With over 10 million arrivals through India’s borders annually, it is clear that many foreign nationals visit the country for whatever reason. That number is increasing every year. The Indian visa process is not complicated, and various options are available depending on the country of origin of the applicant.
Before embarking on the Indian Visa procedure, it is mandatory to be in possession of the necessary travel documents, which may vary depending on the country of origin. A passport valid for 6 months after the date of arrival in India is compulsory. The passport must have at the very least two blank pages for Immigration officials to stamp on entry and departure.
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
Whether India visa processing is embarked upon online or through an Embassy, directly or through a Visa Application Centre, the applicable Indian Mission will need a minimum of three working days for the India visa processing. The length of time needed for the visa procedure in India varies according to the nationality of the applicant and the reason for needing a visa.
For online applications, the India Visa Precedure requires submission of the application form, the scanned copy of the front page of the passport, and a digital photograph that complies with the specifications. The photograph must be uploaded in JPEG format, be between 10 KB and 300 KB in size, and be of equal width and height. The photo should present the front view full face with eyes open. The full head from top of the hair to the bottom of chin must be centered within the photo frame, against a plain light color or white background. No shadows are allowed on the face or the background of the photo which should be without borders.
The e-Tourist Visa facility launched by the Indian Government in 2014 is available to nationals of over 160 designated countries. This visa is available for people visiting India for recreation, sightseeing, medical purposes, casual visits to meet family and friends and casual business visits. As such the e-Visa has been extended to include the e-Business and the e-Medical visa. These are valid for stays of up to 60 days only. Applicants for these e-Visas must possess a return ticket and sufficient money for the duration of the time in India. Both the e-Visa and the Regular Visa application process begins with an online application. 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 are accepted)
- Step 3: Visa is issued via email in PDF format and must be carried on the person throughout the stay in India.
Applications will not be processed unless payment of the fee is made a minimum of four (4) days prior to the expected date of travel stipulated on the application form. When making payment online, care must be taken as the application process is blocked after only 3 unsuccessful attempts. When application is blocked, the application process must begin again from scratch. Applications are at risk of being rejected or delayed where mistakes are made on the application form, or information is missing, or supporting documents do not meet the specifications.
The Indian visa fees vary according to the duration and type of visa applied for. The fee is made up of the basic fee, processing fee and special fee. The fee given on the online process is indicative only, and the full and final fee will be charged during the submission of the application. Visa fees are non-refundable, regardless of whether the visa application is withdrawn, or whether or not the visa is granted for whatever reason. The Visa Application Centre tasked with your particular country’s visa processing will be the best source of information on Visa Fees.