Visa

What is A Visa?

If you have traveled abroad, you probably know what a visa is, and for those who don’t know what this document is, here is a simple explanation: A visa is a certificate of endorsement or official document on a passport that indicates you are permitted to enter, stay, and leave a certain country for a period that is stipulated in the document or at other times the period of stay may be permanent. Visa may be in form of a separate certificate bearing a stamp that is marked on the passport. You can only be granted visa by the authorities in charge of immigration of the specific foreign country you intend to visit and that’s after they have checked and verified all the credentials and needed information or documents, accurately.

Once you have obtained the visa, it implies that you know have the permission to enter the country you are visiting and stay there for the timeframe or period indicated. Learn that the permission you have obtained through visa issuance is only temporary until you are approved to enter the country of the visit from the immigration officer located at the entry point.

Types of Visa in India:

Visas come in different types and depending on the reason you are visiting a particular country or period of time you intend to stay there, you may get one of the following types of visas:

  • Business visa
  • Multiple entry visa
  • Single entry visa
  • Tourist visa
  • Residence visa
  • Short stay visa
  • Visa on arrival
  • Long stay visa
  • Electronic visa
  • Work visa

If you are granted a single entry visa, it means that it remains valid only for a single visit to a certain country. If you were to leave the country and want to come back, you have to get another visa. Multiple entry visa allows you to visit and leave the particular country multiple times as long as those visits are within the validity time of the visa.

If you are visiting a foreign country to conduct business there, you need a business visa. It is usually issued for a short-term visit.

With tourist visas, they are designed to allow applications visit a country for the purpose of touring and traveling to see the tourists’ attractions.

When you talk of residence visa, it grants the applicant the permission to have an extended stay in a foreign country they are visiting, however, the visa holder is not allowed to engage in employment when in that country.

If you are issued a work visa, it allows you to visit and stay in a foreign country, where you can also take up employment, but you can only work up to the time the validity of the visa ends. When the period you are allowed to stay and work in that country ends, the visa expires. Another term given to work visa is work permit visa.

There are also electronic visas, and these are not issued in form of certificates, instead, the applicant is granted permission to visit the specified country and that is recorded in a computer.

In addition to the above types of visas, there are other kinds of visas that are granted by different countries including transit visa, medial visa, student visa, and working holiday visa. The categorization of visa is mainly based on the purpose of visit and the kind of method used to issue the visa. For example, electronic visa is categorized based on method of issuance because it is issued electronically through a computer.

Indian Visa:

How to Apply for Visa?

When applying for a visa in India, you can do it offline or online. If you are using offline visa application method, you will need to get the application form by downloading it, then fill in the required details. Once you have filled in the information that is needed, you are required to submit the application form along with all supporting documents or credentials to the visa application center. Depending on the country where you are applying for the visa, you may find that there are different application procedures you should follow. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the specific visa application procedures for the specific country. Also, you need to realize that many countries don’t accept applying visa offline. Again, the cost of applying for visa may from one country to another.  

How to Check Visa Status Online?

If you want to check the status of your visa, you can do that online. To check the visa status online, just visit the visa status enquiry section within a specific consulate. You have to get certain information ready so that you can provide it when needed. You may be required to feed in the following information:

  • Passport number
  • Application ID

It’s also possible for you to track the visa status and you can do this by visiting a third party website that allows you to track your visa status. On that website, you will enter your date of birth and passport number. The passport number allows you to easily track your visa status.

Visa Provisions:

  1. Tourist visa

Period granted180 days

Type of entryMultiple entry

Documents needed for application – If you are applying for tourist visa, you will need to proof that you have the finances to visit and tour the country. For example, you should offer proof of your financial standing including return ticket and adequate sums of money to spend in that country during your stay there.

Is tourist visa extendable in India? You cannot extend your tourist visa in India.

  1. Transit Visa

Period granted15 days

Type of entrySingle entry

Documents needed for application – You have to confirm your ticket for the onward journey before you are granted transit visa in India.

Is transit visa extendable in India? No, you cannot extend this type of visa.

  1. Business Visa

Period granted5 years 

Type of entryMultiple entry

Documents needed for application – To be issued and approved of a business visa in India, you need to provide proof of genuine reason for coming there to do business, for example, a letter coming from the company or something like that and proof of the financial ability to conduct business there.

Is business visa extendable in India? Sure, you can have your business visa extended in India.

  1. Employment Visa

Period grantedAn application for employment visa in India may be given a period of two years maximum or when the period indicated in their contract ends. If you are a foreign expert or you are a technician who is visiting India for the purpose of exploring bilateral agreements made between the Indian and the foreign government, then a maximum of 5 years period may be offered for the employment visa. However, this is only so if the collaboration has been recognized and approved by the government of India.

If you are an foreign individual who has specialized skills and are employed in the IT sector, you can have an employment visa granted for a period of 3 years maximum.

Type of entryMultiple entry

Documents needed for application – You will need to provide documents that show proof of employment for example, documents of appointment.

Is employment visa extendable in India? Yes, your employment visa can be extended if you are a foreigner working in India.

  1. Student Visa

Period grantedA foreign student studying in India may be granted 5 years of student visa, or the course period they are undertaking, whichever is less.

Type of entryThe student is given three entries in each academic years

Documents needed for application – The student will need to show proof of admission to an Indian Institution together with letter that indicates support from a parent or guardian. The application needs to provide a guarantee certificate obtained from a bank that shows their financial ability to pay for their course studies.

Is student visa extendable in India? Yes, you can have this visa extended in India.

  1. ‘X’ Entry Visa for Foreigners of Indian Origin

Period grantedAn applicant is granted the visa for 5 years

Type of entryMultiple entries

Documents needed for application – The applicant should prove that they are of Indian origin.

Is this visa extendable in India? Sure, the visa can be extended.

The List of Identification Documents Required:

If you’re entering Nepal, India, or Bhutan by air, there are identification documents or papers that you should provide to prove your identity as a Nepalese, citizen of India, or Bhutanese and they include the following:

Indian Nationals

Indian nationals should provide:

  • A valid National Passport
  • A photo ID card issued by the Indian government, Union Territory Administration, or State government to their employees. You may also need to provide voter ID card that has been issued by Electoral Commission of India.
  • Identity Certificate issued by the Indian Embassy located in Kathmandu
  • Emergency Certificate issued by the Indian Embassy situated in Kathmandu
  • If you are below the age of 15 or above 65, you don’t need to provide documents of identity; however, you have to provide documents bearing your photograph and which can confirm your identity and age for example, PAN Card, CGHS Card. Driving License, or Ration Card among others.
  • Children are at the age of 15 and 18 can be allowed to visit or travel between Bhutan/Nepal and India, but this will be based on the identity certificate that is issued or provided by their School Principal.

Nepalese/Bhutanese Nationals

If you are a Nepalese or a Bhutanese national, you will need to provide the following identity papers:

  • A valid National Passport
  • A Nepalese Voter Identification Card issued by the Nepal Election Commission
  • Certificate of Nepalese citizenship
  • A Bhutanese Voter Identification Card if you are a Bhutanese national and this voter card should have been issued by the Bhutan Election Commission.
  • An individual may be required to show their photo-identity certificate of a limited validity and the document is granted or issued by the Royal Nepalese Mission in India.
  • In case of children aged between10 to18, they will need to provide a photo identity that has been issued by their School’s Principal provided that the parents have their valid travel documents and certificates. In case of children of Nepalese and Bhutanese nationals that are of age below 10, they don’t need to provide such documents.

Visa Entitlement Verification Online – VEVO

Processing of visa involves a lot of paperwork and probably queues that take your most previous time, but with the digital era and streamlined procedures, the process of getting visa approval has become less cumbersome and more cost efficient, especially in Australia.

VEVO – What is It?

In Australia, there is electronic visa system that eliminates the need to have visa labels in your passports so that you can be allowed to enter or stay in Australia. The immigration officials can be able to check your visa status online through VEVO.

The term VEVO is the short form of Visa Entitlement Verification Online. This is a facility that has been provided by the Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection. VEVO helps visa holders to check the status or details of their visas online in an easier way.

Individuals who are visa holders can now have access to details of their visa by visiting the VEVO website on this address – https://online.immi.gov.au/evo/firstParty?actionType=query

This means that if you have a visa that has no label in your passport, you can confirm the essential details that are related to your visa.  When you check the details you can print the Result of Entitlement Check and this serves as the evidence to confirm that you have indeed a visa. A unique identification number is usually provided that it’s linked to your visa records electronically.

In order to check the details through the VEVO portal, you will need details of the passport and any one of the following:

  • Password
  • Grant Number that is included within the email you were sent on visa approval
  • Evidence Number that is found within the visa label of the passport, but this number is unavailable in the app
  • Transaction Reference Number that is also unavailable in the app. The reference number is available for every application done online.

In the event that you don’t have the above information, you may want to use the VEVO Request for Reference Number Form where you’re required to fill in these details listed below:

  • Given name
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Family name
  • ImmiCard number
  • ImmiCard country
  • ImmiAccount Login
  • The Type of visa, and the date it was granted
  • The passport bio-page scan

Verifying Visa Online

It has now become common to do Online Visa Verification, reason being, it saves you time and it much more convenient. The embassy websites of countries a visa holder wishes to visit are the ones that do the online visa verification. There are also genuine third party website that can do the verification.

Different ways of verifying visa online exist and they vary from the simple process of entering details to the pronounced Visa Entitlement Verification. Depending on the visa type you have applied, you may have to provide additional information. You may enter your reference or application number, date of birth, and passport number. The embassy websites will show the status of your visa application and passport.

VEVO provides the following details:

  • Family name
  • Visa status
  • Visa description
  • Visa expiry date
  • Visa grant date
  • Visa grant number
  • Visa class and sub-class
  • Entries allowed
  • Entry date
  • Period of stay
  • Name of dependants
  • Visa type.

Organizations Registered with VEVO:

Holders of visa may not need to register in order to access VEVO portal, however, organizations should register and create ImmiAccount. For organizations to register with VEVO, they need to have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN). Those organizations can now access information related to your visa. Organizations would check your visa status through VEVO see what activities you can involve yourself in without breaching the law. Organizations that register with VEVO are such as:

  • Employers.
  • Real estate agents.
  • Registered migration agents (RMAs)
  • Education providers
  • Labor suppliers
  • Telecommunication companies
  • Financial institutions
  • Government agencies

How to apply Indian Visa Online?

Applying For Indian Visa Online Procedure:

If you’re a foreigner visiting India for medical, business, tourism, studies, or other purposes, you can apply for Indian visa online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in

When on the site, you will find all the information regarding the different types or categories of Indian visas. There are various requirements for an foreigner to meet visa eligibility. The application may be done online and the applicant can visit Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or they can visit Indian Mission/Post so that they complete the application process that is remaining. When you have visited the website, you will need to provide the required information that includes the following:

  • The country where you are doing the visa application from
  • The Indian Mission that is applicable to your location
  • Your nationality
  • Your date of birth which should be in the format DD/MM/YYYY
  • Your email address
  • You re-enter your email to verity it and ensure there is no error
  • The expected arrival date
  • The type of visa
  • The purpose you are visiting India- you can select from the drop-down menu

If you are visiting India whether for casual visit, recreation, meeting friends, sightseeing, business, study, or medical treatment, there are certain visa eligibility that apply. They include:

Tickets- You should produce your onward and return tickets

Passport- You should have a passport that has a validity period of at least 6 months from the date you arrive in India. The passport should also have black pages, at least two, where the immigration officials will stamp.

Other documents- Depending on your travel plan, you may need to provide the necessary documents.

The Application Process:

Once you visit the website, you should fill the online application form and upload the necessary scanned documents including your passport and photograph. When you are have submitted the application, you are required to make payment depending on your visa type. There are various online payment methods you can use, and when done with the payment, you are given a reference number that you can use to track your visa application. Upon approval, the eTV will be send to your email address. You will also get notifications through SMS.

Tracking Your Visa Application Status

To track your visa application, you can use the following steps:

For regular visa application, you will need to visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/StatusEnquiry and enter your application ID, which contains 12 characters. You can also enter your passport number.

For e-visa application, you will need to visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/StatusEnquiry and enter your application ID, which contains 12 characters. You also want to enter your date of birth and specify your nationality. When you have entered that those details, verity captcha and then check status advanced search, and this is for e-vas only.

How to check Visa Status Online by using Passport Number?

Check Visa Status Using Passport Number:

You can track visa status using the passport number. You can do this by contacting Visa Facilitating Services or your travel agent where you give them your passport number. Using your passport number, they will be able to provide your visa status. There are third party websites that you can use where you enter your passport number and other details like date of birth. When you have entered the details, you can check your visa status. It’s mandatory that you have your passport number to check the visa status.

If you are checking for your India visa, you can visit the official website at  https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/

Visa Renewal:

If you are visiting a foreign country, visa is probably the most important document you should have to be eligible for entering, staying, and leaving the country. In most of the situation, a visa does not necessarily authorize you to get to the country but only makes you to be eligible for submitting the documents needed at the consulate office.

The Time for Renewing Your Visa:

You cannot wait until your visa has expired for you to renew it, otherwise, the renewal may not be accepted. So you should apply for the renewal before the expiry date. What this means is that you cannot be able to overstay in a foreign country. Make sure the visa has been renewed before the date of expiry as indicated in the visa sticker.  You may want to understand that the renewal requirements for a visa may vary from one country to another. The renewal may also vary depending on your type of visa. Under specific conditions, a visa holder may be allowed interview waiver, but if only they are qualified. Getting a need for some other round of interview will save time for your and help consular officials to work on visa for fresh applicants.

Requirements for Visa Renewal:

Your will need the following things when doing visa renewal:

  • Visa renewal form
  • Visa renewal fees
  • Documentation

If you are renewing your visa, you need to pay for that. The fees may vary depending on the type of visa. As the applicant, you should fill the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application form. Make sure you have saved the confirmation page once you fill it out. Also, as the applicant, you should ensure you register an account at the official website, which is the website for the US embassy in India, and this is for US nationalities. If you meet the eligibility to get an interview waiver, you need to schedule for a visa appointment, which is done at the Visa Application Center (VPC). When you visit the Visa Application Center (VPC), you will get your fingerprints at that VPC.

Other documents you should have include your current visa and passport and other supporting documents. For children aged less than 14 years, they may not need to go personally to the Visa Application Center (VPC) because their parents and guardians will submit the needed documents. If the renewal of visa is approved, you can collect the visa and passport at the VPC.

What Is An E-Visa?

When you talk of e-Visa, it’s an electronic visa that is issued to foreign nationals. This visa allows you to enter and stay in a particular country for the period specified. For e-visa, the personal information is stored in an electronic system, and you also get your copy through the email you registered. E-Visa is mainly designed for short term stay. In India, you can apply for e-visa for tourism purposes, short term business visit, visiting of relatives or friends, going to take part in sports activities or visiting the country for cultural, scientific, and humanitarian activities.  The Indian government today offers e-visa so residents of 43 countries.

How to apply for E-Visa?

Applying for E-Visa Procedure:

It’s easy to apply for e-visa. You will not need to go for a visa interview physically at the embassy. What you need to have is a passport that has a validity period of not less than 6 months from the time you apply for visa. You can apply for your e-visa by going to the official embassy website of the country you want to visit. You will need to submit the online application form, and then make the payment. A verification message will be send to your email and you have to verify that email. Payment may be done by use of a credit card or debit card, and cost of e-visa varies from one country to another. Upon issuance of the e-visa is done, you cannot change the information, so it’s important you fill in the details carefully to avoid errors.

What are the benefits of e-visa?

There are various benefits of e-visa and one is that you can obtain it anytime, anywhere. As long as you have a valid passport and access to internet, you can make you e-visa application. The process is also smooth and hassle free because you save time by not having to visit the embassy for visa interview.

Why your E-visa may be rejected?

Your e-visa may be rejected by the immigration authority if there is some important information missing and if the validity period for the passport is not 6 or more months. In case you have provided incorrect information in the application form, then your e-visa may be rejected. If you have not specified the type of visa you are applying for and if the intentions of visiting the country are not clear, you may also be denied the e-visa.

What’s the eligibility for E-visa?

If you are applying for e-visa, the eligibility conditions are as follows:

  • It’s issued to those people who want to visit relatives and friends or go for medical treatment, recreational activities, short term business
  • Your passport should have a validity period of not less than 6 months
  • There should be a minimum of two blank pages on the passport where the immigration officer will stamp
  • You should have your return ticket ready with you so that you exit the country when the time of stay expires
  • For children and infants, they need to have separate passports and e-visa.

In applying for e-visa, you need your passport sized photographs and a valid passport with at least 6 months validity period. On arrival to the country of entry, you will be required to produce various documents including:

  • Invitation letter, if you have it
  • A printed copy of the e-visa
  • Medical insurance cover that will cover you during the period of stay
  • Passport that is valid for more than 6 months
  • Other additional documents that the immigration authority may ask as the airport.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Visa:

Visa FAQ’s:

What’s an Entry Visa?

This is an official document permitting people who are of Indian origin to get into India. This visa also allows children and spouse who are of people of Indian origin to be able to visit the country. Entry visa may also be issued to spouse and dependents of foreign residents who are visiting India for a long term stay.

How do I correct mistakes on the visa application form?

If you have made mistakes on the form, you may correct them on the physical application form or you may do it online, but this should be done before you submit the form.

What’s a visa number?

This is a number that is given to foreign residents by the authorizes in a specific country. It’s a colored in red and printed on your document on the right side. In the US, it is known as visa foil number.

How do I verify my visa number?

You can verify your visa number online. There are third party websites and government tools such as VEVO that can help with your visa number verification. You will need to enter your passport number and any other details that may be required.

What’s the difference between visa and passport?

A visa is a document that permits you to gain entry and stay in a particular country whether on permanent or temporary basis. A passport on the other hand is a document that proofs your legal citizenship. During travel, a passport is used for identification purposes and it certifies both your identity and nationality.

What’re the visa free countries in India?

In India, if you come from countries like Nepal, Maldives, and Bhutan, you can get visa-free entry to India. This means that visitors who come from these countries may not need any visa to gain entry and stay in India for a specified period.

What’s the difference between nonimmigrant and immigrant visa?

If you are applying for visa to gain entry to US, you will come across these two terms, immigrant and nonimmigrant visa. With immigrant visa, it is for those people who seek to stay permanently in US. Nonimmigrant visa on the other hand is issued to people wishing to stay in US for a temporary period. Nonimmigrant visas may be issued for medical treatment, tourism, study, work, business, and such reasons. Nonimmigrant visas are granted to people who have permanent residence in other countries outside US.

Is visa control number same as visa number?

No, they aren’t the same. 

What’s nonimmigrant visa number?

This is a unique number available in the non-immigrant visa document and it is printed in red color for the US visa document and appears on the bottom right hand side.

What are visible identification marks? 

This refers to things like body modifications or tattoos and other noticeable marks, according to the Indian Visa application rules.