Immigration weekly update: July 29, 2019

India: Visa categories ease entry

There are 26 main visa categories (excluding visas issued for long-term visits or to SAARC members and Overseas Citizens of India) and 104 sub-categories.

The home ministry has liberalized India’s visa rules to simplify the entry of foreign nationals and give them better flexibility in terms of legitimate activities. This includes combining the following visa categories:

  • Medical attendant with medical
  • Project with employment
  • Internship and research with student
  • Sports with business

Amendments have also been made to specific provisions:

  • Permitting a foreign national on a tourist visa to attend an international conference.
  • Expanding other activities under tourist and e-tourist visas, permitting a person of Indian origin – or spouse/children of an Indian citizen – to undertake employment, business, studies or research without converting the visa to the appropriate category.
  • Requirements for a film visa are now at par with the business visa.


The number of main visa categories has been reduced to 21 and visa sub-categories are reduced to 65.

Looking ahead

While these changes are yet to be implemented, it is recommended individuals and companies review the options now available. We will continue to track the progress of the liberalization visa regimen and update accordingly.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Economic/India Times.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC or Bopanna Nanjappa, Immigration Manager for South Asia.

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