CIRCULAR NO. - 345
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
Jaiselmir House, New Delhi, the
Subject: Liberalization of the Visa Regime regarding grant of a Student Visa.
All Indian Missions and Posts abroad
With expansion of the education sector in India,, there has been increasing demand on the educational facilities available in the country from foreign students, particularly, from neighboring countries as well as from South East Asian countries and African countries. References have been received from students, educational institutions, foreign Embassies/High Commissions regarding the difficulties encountered by international students. Considering, these, a comprehensive review was undertaken in consultation with the Ministry of HRD and it has been decided to liberalize Student Visa Regime to make it simple and student friendly.
Accordingly it has been decided to substitute paras 52 and 53 of the visa manual by new formulation(s) and add a new para 52A after para 52 in the chapter 6 of the Visa Manual (updated upto 31-7-03). The new student visa regime for international students is annexed herewith.
These instructions shall come into force with immediate effect.
It is requested that this should be shared with all concerned who are dealing with "Student Visa" forthwith and be also given wide publicity among" prospective / existing foreign students.
(Dr. R. K. Mitra)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India
Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development with the request that it should be made mandatory for all education Institution/Universities who are having foreign students on their rolls to furnish the list of foreigner alongwith comments of the conduct of the Students to the concerned Foreign Registration Officer, i.e. S.P. of the district concerned.
Home Secretaries of all the State Governments and UT Administrations for information and similar action as above. They are also requested to delegate the powers mentioned at para 52(A)(3) and para 53 to FROs concerned.
Ministry of External Affairs (CPV division)
Bureau of Immigration
Chapter - 6
Student and Research visa
Missions may grant a student visa for a period of five years, or for the duration of the academic course of study, whichever, is Less, to a foreign student coming to pursue regular, and full time academic studies in India, after usual security checks, without a prior reference to the Government of India, if:
a. the student holds their national passport with sufficient validity to cdver the period of studies;
b. (i) the student produces proof of admission to a full time course in a recognized/reputed educational institution in India;
(ii) the student produces a letter of i approval or a " No Objection Certificate" from the Ministry of Health, in case of admission in a medical or para-medical course, and from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of Education) in case of graduate or post-graduate studies in an Engineering/Technical institute in India;
c. the student produces satisfactory evidence of financial support. A letter of support from the parent/guardian accompanied by a bank guarantee may be accepted for this purpose;
d. the student produces, to the satisfaction of the Mission, evidence of transfer of adequate funds for at least 4 months sustenance in India, or produces travelers cheques for a similar amount;
e. the Mission is satisfied that the student will leave India on the completion of their studies; and
f. there is no adverse information against them.
52 A. (1) There will be no restriction on the number of courses a foreign student, may like to undertake and each time the period of validity of the 'Student Visa' will be counted afresh. There will be no restriction with reference to the number of courses a student wants to avail in one institution or multiple institutions, provided the: institutions are recognised/ reputed In case a foreign student wants to change a course midway and join another course, the period for validity of visa will be counted with respect to the duration of the new course
(2) There may be a course requirement to complete industrial training/ summer project /internship etc. which may be a part of the prescribe curriculum. No special permission is required for completion of such industrial training / internship etc. This will be covered under student visa regime.
(3) It has come to the notice of Central Government that certain State Governments deny extension of visa to foreign students if they fail to qualify a course within two attempts. Such foreign students may not be denied an extension of visa as long as the concerned University/ Institutions permits a student to compete a course subject to production of the necessary documentary evidence from the University/Institute permitting the foreign students to continue studies. State Governments/ FRROs are empowered to grant an extension in such cases.
(4) State Governments / FRROs are empowered to grant change / renew 'Student Visa'.
53. "There might be some cases where the applicant does not have a firm letter of admission from the university / recognised college or educational institutions because of the procedure in some institutions that require an admission test etc. In such cases Missions may grant a 'Provisional Student Visa' on the basis of provisional admission certificate / letter of offer or advertisement for admission to foreign students issued by the University / recognised college or educational institutions in India. Provisional 'Student Visa' shall be valid for a period of six months. The name of the institutions should not be given in the 'Provisional Student Visa' as the foreign student may try admission in different institutions and alternative courses simultaneously. In case the Student gets regular admission in some University/ recognised /reputed college or educational institutions within the validity of provisional visa, the State Government / FRROs are empowered to grant a regular 'Student Visa' for the duration of the course or for a period of five years whichever is less. These provisions/amendments will not be applicable for 'Theological Studies' by the Foreign Students." Notwithstanding any provision contained in above paras, any foreigner holding Student visa can be deported forthwith if any, adverse report comes to the notice of the local police.
Note: No change in other paras, e.g. 54,55,56,57,58,59 and 60.