Volunteer experiences

Marina, volunteering until August 2016, published a movie on YouTube about her experience.

Foreign volunteers or interns: how to apply for a visa

Foreign volunteers or interns who would like to stay for 9 to 12 months can only come to Auroville holding an X- 2 Visa (also called Entry-Visa) on a recommendation issued by Auroville; it is a rather long process (4 to 5 months minimum) to obtain this recommendation. You will have to submit Auroville’s recommendation with your visa application at the Indian Embassy in your country.


To assist you in the below mentioned formalities, we ask foreigners to contribute 1500 Rs to support Savi.



People that wish to apply for a long term stay in Auroville with an Entry X- 2 Visa, need to get in contact with us directly on [email protected]. We’ll then send you the initial information and an application form to be filled out. Once we received your application form, we’ll then send you a selection of volunteering opportunities for you to contact;


Matching with an Auroville organization

After your email conversation with several units/services, you have come to a mutual agreement with one registered organization of Auroville for a long-term stay as an intern or volunteer: the duration must be minimum of 9 months to maximum of 12 months. 


Volunteer agreement

This step is to clarify the mutual expectations between hosting unit’s mentor and volunteer, including your future conditions of stay: objective of mission, arrival/departure dates, accommodation, budget, etc. The volunteer agreement is to be e-signed by your mentor and yourself: it is the basis of your voluntary stay that engages you and your hosting unit.


Recommendation from Auroville Foundation

The volunteer agreement will be validated by our Savi office, this qualifies your case for starting the Visa preparation process. At this point, your passport photocopy and the address of your Indian Embassy must be known to us. We will fill in the necessary documents to request the Auroville Foundation issue a Recommendation Letter. The Recommendation Letter will be given to us in a sealed envelope, that we will send to you. You must not open this envelope. We’ll send you the Recommendation Letter by courier (ca 3 days time) and the cost is approximately Rs. 2000 to Rs.3000


Visa application in your country

The Recommendation Letter for an Entry Visa does not mention your arrival and departure dates. It is valid for 3 months. It is up to you to give the exact dates of your intended arrival to India in connection with your flight arrangement according to the agreement with your unit. Be aware that your visa will be valid from the very date of its issuance. You can only apply for an X-2 Entry visa, nothing else; and inform us as soon as you obtain your visa. If your stay exceeds 180 days, the next step is mandatory and needs a lot of paperwork.


Arrival and RRO registration

You will have to register at the FRRO office in Pondicherry within the first 2 weeks of your arrival, in order to get the Residential Permit.  Savi will assist you with the process upon arrival. If this registration is not done within 14 days of arrival in India the FRRO will request a penalty fee of Rs. 500.


Follow-up during the stay in Auroville

In order to comply with the Auroville Foundation requirements, a regular update of place of residence and hosting unit has to be made on a monthly basis.


Final exit interview (before departure)

Leaving Auroville, foreign volunteers and students are asked to meet Savi to share their experience and give feedback.


Other instructions


As Auroville is engaging its formal responsibility for the activities and conduct of foreigners “if anything adverse comes to notice during this period”, Auroville hosting units are expected to report to Savi any incident, premature leave or interruption; it is the responsibility of the volunteer to inform about his changes of residence in Auroville.

Extension of visa

Entry visa can be extended thrice (1 year/extension) in Auroville itself. Volunteers, who wish to extend their volunteering commitment, will have to pass by our office 3 months before the visa expiration date to begin the extension procedure. 

Transition from Volunteer to Newcomer

At the end of a voluntary service, it is possible to apply for becoming an Auroville resident, and then start the “newcomer” probation period. Refer to Volunteer and Newcomer page.