Ever since I got my India X visa for a spouse through the Foreign regional registration office( FRRO) Gurugram, I have been thinking about writing an article about it. So here it is.
Now, a myth-buster! There is no specific visa called Spouse visa for India. For any foreigners married to Indians, you can get an Entry visa (X) through any of the FRROs in India.
This visa doesn’t give you any rights to be employed or do business, but you can stay for a long term in India on this visa. And you can open a bank account, as well as apply for a PAN card and Aadhar card. Although whether or not you will get it is a separate story.
I converted my tourist visa for India to an Entry visa and the conversion process is same if you are on a different visa such as work visa or student visa.
The best part about this visa is that you don’t need to leave India for this. You can get it in India. And you actually have to be in India while you wait for the spouse visa. The process takes time and effort. You need to be patient. And even though now with e-FRRO, the whole process is online, be prepared to make at least one trip to FRRO.
If you are getting a spouse visa through an embassy of India in your country, the process is different. This article is for spouses of Indian citizens who are already in India.
FRRO recommends you to start the conversion process at least a month before your current visa expires. It’s normal for the conversion process to take 3 weeks or more. So once you are sure that you want to get an India spouse visa, get the ball rolling.
Documents for India Spouse Visa
The list of documents for the spouse visa is quite long. There are ten documents in total and you need to upload them all to the e-FRRO portal.
Except for the photo, all the other documents must be uploaded in PDF format only.
1.Indian Marriage certificate
This is the most important document you need. You can’t go wrong on this one.
I would strongly suggest you get married through Special marriage act only. This involves going to the court, signatures, and no religious stuff. This act is specifically for people from two different religions to get married in India. Even if your religion is the same as that of your Indian spouse, you can use this act.
Now, in India you can legally get married through different laws. There is no uniform civil marriage act. The most common one is Hindu marriage act. If you get married through a religious ceremony and all, you would get a certificate that can be in Hindi or any other Indian languages.
Then there is a Christian marriage act for example. If one of the parties is a Christian and has a certificate from church to prove it, you can take this route.
While I personally know people who have successfully obtained India X visa with a certificate from the Hindu/Christian marriage act, it was a bumpy ride and everything was delayed.
2.Undertaking from Indian Partner
Your Indian partner gets a notarized affidavit saying that he/she will take full final responsibility of you. This letter should have both of your names, passport numbers etc and he/she has to sign it.
3.Undertaking from the Applicant
You, the foreigner have to get a notarized affidavit that says you will not get employed or do business while in India, and that you want to convert your visa to spouse visa.
4.Undertaking from the Applicant’s Parents
This is not really required for the spouse visa, but since it’s listed, you can’t sidestep it. You can either upload a blank page in its place or a simple writeup written and signed by your parents. Something that has their names, passport numbers and says that they give permission you to marry.
I uploaded a blank document that had the text “Not Applicable”.
A rent agreement or utility bill will totally work. In case, you are staying in a hotel or Airbnb, you can get a Form C.
I uploaded the rent agreement.
6.Proof of Financial Soundness of Indian Partner
This is to verify that your Indian partner can put food on the table.
So the Indian partner needs to get the bank statements of the last 6 months in PDF format and upload them. They don’t mention how much is good enough, but anything more than 2000 USDs would work, I guess.
In my case, my husband got the PDFs from online banking account and I uploaded them.
7.Passport Bio Page
You need to upload the passport bio page and the page bearing last Indian Immigration arrival stamp. If they are on different pages, you can join them as a single PDF online and upload it.
8.Your Current Valid Indian Visa
As you must have come to India on a visa, you need to provide a copy of that. Make sure that your visa is valid.
I uploaded a copy of my India tourist visa.
9.Passport or Photo-ID of Indian Spouse
Anything like Aadhar card, Driving license or passport of your Indian spouse will do the trick. However, it’s best to upload the passport copy.
10.India X Visa Photo Requirements
You need to upload a recent color photograph in white background, in JPEG format with a size from 10 KB-1 MB.
How to Apply for India X Visa on e-FRRO Portal
The first thing you need to do is to register on the e-FRRO portal of India. After you do that, click on “Fresh/New Application Submission”. On the next page, you will need to fill in some information.
State and city
This is to determine the FRRO that will process your application.
Visa Conversion Type
Choose thisas ENTRY VISA and subtype as X-1. When I applied for it, I chose the subtype as X-2 and got X-2 visa, but many people have filled in X-1 only. I believe there have been some very recent changes with the visa subtypes.
Normally X-1 is for persons of Indian origin and X-2 is for spouses of people of Indian origin. I would say not to fret over it.
Once you click on submit, it will redirect you to the next page where you will need to fill in info related to your current visa and other details. They will ask you for how long do you want the India spouse visa. You will get it for one year even if you want it longer. After you complete this form, you can see the list of documents to upload.
Once you finish uploading the documents, and finish reviewing your application, and submit your application, you will receive an email from e-FRRO saying that your application is under process.
Police Verification for India Spouse Visa
Getting the India X visa involves a visit from the cops, who should be from the police station in your area of residence. The primary reason the police verification exists is to confirm whether you live where you say that you live. That sounds simple, right? Not really.
The police is notified by the FRRO to do the verification once you submit the application.
They will physically verify your residence and will write a report on plain paper saying they are fine with your visa conversion. This report has your details and signatures from two witnesses from the area you live in. The witnesses need to provide attested copies of their address proofs or IDS that prove that they live in your area.
You will need to provide documents such as copies of the marriage certificate, passport bio page, a copy of the ID of your Indian spouse, and rental agreement to the police. Then they send all these to the FRRO along with the report from the police station.
There are two ways to go about it.
1. Wait for the Police to Do their Job
With this approach, they might show up when you are not home or in the worse case not show up at all. In my case, there was some kind of mixup and the police didn’t come to verify even after a month. Which is exactly why I recommend the second approach.
2. Go to the Police Station Yourself
If after two weeks of your application submission, the police haven’t shown up, go to the FRRO which is taking care of your application. We waited for the police to show up for a month.
After that, I and my husband went to the FRRO Gurugram and brought a form from the FRRO along with the police station details. This was the form that had already been sent to the police station.
We took the form to the police who were as clueless as us. They then wrote a report in Hindi and gave it to us to get the witness signatures. Once we got the signatures, IDs and other documents, the report was stamped by the police.
We didn’t want to leave anything to chance. So, we took the report along with the documents to the FRRO personally.
Online Payment for India Entry Visa
After the police verification is done, you will receive an email from FRRO to make the payment. The visa fees can vary a little depending on which country you are from. Usually, the India X visa fees for a spouse visa is around $120 USD.
And if you have a long time left on your current visa, you will need to pay much lesser. I had 9 months left on my tourist visa for India, which is why I didn’t have to pay 120$.
You can log in to your e-FRRO account and make the payment using a credit card or debit card or net banking. After the payment, you will see a payment receipt. I would suggest you to save it.
Receive the India Entry Visa on Email
After making the payment, you will receive the spouse visa as a PDF in your email. It takes a few hours to a day to receive the email. There is no visa stamping involved.
Normally you get the visa for a year which you can extend when it expires. Since I had 9 months left on my tourist visa, the spouse visa I got was valid till the date my original tourist visa was valid.
How Long Does the Process to Get India Entry Visa Take?
If everything goes smoothly, you should get the India Entry Visa for Spouse in three weeks. Although the whole thing is online now, be ready for a trip or two to a police station and the FRRO that handles your application. Email and call the FRRO every week to be updated about your application status.
Once you have filed for the conversion, don’t worry if your current valid visa expires. As long as it’s under process, you are safe.
India X Visa Extension
Once your new spouse visa draws near expiring, be ready to extend it. As I mentioned before, the visa is given for a year maximum. You can apply to extend India X visa one month before your current spouse visa expires.
And, after two years of marriage, you are eligible for an OCI ( Overseas Citizen of India), using which you can work or do business. It has lifetime validity as well.
Have you tried getting an India Spouse Visa?
If you got a spouse visa in India, let us know in the comments. The visa process is constantly changing and it will help me updating the article if there is any change. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have.