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What Visa Do I Need for an Internship in India?

Foreign students who wish to do their internship with Indian companies, universities or NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization) need proper authorization from the Indian government. 

Earlier, foreigners needed to apply for an employment or business visa to do an internship in India. Introduced in 2017, the Indian internship visa process is much simpler and straightforward. 

Read on to know about this new category of Indian visas. 

What is an Intern Visa?

Internship visa for India is granted to foreign students who wish to pursue internships in Indian companies, NGOs and Indian educational institutes. The applicants should have completed their undergraduate or postgraduate program and they should apply within one year of completing their course. 

Note that the gap between the completion of the course and date of internship commencement should not be more than 12 months. 

How Do I Get an Internship Visa in India? 

Students from across the world have always been interested in doing internships in India, especially in various NGOs in the country because of the extensive and diverse learning opportunities and experiences they offer.  

Interested students can apply for the visa online if they meet certain conditions set by the Indian government.  

The internship visa is issued to foreign students who have completed graduation/post-graduation.

They should apply within one year of completing their degree.

Students who have not completed the course or are not planning to commence the internship within a year of getting the visa should not apply. They can apply for it at a later date.  

Foreign students who had been employed in India even for a shorter period cannot apply for this visa.

Foreigners who are planning to pursue an internship program that is more than 180 days have to register with the Foreigner’s Registration Office in India.

They have to register at the office within 14 days of arriving in the country.  

Note that the validity of the Indian internship visa is one year and it cannot be extended or converted into any other visa.  

The government of India has fixed a minimum remuneration for foreign students who wish to do internships in corporations registered in the country.

They cannot pursue internships in India if their salary is less than the fixed amount. If their remuneration is less than the amount, they can apply for employment or a business visa. 

Students who are planning to do internships with NGOs and Indian educational institutions are exempt from this rule. 

It is to be noted that the remuneration earned during the internship will be taxed as per the existing rules of the country. 

The Indian internship visa is limited and each Indian mission can grant up to 50 such visas per year.

However, there is an exception for foreign countries where the population of Indian origin people is over one million. In such countries the visa is capped at 100 per year.

At present, students from a few countries like Russia and Spain are not eligible for this visa. 

What are the Requirements to Apply for an Internship Visa for India?

The requirements for the Indian internship visa are as follows:

  • The applicants need to provide an invitation letter from the corporation, education institute or NGO. They cannot apply for this visa without this document.
  • If they are working in a corporation, they need to meet the minimum remuneration criteria
  • The applicants are not eligible to work in India immediately after their internship
  • They cannot extend or convert their visa type
  • Internships with NGOs should not exceed three months
  • The earnings from the internship are taxable
  • Foreign students should leave the country before the Indian internship visa expires
  • Students cannot apply for internships in sectors such as telecom, space technology, construction/infrastructure, mining, nuclear energy, petroleum and natural gas, human rights and environmental issues.

How Can I Apply for an Indian Internship Visa?

The application process has two steps. Students can login to the official website of the Indian government and fill out the online application form.

They have to enter personal details like name, date of birth and place of birth and passport information like passport number and issuing authority.  

The second step is to submit all the documents including the completed application form at the visa application center in the nearest Indian embassy or consulate. 

Applicants should be physically present at the Indian mission for an in-person interview.

Documents Required for the Internship Visa for India    

  • Completed application form
  • One passport size photograph with white background
  • Passport of the applicant. This should have a minimum validity of 180 days.
  • Invitation letter from the organization
  • Proof of educational qualification
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of registration of an organization in India

Note that acceptance of visa application does not guarantee a visa. Based on the discretion of the officials in the Indian mission, the application can be accepted or rejected. Their decision will be final.  

The processing fee and time vary based on the country and Indian mission. Generally, the Indian Internship visa will be issued in three to five working days. This also may vary based on the nationality of the applicant and the industry in which he/she has chosen to do internship.

How Long Can I Stay in India with an Internship Visa?

International students can stay up to one year in the country with an Indian internship visa. However, the visa period is calculated based on the internship program.

If the internship is over before the one-year validity period, students need to leave the country immediately. 

They cannot extend or convert their visa. They cannot also start working immediately.  

What Can be Done with an Intern Visa?

Internship visa for India is introduced exclusively for those international students who wish to do internship in Indian companies, educational institutions and non-government organizations.

Foreign students arriving on a Indian internship visa cannot work or do business. Visitors wanting to visit for tourism should explore the India eVisa.

They have to immediately leave the country once the internship is completed.  

What to Do When my Intern Visa Expires?

The validity of the Indian internship visa is one year or till the duration of the internship program. 

Once the program or validity of the visa gets over, foreign students have to leave the country. Their stay in India after that will be deemed illegal.

They should ideally exit the country before the validity expires.

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