservations can be made from any of the 520 reservation centres in the country or at railway stations. For further details, please visit: www.indianrail.gov.in.

Travel Agents
India has a well established network of travel agents and tour operators. Most travel agents and tour operators are also members of reputed National and International Associations. The Government also has a system of providing recognition to them. To know more about travel Agents, visit www.travelagentsofindia.com

Hotels
Hotels in India are classified into different groups such as deluxe, international chains, heritage and palace hotels, tourist bungalows, traveller lodges, and rest houses. You may choose any reputed travel agent to assist your visit. You may also visit the website of Ministry of Tourism or Incredible India .
  
Food
Indian cuisine differs from region to region. There is Mughlai food, Tandoor (barbeque in clay oven) and South Indian food. For people in the north, wheat is the staple, while it is rice in south India. Generally Indian food is spicy and hot. The waiters can be told to make it less spicy.
There are some Indians who are vegetarians. Hindus do not eat beef considering cow as sacred. Muslims do not eat pork. Some vegetarians also do not eat egg, onions, garlic etc. It is best to check dietary restrictions in advance while inviting Indians for a meal.
The trend towards dining out has increased and many restaurants serve Continental, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, French, Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, Mediterranean, and other cuisines. American fast food is very popular and outlets are present in most cities and towns.
Tipping is optional but a common practice in India. The usual option involves leaving a 10% tip for the services provided.

Health Formalities
For entry into India, any person, foreigner or Indian, (excluding infants below six months) arriving by air or sea without a vaccination certificate of yellow fever will be kept in quarantine isolation for a period up to 6 days if :
The person arrives in India within 6 days of departure from an infected area. Has come on a ship which has started from or transited at any port in a yellow fever affected country within 30 days of its arrival in India provided such ship has not been disinfected in accordance with the procedure laid down by WHO. For leaving India, there is no health check requirement by Indian Government on passengers leaving India. Persons leaving for a yellow fever infected area are advised in their own interest to be in possession of valid yellow fever vaccination certificates before they leave the country.


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