A student visa is a type of visa issued by the Indian government that allows foreigners to study in India for a certain period of time. In order to apply for a student visa in India, the applicant must first be accepted by an accredited educational institution in India. The applicant must then apply for the visa through the Indian Embassy or Consulate in their country of origin. Basically, a student visa in India is valid for the duration of your studies, a maximum of five years. However, the visa can be extended if studies are extended or the student wishes to take additional courses.

To be eligible for a student visa in India, the applicant must provide proof of acceptance to an Indian educational institution, proof of financial support, a valid passport and a completed visa application form. If necessary, the applicant must also submit other documents such as a health certificate and police clearance certificate. Once the student visa is issued, the student is eligible to enter India and study at the specified educational institution. However, students must fulfil the visa requirements and leave India when the visa expires or the study period ends.

Requirements for Student Visa

In addition to the fees above, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months and contain at least two blank pages, including the visa page. You must also submit:

  • two passport photos
  • completed visa application form
  • a letter from the host university stating that you have been accepted (or, in the case of a temporary visa, that you have applied for)
  • Evidence of sufficient financial support to cover your studies and stay in India
  • Print of signed online application form.
  • Passport valid for at least 180 days with at least two blank pages.
  • Letter of acceptance from a recognized Indian educational institution stating the period of study (proof of affiliation/admission must be presented).
  • Documents proving financial support for Indian tuition and residency OR Declaration of parental sponsorship with supporting documents.
  • Parental consent to study abroad for applicants under the age of 18.
  • Fees (visa fees, consular fees, service fees and other applicable fees).

Rules of the Student Visa

  • In order to study in India, it is mandatory for international students to obtain an Indian Student Visa.
  • Visas can be submitted in person or by post to the authorized High Commission/Embassy.
  • When applying for the visa, the candidate must provide the name of the institute, which will then be mentioned on the visa.
  • If you have entered India on a university document, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are onboard and report directly to the university.
  • A visa authorized in the name of a university or obtained based on university documents cannot be used for other purposes such as employment, admission to other universities/colleges/institutes/academies, etc. or for non-regular learning methods (distance/online).
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that students hold valid visas for the duration of their studies.

How long does it take to get an Indian Student Visa?

There is no standard processing time for Indian student visas, but most students receive a decision within two weeks of submitting their application. While visas can be processed quickly, it's best to start applying as soon as you receive your acceptance letter. Any problems or delays with your application could result in you not receiving your visa on time. Don't ruin your plans by delaying your visa application at the last minute.

The visa can be extended further, but this time the application will be processed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which will grant or refuse the visa depending on the recommendation of the FRRO or the government of the country concerned.

Visa validity & Entry Points

Student visas are issued for up to five years, depending on the length of study. They can also be updated in India. Moreover, travellers with a valid student visa can enter India from any desired entry checkpoint (airport, seaport).

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 Ministry of Health Department will be required.

What if your Indian student visa application is refused?

When the Indian authorities refuse a student visa, they provide reasons for the refusal. The reasons may be related to incomplete documentation, lack of financial support, or concerns about the genuineness of the course or the institution. Understanding the reason for the refusal is essential to determine the next course of action.

  • If you believe that the visa refusal was unjustified, you may appeal the decision. You can appeal the decision to the Indian embassy or consulate in your home country, or to the Ministry of Home Affairs in India.
  • If the reason for the visa refusal is related to incomplete documentation or insufficient evidence, you may reapply for the visa with the correct and complete documents.
  • It is essential to note that the decision to grant a visa is solely at the discretion of the Indian authorities. Even with the correct documentation, there is no guarantee that the visa will be granted. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare well and understand the requirements before applying for the Indian student visa.

Temporary student visa

There are times when the candidate does not have the final acceptance letter from the college/institute due to the process which requires entrance tests etc. These students can apply for a temporary study visa based on a temporary acceptance certificate issued by the university/institute.