Under the current Visa regime, a Research Visa (RV) is given to Research Professors or Scholars and to Foreign Nationals (FN) attending research Conferences/Seminars/Workshops. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently come out with the FAQ’s on  the RV providing further clarity on this category of Visa’.

Key clarifications are summarised below

•           Indian Missions/Posts abroad can issue RV for a period of three years or for the duration of the research project, whichever is earlier.

•           The maximum period of RV would be restricted to the duration of the project approved by the University/Institute of affiliation or five years, whichever is less. However, an extension of a maximum of six months may be granted to enable

the FN to complete the final formalities of the research project.

•           An application in the prescribed form, along with the following documents, is required to be furnished for the obtaining the RV:

– Subject/topic of the research project.

– Details of places to be visited in India during the project period.

– Details of previous visits to India.

– Letter of admission and Certificate of Affiliation in original from the recognised Indian University/Institution in token of having secured admission for the research purpose.

– Evidence of financial resources to meet the expenses of the stay in India.

– In case the research proposal relates to the applicant’s own country a brief synopsis (150 words) and justification for doing research in India should also be submitted along with the application.

• Local Foreigner Regional Registration office (FRRO)/Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) is competent to convert Student ‘S’ visa into RV (except prior reference cases) subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:

– The FN has pursued a regular three years degree course/Post Graduate course from a recognised University; and

– The FN furnishes documentary proof of admission in a research programme and of adequate financial resources.

Further, FRRO/FRO can also extend RV subject to production of the specified documents.

• Overseas Citizen of India (“OCI”)/ Person of Indian Origin (“PIO”) card holders cannot carry out research in India without receiving special permission from MHA.

Conclusion :-The FAQ’s released by MHA provide greater clarity in terms of the granting of RV. This is another step by the Indian government in streamlining the Visa regime in India.

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