Visas


Foreign Nationals wishing to visit India are required to possess a valid passport of their country and a valid Indian Visa.

There is no provision of ‘Visa on Arrival’ in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports. Foreign passengers should ensure that they are in possession of valid Indian Visa before they start their journey to India except nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who do not require visa to enter India and nationals of Maldives who do not require visa for entry in India for a period up to 90 days (a separate Visa regime exists for diplomatic/official passport holders).

The Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuance of Indian visas to the foreign nationals for their visit for various purposes. This facility is granted through various Indian missions abroad.

Visa fees are non-refundable and subject to change without notice. The High Commission reserves the right on granting and deciding type/duration of visa irrespective of the fees tendered at the time of making application. Granting of Visa does not confer the right of entry to India and is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Authorities.

Specific Visas are granted for a variety of purposes. Listed below in a tabular form are the types of visa; categorised on the basis of purpose of staying in India.

Types of visa
TypePeriodDocuments required
Tourist Visa6 monthsDocs supporting the applicant’s financial standing
Business VisaOne or more yearsLetter from the sponsoring organisation
Student VisaFor the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is lessProof of admission to recognized Universities/Institutions in India
Transit VisaMaximum For 15 DaysEvidence of onward travel to a destination outside India
Conference VisaFor the duration of the conference or seminarLetter of invitation from the organiser of the conference

Visa Application Form

Visa application form is available at the office of Indian Embassy in the country where the NRI/PIO resides. Visa form for nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh are generally different. All NRIs/PIOs, including children (who don’t possess OCI or PIO card) need to apply for Visa in separate visa forms.

Procedure for obtaining Visa

Visas can be applied for in person or by post at the High Commission of India based in the country from where the candidate intends to depart for India. Specific visas are granted for a variety of purposes that are aforementioned.

Requirements for Visa

Generally the following documents are required for obtaining Indian Visa. However, the requirement may vary from country to country.

  • Original passport valid for at least 6 months
  • Visa fee
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Supporting documents, where necessary
  • Duly completed application form

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Photography

Tourists should seek permission from the authorities concerned before taking photographs of places of military importance, railway stations, bridges, airports, military installations, metro trains, tribal areas and sensitive border regions. It is prohibited to take photographs in some of the temples, historical monuments, forts, palaces, tombs and monasteries. Visitors are required to take special permits from the Archaeological Survey of India for photographing monuments with tripods and artificial lights. Camera fee is charged extra in some historical monuments.

Protected Areas in India

There are certain places in India where entry is restricted. Tourists are required to take special permits from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), New Delhi for visiting these places. These places include certain areas of Assam, North Eastern Frontier States (Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh) border areas of Jammu & Kashmir, selected areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Union Territories of Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands. One can visit in person or inquire on phone the details of getting special permits:

Foreigners’ Division
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block,
Central Secretariat, New Delhi – 110 001
Phone: 23092011, 23092161
Fax: 23093750, 23092763


e-Tourist Visa Facility is available for holders of passport of following countries

Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand,Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands,Sri Lanka,Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Vietnam.

Eligibility

  • International Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation , sight seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
  • Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
    International Travellers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket,with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
  • International Travellers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may please apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
  • Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders.
  • Not available to individuals endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport i.e. each individual should have a separate passport.
  • Not available to International Travel Document Holders.

APPLY FOR E-TOURIST VISA ONLINE

Recommended Reading & Listening:

Lonely Planet India (Travel Guide)

by Lonely Planet [Lonely Planet]
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India Travel Map Third Edition (Periplus Travel Maps Country Map)

by Periplus Editors [Periplus Editions (HK) ltd.]
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Doing Business in India For Dummies

by Ranjini Manian [For Dummies]
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