Applying for a visa to India may appear a bit tiresome at times but in the end it all works out. So be patient and be prepared to fill some forms.
The first question is the type of visa to apply for. There are many different types of visa but only two types are relevant for us:
- e-Conference Visa: This visa type is valid for workshops and needs special preparations by the Indian partner as it requires one to upload certain documents. We will inform you when this type of visa is used for a workshop.
- S-Visa: This is the type of visa to go for exchange students and for any individual research visits. Albeit S-visa stands for student visa it is the one also to be used for researchers (Ph.D. students, postdocs, professors).
Remark: Do not try to go on a tourist visa. It might get rejected and this will cost you valueable time and money.
The e-Conference visa is applied for online at online visa application form. For your application you will need several documents prepared for upload:
- A photo of yourself (front facing, head only, white background) in jpeg format with a size of at most 1MB and at least 350x350 pixels. It should be square format more or less, you will have the possibility of cropping it online.
- A copy of the photo page of your passport in pdf format with a maximum size of 300KB. That might be a real challenge. Start with a jpeg image and compress it as much as possible before converting it to pdf.
- Several documents provided by the institute.
- Note: Numbers of german passports never contain the letter ‘O’ in case you are wondering whether the letter is ‘O’ (Oh) or ‘0’ (zero). It is zero!
Processing of an e-Visa should at most take a few days, sometimes it is back in 12 hours. You receive a pdf file that you print out and take with you. That’s it. After arrival at the airport there are special counters for e-Visa holders.
This is the visa to use for students on exchange as well as Ph.D. students, postdocs and faculty on a research visit. S-Visa can not be applied for electronically. Instead you get a paper visa glued into your passport. This takes several days to get, depending on the consulate in Germany. You are also not allowed to go to any consulate but this depends on your hometown in Germany. Residents of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria have apply at the consulate in Munich. Residents of Rheinland-Pfalz and Hessen have to apply at the consulate in Frankfurt.
Here I describe the process of getting the visa from the Munich consulate as it worked in November 2022. The following links give you all the required information:
- Official webpage of the consulate in Munich
- Visa overview and procedure of obtaining paper visa
- Details for the different visa types
Processing time in Munich is 5 working days plus the time for shipping to and from the consulate. So to be on the safe side expect at least two weeks and plan ahead accordingly. You do not need to provide any particular flight number in any of the forms, so you can apply for the visa first and then book your flight.
The following documents need to be provided and sent to Indisches General Konsulat Widenmayerstraße 15 80538 München
- Signed copy of print-out of the application form. You need to fill out this form online here. The form requires a lot of information and you need to upload a recent photograph and the photo page of your passport just like in the e-Visa explained above. Note: Numbers of german passports never contain the letter ‘O’ in case you are wondering whether the letter is ‘O’ (Oh) or ‘0’ (zero). It is zero! Finally, you will need an address and a telephone number of a contact point in India. You might use the data from the International Office of IISc Bangalore which you will find on the invitation letter (see below).
- Original passport with validity of at least 6 months.
- Self-adressed envelope for returning the passport to yourself and stamped with 4,50 Euro at the time of writing.
- Letter of Invitation from IISc Bangalore. You get this through the Office of International Relations (OIR). They will provide a link to a Google form where you can fill in all the details and then they prepare it. The OIR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Proof of registration of the institute in India. This is also a letter that is provided by the OIR.
- Letter of Heidelberg University. This is a letter provided by your institute in Heidelberg stating that it supports your travel to India with complete financing by the DAAD grant “Hardware-aware Scientific Computing” and it should be signed by your institute’s director or a deputy.
- Copy of city registration (Meldebescheinigung). This you get at the Bürgeramt immediately and it costs 10 Euro. You can also order it online here
- Confirmation of fee payment. The S-Visa costs 70 Euro at the time of writing. You need to transfer the money to the account of the consulate with stating the number of your application form. Then you need to produce a pdf that proves the transfer of the money to send along with your documents. Typically that is easy to do in your online banking. Standard transfers take about 2 days, so you speed up things with an immediate transfer.
- Description of subject of research. A sample description of our DAAD programme is provided below. Feel free to extend it with specifics of your research.
You need to fill out a form (electronically) that is the sent by regular mail to a consulate together with the passport.
Sample Cover Letter
Dear Sir or Madam,
I, XYZ, am writing to you to kindly ask for an S-Visa (research scholar)to visit Prof. Sashikumaar Ganesan at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore for the time period START to END. This is to follow an invitation by the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) in Bangalore for collaborative research in computer science (scientific computing).
Heidelberg University and Indian Institute of Science have been granted funds for exchange on that matter by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and University Grants Commission (UGC), respectively. My stay will be fully covered by funds from DAAD.
Please find the invitation and more documents attached.
For any further clarifications about my application, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone your phone number or by mail your email.
Your assistance in this matter would be highly appreciated.
List of enclosures
Sample Research Project Letter
My stay is connected to an exchange programme with the Department of Computational and Data Sciences (CDS)at Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc) on the subject of Hardware-aware algorithms in Scientific Computing. This programme is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), as part of its programme indo-german partnerships (IGP), and the University Grants Commission in India.
Associated partners are the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Centre for Applicable Mathematics (TIFR-CAM), Bangalore, and the Jülich Supercomputing Centre as part of the Forschungszentrum Jülich as well as NVIDIA India as an industrial partner.
Short description of the project: Algorithms in scientific computing, always eager for compute-power, need to adapt to the situation of ever increasing parallelism, corresponding structures and data locality. New algorithms and implementations need to be devised that are able to exploit and adapt to the new hardware architectures available in the future, despite the slowdown in Moore’s law. The main objective of this initiative is to bring together research activities at the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR), Heidelberg University and Department of Computational and Data Sciences (CDS), Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc) and at the associate partners, Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) at Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR-CAM), Bangalore, NVidia, India, on hardware aware scientific computing on future heterogeneous supercomputers, to develop young researchers and to initiate long term collaborative projects on this challenging field. The research at the lead institutions CDS and IWR as well as the associate partners FZJ, Tata Institute and industrial partner NVIDIA fits ideally together. There is a core overlap in specific fields such as finite element methods and solvers and there is complementary expertise, e.g. in uncertainty quantification, machine learning and computer architecture. The involved scientists are well-known in their respective fields. Moreover, the involvement of the industrial partner NVIDIA (India) is highly relevant to the topic of this program.
The key objectives of the exchange programme are:
to train a new generation of students on master and Ph.D. level, who are both fluent in state-of-the-art efficient numerical methods and hardware-aware design and implementation of these algorithms, to build up a leading network of researchers in India and Germany in high- performance scientific computing, to establish collaboration on joint research projects among the project partners, and in the long term perspective, to establish a cotutelle Ph.D. program between Heidelberg University and IISc. To attain these goals, the considered field is structured into five research themes
- Efficient numerical discretization schemes for PDEs
- Scalable and robust algebraic solvers
- Uncertainty quantification, machine learning and inverse problems
- Co-design of PDE applications for exascale architectures and technologies
- Software development for PDE-based methods