An All-inclusive Guide to Obtaining a Business Visa to India

indian business visa

India has so much to offer when it comes to business opportunities. Every year a number of foreign nationals visit the country to be a part of a business venture or explore possibilities to set up business in India. However, to start a business in India, foreigners need to apply for Indian business visa. After seeing the high demand for a business visa, the Government of India has made the process easier than ever. Anyone who wants to travel to India for business purpose can apply for an electronic visa.

e-Business visa India is issued to the foreign nationals to let them visit India and stay there for a while to establish or expand their business, make sales or establish contact on behalf of a company outside India.

Types of Business Visa

India has a number of visas to offer; depending on the purpose of your visit. For example, tourist visa, entry visa, employment visa, student visa. So if you are travelling to India for a business-related activity or project, you have the following two options:

Business Visa

e-Business Visa

Both visas may sound the same but the process and reasons to obtain them are completely different. India business visa can be obtained through both online and offline mediums. Both these options have their own merits and demerits. While the former needs to be physically applied by visiting an embassy, the latter can be easily applied online. Also, the electronic visa allows restricted entry through specific airports and seaports. The duration of stay also gets affected by the type of visa you opt for. While applying for an electronic business visa, there are chances to face some technical difficulty. The regular business visa might be time-consuming as you need to visit the concerned Indian Mission to submit the documents and make the payment. 

Duration and Validity

e-Business visa to India is valid for one year from the date ETA has been issued. However, you can make multiple entries throughout the year. For each entry duration of stay shall not exceed 180 days. If the stay will be longer than 180 days, you must get registered with the concerned FRRO/FRO within two weeks after the period of 180 days has expired. 

On the other hand, business visa for India is granted for a period of 5 years and you can make multiple entries throughout the period. This type of visa is extendable in India. An online India business visa for us citizens can be obtained for one, five or ten years. 

Eligibility Criteria

The citizens of 169 countries have been made eligible to apply for e-Business Visa, the rest of the countries can go for the traditional method of obtaining a visa. 

The eligible countries are:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- Macau, China- SAR Hong Kong, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte D’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher And Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States Of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City – Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

Also, nationals of Japan and South Korea can acquire a visa upon arrival in India. For them, there is no need to request a visa in advance. They can go along with their passport at the customs, and get the visa straight away by filling the form and paying the fee.

India Business Visa Cost

The cost to obtain a business visa online is as follows:

$25- Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka

$80- Aruba, Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Angola, Anguilla, Armenia, Antigua & Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cambodia, Chile, China, China- Sar Hong kong, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, China – Macau, Comoros, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Dominica, Ecuador, Eritrea, East Timor, , Hungary, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Vatican City – Holy See, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Cote D’Ivoire, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Republic Of Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, , Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Montserrat, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger Republic, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Macedonia, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saint Vincent And The Grenadines,Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Switzerland, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Swaziland, Suriname, Slovenia, Saint Christopher And Nevis, Sweden, Slovakia, Tanzania, Thailand, Taiwan, Trinidad And Tobago, Tajikistan, Turks And Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Zambia.

$100- Mozambique, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Activities Allowed with Business Visa

When you are visiting India after applying for Business Visa, you will only be allowed to perform specific business-related activities as listed below:

  • Set up an industrial or business venture or to explore the possibilities for it.
  • Participate in technical meetings, discussions or attend board meetings, and general meetings related to businesses.
  • For recruiting manpower.
  • For purchasing or selling industrial or consumer products.
  • For performing pre-sales activity, not the actual execution of any project or contract.
  • As a director or business partner of the company.
  • Participate in exhibitions, trade, business fairs, etc.
  • To transact with suppliers in India, do the quality check, give specifications, place orders, negotiate further supplies, etc. for the goods and services obtained from India.
  • Short visits to India to check the progress of an ongoing project or to conduct meetings.
  • For the purpose of in-house training in the regional hubs of the concerned company.
  • Senior managers of firms, experts, tour conductors, and travel agents, etc. visiting country for projects of national importance.

Documentation Required 

India business visa requirements are as follows: 

  • A scanned copy of Bio page of passport on which the photo and personal details must be clearly visible.
  • Copy of Business Card
  • Invitation letter from Indian parties with whom you want to conduct the business (optional).
  • The digitally scanned photograph as per the below-mentioned specifications. The photo must be a latest one and not older than 6 months.
  • Credit or Debit card or PayPal account to make payment.

Documents Specifications

For Passport

Format- PDF

Size- Minimum 10 KB

          Maximum 300 KB

Other documents for Business Purpose

Format- PDF

Size- Minimum 10 KB

        Maximum 300 KB

For Digital Photograph

Format- JPEG

Size- Minimum 10 KB 

          Maximum 1 MB

Plain light coloured or white background.

Height and Width have to be equal.

The photo must have the front view of a full face with eyes open and without specs.

Head in the centre of the frame showing full head from the top of hair to bottom of the chin must be clearly visible.

Photo with no shadow on the face or on the background.

The photo must be without borders.

Process to Obtain Indian Business Visa

Once you are ready with all the required documents, the next step is to start filling the Indian business visa application form by visiting the official website. It will take only 10 to 15 minutes to fill the complete form. Fill in the details asked correctly, upload the passport and photograph and make payment to submit your e-Visa request. 

However, in case of a regular business visa, you can visit the link https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html, fill the application online and then select the Indian Mission from where you want to apply for a visa. Then you have to submit the required documents at the Indian Visa Application Centre. After paying the fee, you can collect the business visa from the centre or by post. 

For those foreigners who are interested in a short-term urgent business trip to India can simply apply for an e-Visa. There is no need to depend on Indian Missions to issue a Business Visa before traveling. You can expect easier and faster processing of business and is the best choice for short term business travelers. You can get away with the need of visiting an Embassy or Consulate.

Indian Business Visa Processing Time


The electronic visa has gained so much popularity over time and is requested more often than the regular one. Normally, it takes 4-7 business days to get your visa processed and sent to you via email. So it is advisable to apply in advance at least 10 days before the date of travel so as to avoid any inconvenience. 

However, if the urgency to visit India has arisen all of a sudden, you can apply for an urgent business visa to India. Businessmen need to travel all of a sudden to different countries and there is no chance of waiting for 4-7 days. So you can select ‘Urgent Processing’ while filling the application form. The complete possibility is that you will receive the visa in your email within 24-72 hours. 

However, in case of a regular visa, the Indian Mission requires a minimum of three working days to process the visa after receiving the Visa Application through the Indian Visa Application centre and then issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.

Business Visa on Arrival to India

Citizens of Japan and South Korea can apply for an Indian business visa on arrival in Delhi (NCT), Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru or Hyderabad. The visa is valid for 60 days. This facility can be used twice in a calendar year. If the citizens of such countries want to enter the country through an airport or seaport not covered by the VOA scheme, they can apply for an e-Visa instead.

Note- Business visa and Employment visa are two different things. Even if you are going to India for a short term job, you need to obtain an employment visa. 

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