What is a student visa?

India offers various kinds of visas, depending on the purpose of visit. Student visa is a visa specifically for the students to desire to come to India for education purpose. Student Visas are issued for the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less, on the basis of letters of admission from Universities/recognised colleges or educational institutions in India. The children of NRIs and PIOs cardholders need not procure a student visa. Other international students need student visa or research visa for Doctoral level courses.

What are the pre-requisites for procuring a student visa? From where can one avail student visa?

Students need to procure confirmed letters of admission from universities or recognised colleges and institutions. Student visas can be obtained from any of the Indian Missions.

What are the pre-requisites for procuring a student visa?

To apply/ be eligible for a student visa, you need to conform to the following conditions.

If you are on Government of India scholarship, the respective Indian Missions would be advised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations(External website that opens in a new window) (ICCR) to issue a regular student visa after your admission in an Indian university is confirmed. However, if you are coming as a self-financing student, you need to produce letters of admission from universities or recognised colleges and institutions in India for obtaining the regular student visa.

If you are coming as a research student, synopsis of the research project countersigned by the sponsoring institution in India along with letter of approval are no objection certificate from the concerned Ministries in India should be submitted for necessary visa.

Note: Processing of applications for research may take about three months.

Can I get the visa even if I don't have a confirmed admission letter?

There is nothing to worry if your admission is still not confirmed. Students who do not having firm letters of admission from universities or institutions are issued Provisional Student Visa by the Indian Missions abroad, on the basis of provisional letters of admissions. However Provisional Student Visa is valid for 3 months. Within these 3 months, your admission needs to be confirmed otherwise you will have to leave India.

Note: No extension of Provisional Student Visa is permitted.

Can I change my University/ College after coming to India?

You need to mention the name of the Institute while applying for the visa, which is then mentioned on the visa. A request for change of university or institution subsequently made cannot be considered. In this case you would be required to go back to your home country and apply for a new visa.

Can I get my tourist visa converted to a student visa?

"Change of purpose" of visit of international students to India is not allowed once they arrive in India. Therefore, if you come to India on tourist or any other type of visa, you cannot get this visa changed to student visa. According to government regulations, if an international student coming to India on a tourist or any other type of visa (except a student visa ), obtains admission into a university or any institution in India, the student will be required to return to his country and obtain a new visa (i.e. a student visa) from the Indian mission there.

To avoid this situation, all self- financing international students are advised to obtain regular or provisional student visa from Indian missions abroad by producing confirmed or provisional letters of admission from a university or an institution.

Can I get a Student Visa directly from Indian Missions abroad?

Yes, you can provided you have confirmed admission to a course in a reputed/recognised institute in India.

Where can I apply for the visa?

The visa can be applied for from any of the Indian Embassies / High Commission. View the list of Indian Embassies / High Commission. You can also view the sample visa form(External website that opens in a new window).

Are there any rules and regulations that I need to conform to?

Yes, while applying for the visa you need to keep in mind the following regulations: Passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India should accompany your visa application. Students holding other nationalities (other than the country where applying for visa), should submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country (where applying). For citizen of other countries, a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional fee is applicable and will involve extra processing time. Please refrain from making inquiries about the status of application during this time.

How much is the student visa fees?

The fee structure depends on the nationality of the passport holder and type/duration of visa applied. These fees are payable in the local currency as well. Please check with the Indian embassy in your country for exact visa fees.

What are the formalities that foreign students should do on arrival?

Foreign students holding Student Visa of more than 180 days are required to register himself/herself with the local Foreigners Regional Registration Officer(External website that opens in a new window) (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival.

Is any approval/NOC required from any other Ministry or Department for technical courses?

So far as admission to diploma/degree/post-graduate degree in engineering and Technology, Architecture & Town Planning, Pharmacy, Applied Arts, MBA, MCA, Hotel Management & Catering Technology are concerned, there is no requirement of NOC from MHRD. However, with respect to courses in medical or para-military courses, NOC from M/o Health will be required.

What a foreign student should do for extension of his/her Student Visa?

He/she should approach the local FRRO/FRO with authentic certificate, proof of adequate financial standing etc.

How many entries are allowed to foreign students?

A. Normally one entry. However, on veritable reasons, a foreign student can apply for additional entries at Visa Facilitation Centre, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Jaisalmer House, 26, Mansingh Road, New Delhi - 110003.

When a foreign student travels abroad on a return visa & he/she re-enters India after expiry of 90 days from the date of departure from India, will he/she be given entry?

Return VISA given to students is valid for re-entry to India within a period of 90 days only. In such case a foreigner should obtain a fresh student visa from Indian Mission abroad to enter into India and then can take regular extension on the basis of fresh authentic certificate from college/university.

Can a registered student, who has completed his graduation, get extension for Post Graduate courses by FRRO/FRO?

Yes. A registered student, who has completed graduation, can apply for extension to carryout a post graduate course from concerned FRRO/FRO cum Superintendent of Police provided he produces an authentic certificate from his institution.

If a foreign student who has come on a student visa joins a new course will fresh visa fee be charged from him?

Yes, on permission of undertaking a new course, a fresh course fee is charged.

Whether visa fee can be charged from foreign students every year?

Visa fee is charged once at the time of issuance of Student visa for completion of the course or for 5 years whichever is less.

In case of 'Provisional Student VISA' when a student seeks regular admission in any college/university then one time course fee is charged which is valid for the duration of the course or for 5 years whichever is less. If the visa is issued for a period less than the duration of the course, then the visa would be extended by the concerned authorities without charging any additional fees

Can foreign students with Indian Student Visa visit the restricted/prohibited areas?

Yes, foreign students can visit the restricted and prohibited areas in India after getting a valid Resident Permit as visa alone is not sufficient to visit such places.

Whether foreign students can carryout studies in M. Phil on student visa?

Yes, for carrying out M. Phil, a Student VISA is required.