Since 9/11 there's obviously been a lot of attention given to the movement of people internationally, but the Indian visa system has only started to get extra strict in the past few months. In December the Indian government announced that people on tourist visas would be barred from the country for two months after the visa expired. This caused some outrage in the US and UK who were targeted with this rule and was covered by The Guardian and BBC News.
Whilst the media understandably focused on the impact on tourists, given that most foreign visitors to India are people going on holiday (almost 800,000 Britons a year according to government figures), a business visa was actually a major cause behind the troubles.
The Mumbai terror attacks on 26th November 2008 killed some 174 people, the Indian government and people were understandably a little shaken, especially when evidence seemed to suggest that the terrorists were from Pakistan, a neighbour that India has a disputed border with and has gone to war with three times since independence in 1947.
Things took a new turn, however, when it transpired that a citizen of the US (although of Pakistani origin) may also have been implicated in the attacks. David Headley apparently travelled to India several times to scout out targets for the attack. He travelled on a multiple-entry business visa.
Thus, partly owing to their large South Asian communities, both the US and UK were especially targeted by the crackdown. As it happens, when I came to apply for a visa I requested a 12 month multiple-entry business visa. Brilliant. I ended up being given a mere three month single-entry business visa. As The Guardian's article notes, almost in passing, 'India has already cracked down on business visas this year, informing thousands of holders that they must return to their home countries and prove that they meet much stricter criteria before new visas will be issued.' That's more or less what I was told at the FRRO (Foreigner Regional Registration Office).