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Research Visa


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

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

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

Mode of payment could be Online (if made an application online) Cash, Debit Card (we do not accept credit cards), Postal Order or Bank Draft payable to “VF Services UK Ltd”

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

Documents Required

Research Visa:

  • Passport valid for a minimum of 180 days with at least two blank pages.
  • Please select Student Visa on the online application form & follow the list of documents advised below
  • Correct visa fee.
  • Two recent 50*50 size photographs. Please check the Photo Specification
  • Filled application form and declaration. (Printed and duly signed)

    *All applicants are requested to make an appointment before visiting our centers to submit their visa applications. Applicants holding dual nationality, while filling up the online application form, should select the current nationality as the nationality of origin. Same nationality details need to be filled in the section B & British or the second nationality passport details to be filled in the field ‘Any other Passport/Identity Certificate held’, in the same section.

    In case you are unable to make an appointment kindly ensure:

    • you have allowed one working day before the making an appointment.
    • UK passport holder need to ensure that they have filled in the nationality correctly – as United Kingdom. Appointment system does not recognize the below nationalities

      1. UK British Dependant Territories Citizen
      2. UK British National (Overseas)
      3. UK British Overseas Citizen
      4. UK British Protected Person
      5. UK British Subject

    In case if the nationality has been chosen as any of the above, kindly fill up a new application form and make an appointment using the new application form reference number(GBR..).

  • Duly filled additional form for Research scholars.
  • Letter of admission and Certificate of Affiliation in original from the recognised Indian University/Institution in token of having secured admission for the research purpose
  • Evidence of financial resources to meet the expenses during the stay in India

    In case the research proposal relates to the applicant’s own country, a brief synopsis (150 words) and justification for doing research in India should also be submitted along with the application.

    Attach only two copies of application forms.
  • 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 Applicants whose applications fall under this requirement are requested to apply in person to submit their biometric details with prior appointments – Please click here for more details

Note: It has come to notice that prospective applicants for a Research Visa sometime approach the High Commission of India seeking a clearance / no-objection certificate, prior to making their visa application. This is to clarify that a prior clearance / no-objection certificate issued by the High Commission of India is not required while submitting an application for a Research Visa.

Please click here to know the additional documents required from persons holding a NON -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 Note: 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 Specification

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 Specification
  • Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin as shown above.
    Photo Specification

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 Specification

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 Specification

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 Specification

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 Specification


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

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 Specification

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 Specification

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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