How to Get India Tourist Visa - A Complete Guide
Are you visiting India for a vacation? You would need an Indian Visa to enter and explore the country. There are numerous types of visas introduced by Indian government for the welfare of different types of tourists. When it comes to Visa, there are numerous questions and confusions among tourists of different nations.
This guide will talk in detail about Indian tourism visa.
Who needs Indian Visa?
Not everyone out of India would need a visa to visit the country. Tourists from Bhutan and Nepal do not need a visa to enter India. Maldives citizens can enter India without passport and stay for 90 days. However, if they were visiting from Mainland China, they would need proper visa.
If you are staying in India for less than 72 hours, you need a transit visa. Transit visa can be applied with a confirmed airline ticket for leaving India, within the time. If you do not have a confirmed ticket, you would be requested to take an Indian tourist visa.
What kind of visa do you need to explore India?
There are numerous types of visa applications like student visa, employment visa, intern visa, journalist visa and so on. If you are looking for tourism visits, choose tourist visa. This tourist visa can be taken for different time, starting from 60 days to 10 years. No matter how long your tourist visa runs, you cannot stay for more than 90 days in India, continuously. There should be at least two months gap between two visits on a tourist visa, even if you are visiting two different regions of India.
How long can I extend my Indian tourist visa?
As said before, tourist visa are available from 60 days to six months for all country citizens. Some country’s citizens are allowed even ten years visa, like US citizens. Citizens of certain countries like France, Netherland, Spain, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Germany, Luxembourg, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Chile, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Argentina and others are offered five-year visas. Beyond this, tourist visa cannot be extended or converted into other types of visas.
Cost of Indian tourist visa
The cost of applying for a visa varies with the country of your nationality. Since 2017, US citizens pay $100 for 10-year tourist visa. Japan and Mongolia citizens pay way less for visa than other countries. Tourists from South Africa, Maldives, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Afghanistan, Seychelles, Uruguay and others do not have to pay fee to get tourist visa to India. However, visa processing fee would be applicable for those countries.
Process for applying for Indian Visa
In most countries, the application process for Indian visa is outsourced to private agencies. Indian government has reclaimed license of many foreign country agencies and have replaced them with Indian companies. Thus, ask for license number to make sure that you are dealing with a legible person. Indian visa application starts with an online form. Along with the cost of visa and processing fee, you need to submit a few documents.
Documents required for Indian tourist visa
a) Original passport (should have at least six months validity and at least two blank pages)
b) One passport size photo
c) Tour details
d) Copies of flight ticket (for certain countries)
e) Proof of residential options (this can include proof of own residence or relatives or hotel booking details)
Submit these documents to visa processing agencies. You need to submit your original passport and copies of other documents. Your passport with the visa stamping will be mailed to the address in your passport.
How long will it take for visa stamping?
How long can one wait for receiving their passport with visa stamping? Typically, the agencies will request you to wait for 15 working days (weekends and government holidays are not included) to receive the visa. However, the actual time varies from country to country. Indian Mission will take at least 3 days to process your visa, in general.
Can I scale entire India with tourist visa?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Even if you hold a valid Indian tourist visa and your passport, you are not allowed to visit certain secluded locations like specific regions of Arunachal Pradesh, Northern part of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand regions, border areas of Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir military area and others. Only trekking groups are allowed to visit certain locations, only with PAP. PAP starts for Protected Area Permit.
How to Apply for PAP in India?
You can apply for the permit through Indian missions in your respective countries. Each region has its own restrictions and fee for providing PAP. Usually, tourists are allowed only in a group of at least four people. For applying PAP, you need to travel with a travel agent registered with the government. Normally, PAP is provided for 10 days and can be extended for 7 days.
If you are a citizen of China, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Myanmar, you can apply for PAP, only if you have an approval from Ministry of Home Affairs. People of Indian origin, holding a foreign passport also need to apply for PAP.
What is e-Visa of India?
In many countries, e-Visa is replacing conventional form of Visa. You can easily apply for ‘Electronic Travel Authorization’ through online site. You will receive an approval mail or you would have a PDF with required details. Take a copy of it and you can get visa stamping after entry, at the Indian airport. This stamping is valid for 60 days and approved for three entries. If you are visiting Indian on a cruise ship, you can still get e-visa. Cost of e-visa is $102.50 (It can vary from time to time and from country to country)
Eligibility for e-visa of India
a) Issued only for tourists visiting India for tourism, medical treatment, short-term business visit and for family visits.
b) Passport should have at least six months validity and two blank pages.
c) You should have copies of your return ticket, in coherent with the duration, you have mentioned in the form.
d) Children and infants should have separate e-visa
Documents needed for e-visa
a) Passport scan copy (first and last page)
b) Passport size photo
Documents to be submitted upon arrival in India
a) Printed copy of e-visa
b) Passport with passport size photo
c) Medical insurance cover for the duration of the stay.
How an US citizen can take Indian visa?
You would need a valid passport to start. Take a photocopy of your passport's first and last page. Your passport should have at least six months of validity and two blank pages. Download the Indian visa application and fill out the details. The signature in the visa application should match with the passport. This online application can be found in Indian government site.
You would need one passport size photo, with white background. Applicant should not be wearing glasses in the photo. Staple the photo to the form. Take the form to visa service agencies. You need to submit the form and your original passport. You will get your passport with visa stamping, to the address in the passport, via post.
Can I get on-arrival Indian visa?
You can get visa stamping after visiting India, if you are a citizen of certain countries. All you need is your flight tickets, passport, photo and any special documents. Those who plan to choose Visa on Arrival, should apply on-line, at least four days in advance to the travel date. After uploading required documents, fee has to be paid (non-refundable). Upon arrival at India, biometric details of the passport holder will be captured and visa will be approved.
Visa on Arrival (VOA) is provided only at Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai international airports. VOA can be provided only for 30 days (for S. Korea citizens, VOA is provided for 60 days).
Visa on Arrival is provided to citizens of
d) Republic of Korea
g) New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
h) Niue Island
q) Cook Islands
s) Solomon Islands
And, many others.
Rejection of Indian tourist visa
An immigration authority can reject your visa application for the following reasons.
a) Any information missing/ illegible/ found to be wrong
b) Any of the documents missing
c) Validity or number of blank pages of passport lower than required
Travel tips for Indian Vacation
a) Always choose iconic attractions if you are visiting India for the very first time. It is safer to choose reputed destinations, high-class hotels and prebooked transportation options. Iconic tour packages for first visit to India and experience the luxury train tour in India.
b) Always take a box of tissue, bottled water and hand sanitizer with you, wherever you travel in India.
c) If you are not accustomed to spicier food, mention it ahead to your waiter.
d) While shopping, try to haggle as much as possible.
e Do not offer money to beggars. If you are interested in donation, there are many NGOs in India, who are looking for a helping hand.
f) Even if you are an atheist, visiting temple to enjoy the architectural beauty, never talk ill or disturb the decorum of the sanctum. Be polite. Are you looking for more temples to enjoy during your vacation? Choose Pilgrimage Tour in India.
g) Try to take the public transportation at least once during your visit.
For more travel and packing tips, visit our exclusive blog,
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- What To Wear In India – Essential Packing List
- Foreign Travelers Arriving In India with an E-Visa Will Receive Free SIM Cards
- India Extended E-Visa Facility for 37 More Countries
Suggested iconic tour packages of India are: