Yoga is a gift, yoga is power, yoga is magical!
So how to get yoga visa for India? 11th December was declared as “International Yoga Day” by UN in 2014. It’s a matter of pride for India. Yoga became popular in foreign countries at the beginning of the 20th century. People came to know about its benefits and are still keen towards learning Yoga.
Many people fly to India for attending Yoga courses through Students visas. As we already know, a visa is an official authorization that permits you to enter and travel a particular country for a fixed period.
Earlier, foreigners who are enthusiastic about learning yoga from India, which is the origin if it, they had to get a tourist visa even to attend a Yoga course or a Yoga program. Back then, the tourist visa was issued to someone who wanted it for recreation, business, visiting relatives or friends etc. And these visas have their own hassles and formalities, which somewhere draw the people back. The formalities included, visiting Foreign Registration Office (FRO), the Police Headquarter etc. making it a difficult process.
Realizing its impact and importance the government of India has decided to include “Attending Yoga program for short term” as the permissible activities under the tourist visa and e- tourist visa., but now – “Yoga learning and medical treatment” have also been included.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to make their trip easy and encouraging. The following are the highlights of the new and simpler process to get a yoga visa (student visa for attending a Yoga program or course) in India:
- If you want to study yoga for 6 months or less, you will require a tourist visa.
- If you want to study yoga for 6 months or more, you will require a student visa (some people call it YOGA VISA).
- Before applying for any of the above-mentioned visas, do contact the academy you are planning to learn yoga at. They will let you know which visa to opt for.
- For students visa, you will require the letter from the institute that you are signed up for their course. (The institute must be recognized by the Ministry of Home Affairs)
- The tourist visa is valid only for 6 months and the duration starts from the date the visa has been issued. So, do not apply too early.
This new decision has decreased a lot of unnecessary effort and made the learning easy and enjoyable. Till date, more than 1 million visas have been issued since the inception of this new procedure and every day, approx. 3,500 e-tourist visas are being issued. All the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs)/ Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) in the country have been given instructions to act as per the latest decision. In 16 international airports of India, the process is already being taken care of and the yoga visas are being accepted.
Under the e-tourist visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorizing him/her to travel to India after the visa is approved. The visitor can travel with a print-out of this authorization. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorization to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.
Remember you must leave India before your visa expires or else your stay will be treated as a criminal offence.
You are most welcome to India – the land of culture, the land of Yoga! We wish you a comfortable stay and a beautiful learning and growth.
PS: The term ‘Yoga-Visa’ is used by the yoga academies but in any visa service centre they recognize ‘e-tourist’ / ‘tourist’ or ‘student visa’.