NB!! Yoga Visa

Planning to study yoga in India? From now on you will need a yoga visa. Check out the latest news from the KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore:

# From March 2010, all students coming to study at KPJAYI must enter India on a yoga visa, as required by Indian law. You may email shala@kpjayi.org for admission letters from our Institute to include with your visa application form to the Indian Embassy in your country. Upon arrival, students should follow the relevant registration formalities with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in Mysore.

# Please note, according to Indian law: There should be gap of at least 2 months between two visits to India on tourist and other visas.

# For more information on visa and registration requirements, please refer to the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, India. They have published clear rules and instructions for foreigners coming to India.

15 responses to “NB!! Yoga Visa

  1. Bizarre. Does this mean you can’t wander around India and try out different ashrams anymore?

  2. This is so strange, and infuriating. I am literally getting my Visa today. I drove from Austin to Houston (3 hours in the pouring effing rain at 5:30 in the morning) to get it dated as close to my departure date as possible. I leave in two weeks.

    After submitting all my paperwork, I pop into an Internet cafe to wait out the processing time and I see your post. I check KPJAYI.org and immediately call the Travisa office (the visa people). They have NO CLUE what I’m talking about.

    I ask them to take a look at the website, he does, puts me on hold and comes back a few minutes later.

    “Yeah, noone here has ever heard of that. A tourist visa is fine.”

    I did email the shala but WTF!? If the people who issue visas have never heard of this, how in hell can it be enforced?

    I am trying not to worry, but if I register at Mysore only to be turned away over this I will renounce Ashtanga!

    Or, ya know, practice somewhere else. Either or. 🙂

  3. Hey elephantebeaners, here’s some more info:

    A special visa will be required for study of Yoga, Vedic Culture, dance, music etc. Foreigners wishing to come to India to study these subjects are required to apply well in advance with all necessary particulars. The Indian Embassies may grant visas for a period of one year which may be extended on an annual basis in India.

    The good news for the longtimers is that they cen get their visa extended in India without any need to leave the country. The just need a letter from the school they are attending certifying they are continuing to study there. There are also some anti-terrorist provisions and background check of foreign students (especially from certain countries).

    KPJAYI has to comply with the new regulations as they are an established institution. But you can always enter with a 6 months visa and go another, smaller shala.

  4. I asked the company the indian High commission in London have outsourced their visa work to and they know nothing about a “Yoga Visa”, is it actually called something else, has anyone applied for one yet?

  5. Hey globie!

    The visa is just called Student Visa. It is no different from the other student visas. The only difference is that the admission letter can come from institutions which are not recognized/registered by the Ministry of Education (like yoga shalas, dance schools, karnatic singing teachers, music teachers, etc.)

  6. Hi Miss Bean,

    That makes sense. I am starting to get my ducks in a row ready for next year when I hopefully head to Mysore.

  7. I heard via someone in Australia that the plans to introduce the “yoga visa” have been abandoned and its back to how it was, anyone heard anything?

  8. well, the rules regarding the “yoga/student visa” are still there… however students keep flocking with regular tourist visas and no action has been taken by the police… yet…

    This is India, you never know! 🙂

  9. It seems that the police began to order to yoga teachers in mysore to stop their activities with foreigners who have a tourist visa because now they need a student visa.
    It’s a huge problem for yoga students who are already in mysore and those who plan to go in the next months.

  10. Hi everyone,

    I’m now in Mysore and I’m doing my yoga in my hotel room.

    I might drop in a yoga school once in a while to get extra motivation but sincerely this whole thing about getting a student visa for yoga practice is complete rubbish.

    It is against the whole yogic philosophy,student visas are just more expensive:who’s cashing in the yoga money?

    Just go to an osho ahsram and do your own hatha or astanga yourself (make sure noone is spying on you hehe) ….buiseness is taking over huh??

  11. bah…

  12. very interesting article you have almost covered all topic of indian visa applciation form also…I am jack from london and searching this topic from long time.,.thanks for this great blog .about the indian visa

  13. 1)
    Can anybody advise on the ‘yoga-visa’ situation? We would like to come back to Mysore and choose a shala on arrival (AYRI is sadly out of our financial range)..
    Thinking about Sheshadri and BNS Iyengar.
    Any information about these teacher’s current schedule would also be very very appreciated.
    Last but not least, is anybody aware of a way around the new visa regulation which doesn’t allow a return to India within 2 months of departure?

    I would be extremely happy for information. It seems strangely quiet around the forums which I have searched for months.. mercie & namaste, Birgit. x

  14. Please visit the site or email us for more details. This topic has been blown out of proportion & it may not be as complicated as thought.

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