Travel Tips: Visa Requirements for Foreigners Visiting India
Like most nations, India requires foreigners wishing to visit its shores to hold a valid passport of their country with more than six months validity. With the exception of Nepal and Bhutan, nationals of all other nations require a valid India visa to visit India. However, citizens of Nepal & Bhutan require a Visa when entering India from China. Nationals of Maldives are exempt from visa requirements for a stay of up to 90 days.
The Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuing Indian visas to foreign nationals through various Indian missions abroad. A nominal fee is levied for granting of the visa. The visa fee is non-refundable and subject to change without notice.
Visa seekers can also register for the Indian Visa online and then submit a hard/physical copy of the duly-signed completed, visa application form at the concerned Indian Visa Application Centres (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/Post in their respective country of residence, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents.
The Embassy/High Commission/Consulate reserves the right on granting and deciding the type/duration of visa irrespective of the fees tendered at the time of making the application. However, please note that just the granting of a visa does not confer the right of entry to India and is subject to the sole discretion of the Immigration Authorities at the point of entry (Airports, port, border checkpoints) into India.
Specific visas are granted for different purposes:
|Types of visa|
|Tourist Visa||6 months||Documents supporting the applicant’s financial standing|
|Business Visa||One or more years||Letter from the sponsoring organisation|
|Student Visa||For the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less||Proof of admission to recognized Universities/Institutions in India|
|Transit Visa||Maximum For 15 Days||Evidence of onward travel to a destination outside India|
|Conference Visa||For the duration of the conference or seminar||Letter of invitation from the organiser of the conference|
|Medical Visa||Up to one year or the period of medical treatment whichever is less. Visa can be granted to Attendant who is a blood relation to the patient and is co-terminus with the Medical Visa||Documents from registered medical institutions/ doctors supporting the need for medical treatment along with letters from Indian medical institution.|
|Visa on Arrival||Only for citizens of Finland, Luxembourg, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar.|
*Reproduced from Incredible India – the official website of the Ministry of Tourism
Procedure for obtaining Visa
Aspirants of an India Visa are required to contact their nearest Indian mission (Embassy/High Commission/ Consulate) with a completed Visa application form, visa fees (check your visa fees here) and required documents (see list below) in person or by post.
Visa Application Form
Visa application forms are available at the offices of Indian Embassy/ High Commission/Consulate in the country of residence of the applicant.
- Visa forms for nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh differ from those of other nationalities.
- All visa applicants including children are required to apply for visa exclusively using separate visa forms.
Document Requirements for Visa
In general, the following documents are mandatory for obtaining Indian Visa. However, the requirement may differ in specific cases or for certain nations.
• Original passport with validity for at least 6 months from the date of travel
• Visa fees (check your visa fees here)
• Two passport size photographs
• Supporting documents, where necessary
• Visa application form duly completed
Visa for NRIs and PIOs
Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origins (PIO), who possess either OCI (Overseas Indian Citizenship) or PIO card, are not required to apply for an Indian Visa separately. However, NRIs and PIOs without OCI or PIO cards in possession are required to apply for and get Indian visa through the procedure mentioned above prior to their arrival in India.