Views: 268 Author: Hedy Publish Time: 2023-09-06 Origin: Site
With its diverse tapestry of cultures and landscapes, India feels like hundreds of countries wrapped into one, but a single visa will cover you for travel over more than three million square kilometers, taking in everything from hot rainforests to high Himalayan mountains.
Every Indian state is as wide as diverse as a country, so take your time exploring this vast and interesting land. The good news is that visas are simple to get and provide ample time for exploration.
From the application procedure for e-Visas to overland travel and extending your stay, here's all you need to know about visa requirements for India.
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To visit India, you would almost certainly require a visa.
Almost everyone requires a visa to visit India, although tourist visas are straightforward to get for most nations online or through your local Indian embassy or consulate. Citizens of 166 countries, including the majority of EU and EEA states, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as numerous countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, can apply for an e-Visa before going using a simple online form.
Applying online is a fairly painless process, and it will save you hours compared to applying in person at an embassy or through a visa agency (in countries where Indian embassies no longer issue visas directly). Tourist e-Visas are available with a validity of 30 days, one year or five years, with the one- and five-year visas allowing for multiple entries for a maximum stay of 180 days on each visit.
For one- and five-year tourist visas, applications are accepted up to 120 days in advance of travel. The 30-day visa allows two entries into India, which is handy if you’re planning a side trip to Nepal, and you can apply up to 30 days in advance of travel. All e-Visas take at least 72 hours to process, so be sure to apply in plenty of time (4 days in advance is the recommended time).
Applying online is the most hassle-free way to obtain a visa
Tourist visas, business visas, and visas for medical treatment and conference attendance can all be obtained using the Indian government's online e-Visa platform. The cost and term of the visa varies by nationality, and you may be required to present confirmation of return travel arrangements as well as adequate cash to maintain yourself during your stay.
Non-tourist visa rules can be complicated. Business travelers are typically required to present letters of introduction from Indian enterprises and organizations with whom they intend to meet. Assuming you match the conditions, a business visa is normally eligible for repeated entries within a year.
Working for an Indian firm is more difficult. To complete the paperwork, you'll need an employment visa and a work permit, and most individuals will require a definite job offer and support from an Indian business. As with all visa requirements, the situation is subject to change; for the most up-to-date information, contact your nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
Applying for an e-Visa is a simple process.
Visit the government's official e-Visa webpage to apply for an Indian e-Visa. You must provide a digital passport-style photo as well as copies of your passport ID pages, as well as pay the visa price, which varies based on your country and visa class.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of admission, and you'll need two blank pages in your passport for the visa, which will be physically stamped into your passport upon arrival.
If your application is granted, as is usually the case, you'll receive a digital Electronic fly Authorization (ETA), which you should print off and bring with you when you fly so you can show it to immigration officials upon arrival. You may also be required to produce a return flight reservation and evidence of adequate finances to cover your stay.
With an e-Visa, you can enter India by air or water.
E-Visas allow entry to India through 25 designated airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Bengaluru (Bangalore), Hyderabad, Kochi (Cochin), Goa, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Gaya, Jaipur, Lucknow, Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), Varanasi, Kozhikode (Calicut), Mangaluru (Mangalore), Pune, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Chandigarh and Visakhapatnam.
They’re also valid for entry via the designated seaports at Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, New Mangalore and Mormugao (in Goa).
Apply for a visa before you travel to India by land.
If you intend to visit India overland, such as via Nepal or Pakistan, you must first acquire a visa stamped into your passport, which you may receive through the Indian embassy or consulate in your home country, or from an approved visa application office.
If you want to visit both India and Nepal on the same trip, seek a multiple-entry visa. It used to be simple to arrange a fresh Indian tourist visa through the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, but the authorities may now require a two-month interval before issuing a new visa.
There’s no need to worry about applying for a visa for Nepal in advance – they’re available on arrival at border crossings (bring passport photos and US dollars to pay the fee).
If you can't apply for an e-Visa, get one in person in advance
Contact your local embassy or consulate to check the application process in your country; the Indian Ministry of External Affairs maintains a list of diplomatic missions online. It’s best to apply for a visa in your home country – obtaining an Indian visa from an embassy in another country can be tortuously slow, assuming it’s possible at all. Fees and the permitted duration of stay will vary depending on your nationality.
As an alternative to applying through an Indian embassy or consulate, you may be able to apply for a visa through a visa agency – however, this tends to be more expensive than applying directly. In practice, many of these agencies just collect together applications and then send over a staff member to the embassy to apply in person.
Student visas are available to those on full-time courses in India
Student visas are only granted to persons who are participating in authorized full-time educational programmes in India (which may include training courses in yoga, meditation, and traditional Indian art forms). Student visas are valid for up to five years, depending on the duration of the course, but the rules are tight, and you'll need paperwork from the school where you're studying to apply. The Ministry of Home Affairs provides some information online, but for the most up-to-date needs, contact your nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
Only in extreme situations should you extend your stay in India.
Other sorts of visas, such as medical emergency or passport theft, can be extended, but only in rare situations. To apply, you must utilize the government's unique web platform and provide proof of a genuine cause for extending your stay in India (for example, a letter from the hospital where you are being treated or a police report).
You may then be summoned for an in-person interview at Delhi's Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO). If a charge is required, it will be disclosed throughout the application process.
Special licenses (known as "protected area permits" or "restricted area permits") are necessary to visit numerous places near to India's disputed external boundaries with China, Pakistan, and other states, a zone known as the "inner line." Applying for these licenses outside of India is tough, but you may do it locally in India with no effort.
At the time of writing, permits were required to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and parts of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan lying close to the disputed border with China/Tibet or Pakistan. Permits are also needed to travel to the Lakshadweep Islands and to some islands in the Andaman Islands. Indian travelers may need a separate document known as an “inner line permit” to enter these areas.
Obtaining permits is usually a formality, except for highly sensitive border areas (which tend to be off-limits to all travelers). Applications can be made through local government offices or local travel agencies; contact the state government offices for these regions to get the latest information. In some areas, you may need to register with the local Foreigners Regional Registration Office on arrival, but this is an easy process.