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Journalist Visa

Overview

Journalist Visas

Important Notice for all Journalists/Media professional applying for India Visa:  High Commission of India and its respective Consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh have introduced mandatory biometrics enrolment programme for specific visa categories with effect from 19 August 2016.

All Journalists applying for India visa are mandatorily required to give Biometrics at the time of the applications at the designated application centres. Please click here for more details and read the details below pertaining to Journalist Visa Category.

All foreign journalists, regardless of the purpose of their visit, should apply for a “J” (journalist) visa, for up to three months' stay in India. “Journalists” for this purpose would include a professional journalist, columnist, cartoonist,  editor, correspondents of media organizations, 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.

It is also clarified that non-professional, administrative or support staff working in media organizations (such as clerks, accountants etc.) need not necessarily apply for a Journalist Visa.  Similarly, producers/crew in commercial film production houses are not necessarily considered for Journalist visa.  They may apply under other appropriate visa categories (such as Entry, Tourist, Employment etc) when they are not engaged in film making in India.  However, Journalist visas would be issued to these professionals whenever they travel to India for filming, pre-filming or business meetings in regard to proposal for making documentary films.

All foreign Journalists need to apply for a Journalist visa, regardless of purpose of visit.  For instance, a foreign Journalist visiting India for Tourism should also apply for a Journalist visa.   All such applicants 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 work or as tourists.  Visa application will not be accepted in absence of this supporting letter. 

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: employmentvisa.html

Foreign media assigned to India/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 the 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 the applicant is going to replace in India office of the 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. For more information, please visit studentvisa.html

Documentary related work:

Prior authorization of the Indian Government is mandatory for any audiovisual reporting/ shooting of documentary films in India, regardless of their subject, category or duration. Please Click here for detailed information.

All visa fees once paid are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome of the visa application and duration granted.

Please note that the validity of the visa begins from the date of issue by the High Commission of India and not from the date of travel on your application form.

The duration of the visa is at the sole discretion of the Issuing Authority. All visa fees once paid are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome of the visa application and duration granted.

Kindly ensure all the fields of the visa application form are completely filled before submitting including your UK and India referees.

Visa Fees

Service Charge  - All the applicants are requested to include the service fee of £7.44 per application while organising their payments.

Mode of payment could be Online,  Cash, Debit or Credit Card (except American Express Card), Postal Order or Bank Draft payable to “VF Services UK Ltd”.

Visa Fees Chart (Passports other than Russia, Sri Lankan Japanese, Pakistani and below listed Gratis Countries)
Type of Visa Validity Fees GBP (£) VFS Service Charge (£) Total
Journalist Valid for a maximum stay of three months; single entry 57 7.44 64.44

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.

Visa fees Chart (For Mozambican Passport Holders)
Type of Visa Validity Fees GBP (£) VFS Service Charge (£) Total
Journalist Valid for a maximum stay of three months; single entry 206 7.44 213.44

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.
Applicants holding gratis Countries Passports please refer to the table below for applicable Visa fees.

Visa Fees Chart (Gratis countries Passport Holders)
S. No. Country Name Fees GBP (£) VFS Service Charge (£) Total
1. Afghanistan 3 7.44 10.44
2. Argentina 3 7.44 10.44
3. Bangladesh 3 7.44 10.44
4. Democratic People's Republic of Korea 3 7.44 10.44
5. Jamaica 3 7.44 10.44
6. Maldives 3 7.44 10.44
7. Mongolia 3 7.44 10.44
8. Mauritius 3 7.44 10.44
9. South Africa 3 7.44 10.44
10. Uruguay 3 7.44 10.44

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.
Applicants holding Sri Lankan, Japanese and Pakistani Passports please refer to the table below for applicable visa fees.

Visa Fees Chart (Sri Lankan, Japanese and Pakistani)
Passport Validity Fees GBP (£) Additional Charges (£) VFS Service Charge (£) Total(£)
Sri Lankan All Categories - Single Entry
All Categories - Double Entry
All Categories - Multiple Entry
8.00
10.00
12.00
10
10
10
7.44
7.44
7.44
25.44
27.44
29.44
Japanese Nationals Transit Visa
All other categories
5.00
9
0
0
7.44
7.44
12.44
16.44
Pakistani Nationals All Visa Categories 5.00   7.44 12.44

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.

Fee Chart (Russian Nationals)
Passport Validity Fees GBP (£) VFS Service Charge (£) Total(£)
Russian Single Entry 31 7.44 38.44

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.

Fee Chart (Ukrainian Nationals)
Passport Validity Fees GBP (£) VFS Service Charge (£) Total(£)
Ukraine Up to 06 months
62.00 7.44
69.44
Up to 01 Year 91.00 7.44 98.44
Up to 05 Years 139.00 7.44 146.44

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.

Visa Fees Chart (Nigerien Passport Holders)
Passport Validity* Fees GBP (£) VFS Service Charge (£) Total(£)
Nigeria As per instructions to the competent authority 173 7.44 180.44

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.

*Please note the length of visa and number of entries to be granted, is at the sole discretion of the competent authorities issuing the visa.

Additional and Service Charges (in addition to the Visa Fee)
Type of Charge Type of the Applicant Fees GBP (£)
Additional Charge American nationals (additional charges) 13

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.

*A Surcharge of 1.98% - 2.05% will be applicable on all credit card payments, depends on the type of credit card used.

Please Note: All visa fee once tendered are non–refundable

Documents Required

Important Notice for all Journalists/Media professional applying for India Visa:  High Commission of India and its respective Consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh have introduced mandatory biometrics enrolment programme for specific visa categories with effect from 19 August 2016.

All Journalists applying for India visa are mandatorily required to give Biometrics at the time of the application at the designated application centres. Please click here for more details,

  • Passport valid for a minimum of 180 days with at least two blank pages.
  • Correct visa fee.
  • Two recent 50 mm * 50 mm size photographs. Please check the Photo Specification
  • Filled application form and declaration. (Printed and duly signed)
  • Employer's letter stating the purpose of travel and detailed programme and the places to be visited for journalism purposes. Employer’s letter  must be addressed to the High Commission Of India, London or  its consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh, as per the Jurisdiction applicable

Once the HCI receives all these information, the same will be forwarded to the concerned authorities in New Delhi for their clearance. Please allow at least 10 weeks time for the clearance to be obtained.

Please click here to know the additional documents required from persons not holding a UK Passport or Originating from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or China.

For Person whose previous nationality was Indian before acquiring foreign nationality

  • Copy of Surrender Certificate and Copy of the Cancelled Indian Passport (Self-Attested) OR
  • lf travelled to India before, please provide your previous Passport with Indian Visa.

Important Information: Applicants are requested to submit/send the photocopies of the supporting documents (not the originals) unless originals are requested.

Please Note: That this list is not exhaustive and does not guarantee a visa. The High Commission of India or its Consulates reserve the right to ask for additional documents if required.

Photo Specifications

It is imperative that the photograph submitted at the time of application must fall within the specifications and sizes given below.

Unacceptable photographs, that do not meet the specifications, may not be accepted for submission.

Sample Photograph:

  • The photograph should be in color and of the size of 2 inch x 2 inch (50 mm x 50 mm).
  • The photo-print should be clear and with a continuous-tone quality.
  • It should have full face, front view, eyes open.
  • Photo should present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.
  • Center head within frame.
  • The background should be a plain light colored background.
  • There should not be any distracting shadows on the face or on the background.
  • Head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but the facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of the face must be clearly shown.
  • The expression on the face should look natural.
Photo Specifications

Do’s and Don’ts for a Proper photograph

  • The photo should capture full face, front view, with eyes open.
  • The head should be in the centre of the frame.
  • There should be no distracting shadows on the face or background.
    Photo Specifications
  • Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin as shown above.
    Photo Specifications

Lighting on face and background

  • The light should be even and balanced to avoid shadows on the face.
  • Background behind the face should be properly illuminated to avoid shadows in the background.
    Photo Specifications

Photograph Print Properties

  • The photograph should be in size 2 inch x 2 inch (50 mm x 50 mm) and in color.
  • Print photo on thin photo paper.
  • Ensure the print is clear and has a continuous-tone quality.
  • Do not retouch or otherwise enhance or soften the photo.
    Photo Specifications

Resolution and Printing Quality/Contrast and Colour

  • High-resolution photography and printing are strongly recommended.
  • Both conventional and digital photography are acceptable, and conventional or digital printing methods may be used.
  • Resulting print should exhibit a continuous-tone quality regardless of the print method used (dye sublimation, ink jet, laser, etc.)
  • Digitally printed photos should be produced without visible pixels or dot patterns
  • Fine facial features should be discernible.
  • Brightness and contrast should be adjusted to present the subjectand background accurately.
  • Photos without proper contrast or color may obscure unique facial features.
  • Color should reproduce natural skin tones.
  • Fluorescent or other lighting with
  • Unbalanced color may cause unwanted color cast in the photo. Appropriate filters can eliminate improper color balance.
    Photo Specifications

Head & Eyes- Position and Background

  • Head should face the camera directly and should not tilt or turned (portrait style).
  • Photo must show both edges of the face clearly.
  • The eyes must be open, level and clearly visible and must not be covered by hairs or eyeglass frames.
    Photo Specifications

Eyeglasses

  • Glare on eyeglasses should be avoided with a slight upward or downward tilt of the head.
  • No tinted or dark glasses.
    Photo Specifications

Head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but the facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of the face must be clearly shown.

Exposure and Lighting

  • There should not be any over-exposure or underexposure which results in an unusable photo.
  • There should be a three-point balanced lighting. Facial features should be clearly evident in the photo.
  • Lighting should be adjusted to avoid shadows on the face or background. Diffuse sources of light, such as umbrella lights, are preferable to point sources.
    Photo Specifications

Flexibility in Children’s photographs

  • Babies under one year do not have to have their eyes open.
  • As regards the photograph of the children under ten years of age, requirements can be somewhat relaxed in respect of height of the face and the position of the eyes in the photographs; and in case of babies and infants also, the position of the face, the facial expression, the eyes and the line of sight can have some relaxation. However, a frontal photograph with clarity is required for children.
  • It should show the child alone (no chair backs, toys or other people visible) looking at the camera with a neutral expression and the mouth closed.
    Photo Specifications

Processing Time

Processing times vary from application to application at the sole discretion of the High Commission of India and its Consulates in the UK, and some applications may take longer than others to get processed. Hence, confirm your travel plans only after obtaining the visa

Applications in the following categories may take longer to be processed, when submitted in person at the centre:

  • Non-UK passport holders residing in the UK for less than two years. (Minimum 6-8working days).
    Where clearance from India is mandatory
  • Nationals or origin of Pakistan (Minimum 7-8 weeks)
  • Nationals of Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan & UK Travel documents. (Minimum 15 working days)
  • Regular Cases may take a minimum of 3 to 5 working days.

In addition, if the High Commission or the Consulate General requires an applicant to attend an interview, the India Visa Application Center will contact the applicant and inform the date and time of the interview accordingly.

Please note VFS is not involved in the process of assessment of visa applications, or their grant or refusal. The assessment of visa applications is carried out by the High Commission of India or its Consulates, and the grant or refusal of India visas is at their sole discretion.

The processing times for visas are estimates only. These are based on information and experience of the Indian High Commission and Consulates.

The processing of your application is subject to the procedures and timescales of the Indian High Commission and Consulates, over which we have no control.

"Please note that the validity of visa starts from the date of issue and not from the date of travel"

Postal Applications

Effective 16 March 2015 no postal applications will be accepted by VF Services UK for any services, applicants are requested to please visit the Visa & Consular Application Centres in person with prior

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