If you are planning a trip to India, don’t forget that you will need a visa. Citizens of most countries need a visa for India. How to get Indian visa? There are several types of Indian visa. Two of the most popular ones are e-visa (up to 60 days) and tourist visa (6/12 months). It’s possible to get Indian visa online. That’s how you can get the e-visa. But for a tourist visa you should apply either at the embassy or through a travel agency.
Citizens of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and Americas (North & South) are eligible for an e-visa that is valid for 60 days from the date of entry.
If you would like to stay in India longer or you aren’t eligible for an Indian e-visa – apply for a tourist visa.
Or if you plan to enter Indian not through one of the designated airports or seaports offering e-visa facility, then as well you will need to apply for a regular Indian tourist visa.
Getting a visa for India (both e-visa and tourist visa) is easy, but there are a few things you should know.
Read on to find out how to get Indian visa, and to learn more about Indian visa requirements.
How to Get Indian Visa
There are several types of visa for India. Here I will talk about e-visa and tourist visa.
1. Applying for Indian Visa Online
It’s very easy to apply for Indian evisa, and it’s granted very fast.
Two of the most important things to remember:
- There is ONLY ONE official website. To apply for an Indian e-visa visit the Official Indian visa application site.
- You should apply at least 4 days before the trip. Don’t leave it until the last minute. It takes around 60 minutes to complete the application.
E-Visa for India
Go to the Official Indian visa application site.
There you’ll find Indian visa application form, as well as instructions on how to fill in the form and requirements for Indian visa.
Note, that there are plenty of other sites where you can apply for Indian visa but this one is the official one. The rest of them are just third party companies that charge way more than the official visa fee.
You can apply for e-visa as early as 120 days in advance of the date of arrival. But it mustn’t be less than 4 days in advance.
The visa is valid for 60 days from the date of arrival.
This kind of visa can be obtained twice in a year.
With the e-visa you are allowed to arrive at 26 airports and 5 seaports. If you plan to arrive by land, or land in an airport which is not on the list, you must apply for a tourist visa at the embassy or through a travel agency.
How Long Does It Take to Get Indian Visa?
E-visa usually is granted within 2-4 days.
Indian Visa Requirements: E-Visa
- A scanned copy of your passport (a PDF file, maximum – 300 KB). Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in India.
- A proof of onward travel (preferably – airline ticket) or an airline ticket back home. You might be asked to show it when boarding a plane to India or when arriving in India.
- A digital photo – portrait (JPEG, minimum 10 KB – maximum 300 KB). Only your face and shoulders must be visible. The photo must be well-lit, and the background must be white.
Plus you will have to answer a long list of questions.
You will need to provide the name, the address and the phone number of your hotel in India, as well as arrival and departure date, and port of entry in India. You will also be asked about your education and workplace, your parents names and place of birth, if you’ve ever been to India before and if yes – what was the number of your previous Indian visa. And a few more pages of questions.
Be prepared that it may take you around 1 hour to finish everything.
It is possible, however, to fill only part of the application, save it and continue later.
How to apply for Indian visa if you aren’t sure you will be able do it all by yourself? Do it through a travel agency. They can help with e-visas as well.
Indian Visa Fees
Indian visa fees varies, depending from your nationality.
For us, Latvians, it costs 80 USD.
You will need to pay online, after you finish filling the application or at some time later. If you want to pay later, don’t forget to save the visa application number.
2. Applying for Indian Visa at the Embassy or Through a Travel Agency
It is possible to apply for e-visa through a travel agency as well. Then you will need to contact the agency first and ask what information do they need from you.
If you want to apply for a tourist visa (6/12 month), doing it at the embassy or through an agency is your only option.
To apply for a tourist visa you’ll need:
- Passport that is valid for six months beyond the period of your intended stay in India. The passport also must have at least two blank visa pages for Indian visa stamps.
- 1 passport-sized photo – 5 x 5 cm / 2” x 2”. Indian visa photo must have a white background.
- Airline tickets (return).
- Completed Indian visa online application form.
Print the completed application form and head to the embassy of India.
If there’s no embassy in your country, you can apply for a tourist visa in a travel agency.
Indian tourist visa processing time varies, depending on where you apply for it. Usually it is granted within a week or two. If you are applying at a travel agency, it can take up to 3 weeks, depending on how often they are delivering visa applications to the embassy.
Indian tourist visa (mostly) is valid 6 months from the date of issue. In some cases you might be able to get a 12-month visa. What’s important – Indian tourist visa validity duration begins on the first day of issuance. Not from the date of arrival! If you will arrive in India 2 months after the date your visa was issued you will be able to stay in the country for up to 4 months only.
Indian tourist visa can not be extended.
So if you want to stay in India longer than that, you will have to apply for a new tourist visa.
Indian visa fees varies, depending from your nationality. And also from where you are applying for it.
Applying for a New Tourist Visa
It is possible to stay in India more than 6 months. But first you have to leave the country when your old visa expires.
Mostly people go to Nepal and apply for a new tourist visa there. We have once applied for Indian visa in Vietnam, and got a 12-month multiple entry visa.
After your tourist visa has expired you can also apply for an e-visa. But also in this case you must leave the country first to apply for visa outside of India.
Do I need a visa for India? Contact the nearest embassy of India to be 100% sure. But also you can see it here.
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.