News report | | 12-02-2024 | ±3 minutes reading time

India offers several e-visas for business trips. To visit a company, attend a trade fair or to provide services/products in India, travellers must apply for the e-Business visa. On the other hand, to attend a conference, a workshop or a seminar, travellers need an e-Conference visa.

e-Business visa for business trips

The e-Business visa is suitable for various business-related activities in India. For instance, holders of this visa may attend business meetings, visit commercial partners, conduct negotiations, attend trade fairs and recruit staff. The e-Business visa also allows to and provide and install products, and to deliver services in India. Therefore, for most business-related purposes, travellers can use the e-Business visa, which is the easiest and fastest to apply for.

You cannot attend conferences with the e-Business visa

The e-Business visa does not allow you to participate in conferences, workshops or seminars in India. In fact, the Indian authorities have introduced a special e-visa for this purpose, called e-Conference visa. In the past, holders of the e-Business visa were also allowed to attend conferences in India, as long as they were not organised by the Indian government. However, the e-Conference visa is also required for conferences organised by companies or individuals.

Requirements and validity of the e-Conference visa

The e-Business visa is valid for one year and can be used for multiple trips to India of 180 days each, while the e-Conference visa is valid for 30 days. Moreover, the e-Conference is a single-entry visa, which means that it only allows its holder to make one trip to India. The 30-day validity period starts as soon as the traveller arrives in India.

Apart from the travel purpose for which the visa can be used, the e-Conference visa is subject to the same conditions as the e-Business and e-Tourist visa for India. First, travellers may arrive in the country only through certain seaports and airports chosen by the Indian government. Moreover, the traveller’s passport must be valid for at least six months from the day of arrival in India and must contain at least two blank pages. In addition, travellers must prove that they have sufficient financial means to pay for their trip to India (for instance, by showing a bank statement), and that they will leave the country (for instance, by showing a return ticket or onward flight from India).

Documents required for the e-Conference visa

The e-Conference visa application requires different documents than the e-Business visa application. In order to apply for an e-Business visa, applicants must provide a copy of their passport, a business card, a passport photo, and a letter of invitation issued by the company to be visited in India. For the e-Conference visa, in addition to a copy of the passport and a passport photo, travellers must also submit a letter signed by the organiser of the event they will be attending and obtain a specific permit (political clearance) from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Travellers with the nationality of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, and stateless travellers must also apply to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs for a permit to attend the event. The so-called event clearance is also compulsory for attending conferences, workshops or seminars in a special region of India, called Restricted Area or Protected Area. Special regions of India include parts of Jammu, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, the whole states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and the Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

If you are travelling to India for business purposes other than attending conferences, workshops or seminars, you need an e-Business visa instead of an e-Conference visa.

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