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 wanting 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/recognized colleges or educational institutions in India.
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 scholarships, the respective Indian missions would be advised by ICCR to issue a regular student visa after your admission in an Indian university is confirmed. On the other hand, if you are coming as a self-financing student, you need to produce letters of admission from universities or recognized 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.
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?
Don't worry if your admission is still not confirmed. Students 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. 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.
Where can I apply for the visa?
The visa can be applied for from any of the Indian Embassies/High Commission.
Are there any rules & 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.