What visa do I need for an internship in India?
This is actually a very complicated question. There are many different types of visas in India, for example for tourists, businessmen, journalists and researchers. International interns come to India on several different visa types: tourist visa, entry visa, work visa, business visa or student visa, none of which are applicable to all internship scenarios.
An entry visa (X Visa) is usually for people whose purpose of visiting India does not fit into any of the standard visa categories, such as people coming for short-term courses, volunteer work or unpaid internships in India. You must apply for an entry visa together with a copy of the offer letter outlining the terms of your internship position. If you are a student and the internship is part of your studies, you should also receive a letter from your university explaining why you are going to India.
Internships with a “stipend”, allowance or salary are generally considered paid internships and they technically require a work visa (which requires additional documentation such as the employment contract and proof from the employer that a suitable Indian national cannot be found to fill the position). However, many organizations may directly ask you to come on a tourist visa because it’s easier for them and the applicant – even though it’s not technically legal.
Before applying for any type of visa, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6-18 months, depending on your specific visa. Applicants who are not nationals of their country but are residents must send a copy of their residence permit with the application. It is always advisable to check with the respective embassy in your country eg Indian embassy in Spain, Germany, Italy etc. There you will find most information about your visa.
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