Long-term Visas in India

Find out how to secure a longer-term visa to reside in India and register as a foreigner…

For foreigners of non-Indian origin, a longer-term visa is classed as one that permits the holder to stay in India for longer than 180 days (six months) continuously. The main visas that provide this are the Employment, Entry and Student visas.

A long-term visa (more than 180 days) requires registration at the Foreign Regional Registration Office in the area of residence within 14 days of arriving in India. A fine of US $30 is charged for late registration. A “certificate of registration” will be issued once the procedure is complete, which can then be used to obtain a Residence Permit. A Residence Permit is a requirement for foreigners who want to work in India.

Registering with a Foreign Regional Registration Office

The major Indian cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad) have Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO). Contact details and locations of these can be found by hovering over the “contact us” tab on the Indian Bureau of Immigration page: Click here

Registration, and an appointment for a registration interview, must be done online for those registering in Delhi.

  • For information from the Ministry of Home Affairs on how to register online: Click here (PDF in English)

Foreign registration in areas not covered by an FRRO can be completed at the District Superintendents of Police, which operates as the Foreign Registration Office (FRO).

Upon request from a registration officer, magistrate officer or police all foreigners are required, within 24 hours, to produce the certificate of registration.

Documents Required for Registration

At the Registration Office a completed registration form needs to be signed in the presence of the registration officer.

  • A registration form can be downloaded from the Indian government portal online: Click here (PDF in English)

The following are also required:

  • Four passport photos
  • Passport with valid visa
  • Three photocopies of the photo page and the valid visa of passport
  • Details and three copies of proof of residence (rent agreement/utility bill with letter from landlord)
  • Registration fee of Rs100

Employment, Business and Students visas require extra documentation:

Employment visa

  • Three copies (in total) of registration form
  • Three copies of contract from employer including terms and conditions, salary, designation and so on
  • Three copies of stamped and signed (by appropriate authority) undertaking letter from the company on company letterhead. For required format of the letter: Click here
  • If living in India for over a year, a copy of Form 16/Income Tax papers. The form can be downloaded online: Click here (PDF in English)
  • Three copies of Permanent Account Number (PAN) card or three copies of the application made for a PAN card. The PAN application form can be downloaded online: Click here (PDF in English)

Business visa

It is normal for this visa to have a stay stipulation of 180 days. Where this is not the case the visa will clearly state that registration is required within 14 days. Registration is also required for this visa when the holder wishes to apply for an extended stay beyond 180 days. The following documents must be provided:

  • Three copies of stamped and signed (by appropriate authority) undertaking letter from one of the directors of the company on company letterhead. For required format of the letter: Click here
  • Papers proving the authenticity of business
  • Permission papers from the Reserve Bank of India
  • Approval papers from the Government of India (if a joint venture)
  • Three copies of Permanent Account Number (PAN) card or three copies of the application made for a PAN card. The PAN application form can be downloaded online: Click here (PDF in English)

Student visa

  • Original and authentic certificate from educational institute

Registration Conditions

Registration is normally completed on the same day unless the registration officer needs to make further enquiries or checks. After registration a registration certificate is issued and is valid for the period permitted on the visa. A residence permit is also issued (see below).

Holders of a registration certificate must inform the Foreign Registration Office if:

  • There is intention to be absent from the registered address for a duration of eight weeks or more
  • The registered address changes
  • The holder departs India (this must be done before departing)

Upon final departure of India the registration certificate must be returned either to the Registration Office where registered, or at the place of departure, or to the immigration officer at the port of exit from India.

Residence permit and PAN

A residence permit is a requirement for foreigners staying in the country for longer than 180 days. It is issued following registration at the FRRO and is valid for the duration specified in the holder’s visa.

All those working in India require a Permanent Account Number (PAN). This is a unique identifying number issued by the Indian Income Tax Department and is essential for all those wishing to work in India and to obtain a residence permit.

  • For more information from the Indian government online portal: Click here
  • A PAN application form: Click here (PDF in English)
  • Guidelines for filling out the application form: Click here

Visa Extensions

Extensions to visas are reviewed on an individual case basis. Applications must be submitted well in advance of current visa expiry, and various documents are required for each specific visa.