Journalist Visa

All foreign journalists, regardless of the purpose of their visit, should apply for a “J” (journalist) visa. “Journalists” includes: Editor, journalist, columnist, cartoonist, correspondents, photographer, film producer or director (other than that of commercial films), a representative of a radio and/or television organization, travel writer/travel promotion photographer etc. or any professional journalist/owner working for an association or a company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio visual news or current affairs programmes through the print, electronic or any other electronic form. In other words any professional who is directly or indirectly engaged in the process of creation, management or dissemination of contents for a media organization shall be treated as Journalists.

For instance, Journalist visiting India for Tourism should also apply for a Journalist visa. Journalists are required to apply along with a letter from their organization clearly describing their position and job nature and purpose of visit: Journalistic work / attend seminar/ conference work or as tourists.

Journalists are advised to apply visa at least 7 days before the date of travel.

Journalists assigned to be based in India on long /permanent assignments:

Correspondents/Journalists of foreign newspapers, news agencies, going to India as resident representatives should apply for a single entry ‘J’ visa valid for initial stay of three months in India. A letter from organization which the applicant is going to represent should also be provided clearly stating the status of the applicant (whether permanent full time employee or not) and name of the person whom applicant is going to replace in India office of organization. Such a journalist is required to contact OSD (PR)/XP division in the Ministry of External Affairs upon first arrival in India. No change of employer is permitted while the journalist is still in India. In case the foreign journalist intends to change his/her employer, he/she is required to return to the country of origin and re-apply for issue of fresh “J” visa.

Visa application for Journalism courses:

Applications for full time courses in journalism in educational institutes/universities recognized by Government of India should apply for student visas.

Documentary related work:

Prior authorization of Indian Government is mandatory for any audio-visual reporting/ shooting of documentary films in India, regardless of their subject, category or duration.

Foreign journalists seeking to work in Indian media organizations:

Journalists or intern journalists who intend to travel to India to work in Indian media organizations should apply for Employment ‘E’ visas. For more information on E Visas, please visit Employment Visa.

Please Note:
  • It is advisable to apply for your visa at least 7 days before your intended date of travel.
  • All Journalists will be issued a ‘J’ Visa – with an endorsement – FOR TOURISM ONLY, NOT VALID FOR PROFESSIONAL WORK/REPORTING when a Journalist visits India for Tourism purpose.
  • Applicant must attach his/ her Media accreditation card.

Check list Do and Don’ts for Indian Visa Click here

Document to be attached with Journalist Visa Application:

  • Journalist are required to apply along with a letter from their organization describing clearly the job title of the applicant and the nature of their work and whether they are travelling on Journalistic work / attend seminar/ conference work or as tourists. It is advisable to apply for your visa at least 7 days before your intended date of travel.
  • Duly completed Visa Application Form.
  • Two recent (not more than 3 months old) 2×2 inch colour photograph (without spectacles) depicting full face with both ear visible in white background. Photo on Passport and VAF must match applicant’s present appearance.
  • Previous visit details at Serial Number F of sample Visa application Form :
    1. Applicant to fill the correct visa details of last visit to India.
    2. Applicant mention the last availed (actual Traveled) visa number starting with alphabet along with date of issue. (eg: VLI123456 dated 25 June 2017).
    3. In case the last visa was an eTV (electronic Visa / e-visa). The visa number and date (date of first entry on e-visa) as stamped / registered on applicant’s passport by Bureau of Immigration, India at time entry into India.
  • Previous passports (If previous is passport is lost please ensure endorsement to that effect in current passport or provide the police compliant report).Photocopy on (N.I.C) / Driving License/ Birth Certificate (For Sri Lanka national only).
  • Address Proof (NIC/Driving License / Bank Statement / Rent Agreement / Telephone Bill / G S Certificate).
  • All foreign nationals applying for visa in Sri Lanka are required to fill FAX Reference Form Click here to download.
  • Three (03) months bank statements.
Please Note:
  • This is not intended to be a complete list of documents that may be needed. High Commission reserves the right to seek additional documents post submission of application.
  • Duration of visa will be decided on a case-to-case basis.
  • The Passport should have a minimum validity of 6 months on the date of application with at least two blank pages.
  • Some individual cases may require more time for processing.
  • Applicants may have to attend an Interview at “The High Commission of India” if required.
  • High Commission of India reserves the right to refuse visa without assigning reasons and without refund of fee.