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Study in India: Student Visas and Permits

IMPORTANT: Your passport must be machine-readable. If it’s not, you’ll be denied entry to India, even if you have the right visa. 

Unless you hold a Bhutanese or Nepalese passport, you’ll need a visa to study in India. You’re also visa-exempt if you hold Overseas Citizen of India status or a Person of Indian Origin card, as these give you many of the same rights and benefits as full citizenship. Fortunately, for everyone else, India makes the whole process about as simple and straightforward as it can be. 

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Firstly, you must have written confirmation of your admission to an Indian school. Schools normally provide this in both Hindi and English. The English version is recommended for this application. The course must be at least six months long. You’ll also need to provide evidence of how you will get a realistic amount of money to live off without having to work in India. 

You’ll also need to obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Health, showing that you’re in rude health. You can get this by sending medical documents to the Ministry in good time. If you’re not from an Anglophone country, your documents will need to be translated into either Hindi or English, depending on in which language you’re making the application. 

You must also provide a written statement that you don’t have any family members in India or any Indian family living in another country. If you do, they must co-sponsor your student visa alongside your school. 

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Remember to make sure that any translations are notarized. Even if you can do it yourself, don’t. 

Indian study visas are valid for a maximum of five years. There is a fee of between $13 and $118 depending on your citizenship. Your passport is what counts, not your country of residence. This fee is normally paid in USD. INR is not actually accepted in some countries. Increasingly, Indian consulates, embassies and visa centers prefer card payments. 

You must first leave India if you decide to apply for a work permit after your studies.

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Unlike with other types of Indian visas, you’re free to arrive in the country through any point-of-entry as long as it’s not on India’s borders with China or Pakistan.

Despite the Indian government’s claims to the contrary, previous travel to Pakistan can lengthen the visa application process. Additionally, those with dual nationality must apply using their Pakistani passports. Those of Pakistani descent who don’t hold a passport must hold a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and must clearly state this and give details of it in their application. Anyone who is Pakistani or of Pakistani descent will need security clearance before a visa can be granted. This clearance is given internally by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in India are fairly similar. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in India. We've put together information on how this works, and on scholarships, in this section.

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Language & Culture

India is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more! We also talk about how to stay safe in India in this section.

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Application Process

Learn more about how to apply to Indian schools and the documentation you need to do it in this section.

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Last update: 14 Oct 2020

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