Millions of international tourists apply for Indian visas and visit India every year. In the year 2019, there were 10.89 million foreign tourists visiting India, an increase of 3.1% from the previous year. For an international visitor, having a passport is mandatory, and there is a stringent visa process similar to that of a lot of other countries.
A visa is an official permission from the government of a country for a foreign national to enter a country and stay for a specific period, or permanently. A visa is usually given in the form of a stamp on the passport. If a foreign national wants to visit India, they need to apply for an Indian visa online.
The types of visas in India include the following.
Single entry visa, which is valid for only one visit in a specific period of time.
Multiple entry visa, which is valid for more than one visit in a specific time period.
Business visa, which is granted to foreign nationals who want to visit India for a short term for conducting business negotiations.
A tourist visa, which is meant for tourists and travellers.
A residence visa, which provides permission for an extended stay in India, but not to work in India during the stay.
Work visa, which allows a foreign national to stay and work in India.
There are three basic steps in the visa application process for an Indian visa:
Fill and submit the online application form on the official Indian Visa Online website.
Submit your documents and application to the Indian Visa Application Centre or Indian Mission on the scheduled interview date.
Collect your passport from the same centre physically or have it delivered to you via post.
The country from which you are applying for an Indian visa
The Indian Mission or Indian Post relevant to your specific location
Your date of birth in DD/MM/YY format
Your email id
Your expected date of arrival in India
The type of visa you are applying for, based on the nature of travel
Purpose of travel from amongst the listed options
If you have already applied for your Indian visa and are wondering how to check visa status online, here’s what you need to do:
Open the Visa Status enquiry page of the Indian Visa Online website.
Enter your application ID which can be found on the receipt issued to you by the Indian Mission after submission of the application
Enter your passport number.
Enter the captcha on the screen.
Click on ‘Check Status’.
You can check the status of your application here.
Enter your application ID which can be found in the acknowledgement message or the printed application form.
Enter your date of birth.
Enter your nationality.
Enter the captcha on the screen.
Click on ‘Advanced search for e-Visa only’.
You can check your visa status as well as payment status here.
You can also print your e-visa from this page.
A tourist visa is a multiple-entry visa granted for 180 days.
This type of visa cannot be extended.
It requires proof of a return ticket along with proof of having enough money to pay for your stay in India.
A transit visa is a single entry visa valid for 15 days.
Again, this type of visa cannot be extended.
It requires a ticket for your onward journey.
It is a multiple entry visa issued for 5 years at the most.
A business visa can also be extended.
It requires a proof of financial capacity, and proof of bonafide purpose such as a letter from your company.
An employment visa is a multiple entry visa which is granted to employees or paid interns at an Indian company. It is also issued to those doing voluntary work with an NGO.
An employment visa can be granted for a duration of 5 years at the most to an expert visiting for a bilateral agreement with the government of India.
For a highly skilled IT employee, the maximum period an employment visa can be issued for is 3 years.
For other cases, the maximum period is two years or until the end of the work contract.
This visa can also be extended.
Documents related to employment need to be furnished.
A student visa is a multiple entry visa (3 entries per academic year) which can be extended.
It is valid for the duration of the course or 5 years, whichever is lesser.
Students need to submit proof of admission, a letter of support from guardians or parents, and a guarantee certificate from a bank proving their financial capacity.
Indian visa requirements in terms of documentation are as follows.
Passport which is valid for at least 6 months from the date of application with at least 2 blank pages
Recent passport size photo
Certificate from employer or ID card from an educational institution
Endorsement of foreign currency equal to USD 150/ international credit card/ bank statement showing sufficient resources for travelling to India
E-visas are only allowed in the form of e-business visa, e-toursit visa, and e-medical visa.
The photo that you submit for your visa application must fulfill the necessary guidelines.
You might be asked to submit certain additional documents too.
The visa fee is based on nationality, type of visa, entry scheme, and other aspects.
The visa process for India is quite stringent and can be lengthy at times. Now that you know the basic steps, you can easily get detailed information from relevant websites and carry out your visa process carefully.
Not just the ones visiting India, but Indian residents venturing abroad should make it a point to opt for travel insurance in order to enjoy a safe and secure trip. Bajaj Allianz Travel Insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, offers individual, family, and student travel insurance plans to those looking to travel out of India. The benefits offered by the insurance policy on Finserv MARKETS include a fast online process with limited paperwork, hassle-free settlements with an in-house claim settlement unit and no third party involvement, 24x7 on-call assistance, and much more.
You should ideally apply four weeks before your travel date, even though the visa might take only a few days to be processed. This is to make sure that you have plenty of time to make amends in case there are glitches in the process.
Yes, you need to apply separately for your children.
Nationals from Bhutan, Nepal, and Maldives do not need a visa to enter India.
India has recently allowed nationals of 160+ countries to visit India for 30 days to 1 year with an e-visa.