More than 10 million foreign tourists landed on Indian shores in 2017, which amounts to a growth of almost 16% compared with the 8.89 million visitors in 2016. That’s a great many people, almost all of whom would have required an India visa of some sort to enter. So what is a visa and why was it necessary for so many people to have one to visit India?

Countries allow foreigners across their national borders when they are in possession of the required travel documents as checked by Immigration officials. Although a passport is a standard prerequisite to cross borders, they often do not allow entry automatically without a visa.


To apply for the India visa, applicants must first be in possession of a passport, valid for 6 months beyond the stay in India, signed and with at least two blank passport pages for Immigration officials to stamp on arrival and departure. It is vital that applicants check the accuracy of their India visa application before submission, as many types of Indian visa are available and you must have he correct one.

Application for permission to enter India for the purpose of pleasure or tourism for short stays may be made online without consulting a Consulate. This online application is for the India evisa, which is electronic and does not take the form of a stamp or label placed in the passport. Application for an e-Visa must be made between 4 and 120 days prior to entry into India for a stay of up to 60-days, for arrival by air or sea through certain designated airports and seaports.

Visits longer than 60 days require applicants to consult the Indian Consulate closest to them to apply for a regular visa, a procedure which also begins with an online application but necessitates an interview.

Nationals of certain countries are not required to have an Indian visa, others are not eligible for the online e-Visa and must apply for the regular visa through a Consulate. Nationals of 11 eligible countries may apply for a visa on arrival in India. The Tourist Visa-on-Arrival (TVoA) is granted for the sole objective of visiting India for recreation, visiting friends or family, sightseeing, short duration medical treatment or casual business visits and only to people who do not have a residence or occupation in India.


Different visas are available from the Indian government depending on the reasons for travel to India, and these include the e-Visa, Business Visa, Conference Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Employment Visa, Emergency Visa, Entry Visa, Journalist Visa, Medical Visa, Missionary’s Visa, Research Visa, Student Visa, Tourist Visa, Transit Visa, Intern Visa, Film Visa, and the Permit to re-enter within 2 months.

The different visas carry different fees and require diverse substantiating and supporting documentation. It is vital that the application be made according to the reasons for visiting India. e-Visas are granted for a stay of up to 60 days. The e-Tourist Visa and eBusiness Visa permit a double entry and the e-Medical Visa permits triple entry.


For the online application for an Indian Visa, certain documentation must be submitted apart from a valid passport with a signature page, valid for at least 6 months, and with 2 blank pages for immigration stamps. These include the scanned first page of a valid passport in PDF format and a digital photograph in JPEG format, which meets the specified regulations. Applications for a regular visa require additional substantiating documentation, and applicants should check these according to the reason for travel.

When applying for a visa to travel to India, all the requirements must be met and the fee paid in full, or the visa application will be rejected. Indian Visa Online assists travelers in the 3 steps online Indian visa application:

  • Step 1:  Apply online
  • Step 2: Submit Payment (PayPal payments accepted)
  • Step 3: Authorization will be emailed in PDF format and should be printed out and carried on the person for the duration of the time in India.

Indian Visa Online is an Indian Visa Agency without affiliation to any organizations or the Government of India.