India has enjoyed increased interest from foreign visitors in recent years. The Government of India has made travel to India easier for the majority by enabling applying for an Indian visa through the online application process for short stay visas as well as the Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme.
Before applicants apply for Indian visa, it is necessary to have the required travel documents, depending on your country of origin. A passport that is valid for 6 months after the date of arrival in India is mandatory. The passport must be signed and have at the very least two blank passport pages. Visitors are permitted to remain in India for up to 6 months at a time only.
To apply for an Indian visa, applicants must know the type of visa that is required. The Government of India issues the following types of travel visas, depending on the reason for visiting India:
- 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
- Permit to re-enter within 2 months
To apply for India visa online, applications must be made between 4 and 240 days before the expected date of arrival in India, with a window of either 90 days or 180 days, depending on nationality.
The visa procedure in India requires foreign nationals visiting the country for longer than 60 days or for purposes other than short-stay tourism, business, or medical visits to apply for a regular visa. The application must be made through an Indian Consulate or Visa Application Center in most countries where the visa application and submission are outsourced. Applications for regular visas start with the same online application procedure. Successful online application results in the receipt of an automatically generated application ID to use for subsequent communication. An appointment is scheduled with the Indian Consulate for an interview. Certain supporting documents must be produced at the interview. Indian visa processing takes at least 3 business days. A regular visa is inserted into the applicant’s passport.
Nationals of most countries are eligible for the electronic e-Tourist, e-Business, or e-Medical visa to enter India for short stays of up to 180 days for the purpose of recreational, business, conference and medical visits. The e-Visa system negates the need to consult an Indian Consulate or VAC. The e-Visa is electronic and doesn’t appear in the passport in the form of a label or stamp but is issued via email in PDF format and must be printed out and carried on the applicant for the duration of the stay in India.
Both the e-Visa and the Regular Visa application process begins with an online application. To apply for an India visa online, application must be made prior to the envisaged entry into India. The e-Tourist Visa and e-Business Visa permit a double entry while the e-Medical Visa permits triple entry.
The online procedure is the same for every e-Visa, and Indian Visa Online can assist in the simple 3-step process:
- Step 1: Apply online
- Step 2: Submit Payment (all major credit and debit cards and PayPal payments accepted)
- Step 3: Visa is emailed.
Applications will not be processed in cases where the fee is not paid at least four (4) days prior to the expected date of travel as stipulated on the application. When making payment online, care must be taken as the application process is blocked after only 3 unsuccessful attempts, and the application process must then begin again from scratch. Applicants should wait at least 4 hours for a status update after making final submission and payment to be sure that all is in order. Applications are at risk of being rejected or delayed where errors or omissions present on the application form, or where supporting documents are not according to specifications.
The Tourist Visa-on-Arrival (TVoA) Citizens is available to nationals of the selected 11 eligible countries for short stay tourism, business or medical purposes only. These are obtained upon arrival in India.
People with Overseas Indian Citizenship holding Citizen of India certificate (OCI) do not fall under Indian Visa laws as they are regarded as Indian citizens and are permitted multiple entries and lifelong multi-purpose entry. Citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, mainland China, or Pakistan may not be OCI holders.
All Tibetan settlements are among the noted Protected areas within India in which foreigners’ safety cannot be assured. Protected Area Permits (PAP) are issued by Indian Missions abroad for permission to enter any protected area and must be carried on the person with the visa and passport. Visas are typically issued within 3 to 4 business days, whether online or through the Consulate. It’s that easy to make your way to India and enjoy all it has to offer.