Do I Need A Visa To Visit India?
Visas gotten in advance of travel are needed for all visitors traveling to India, regardless of nation of origin, the reason for visit, or duration of stay. International visitors who arrive in India without a visa or passport may be deported immediately. Visitors who plan to travel to India, and who wish to stay no longer than thirty days, can easily obtain an e-visa online.
The online application for an e-visa requires visitors to upload a photograph and passport scan and to pay the e-visa application fee, which can vary depending on the nation of origin.
U.S.-based visitors will be required to pay $75, while some nations and zones (for example Argentina) will have a $0 fee. If approved, visitors will receive their Indian e-visas through e-mail. They should be printed out and shown upon entry at the airport.
E-visas take less than three working days to process and should be collected at least four business days before traveling to India.
E-visa visitors are required to have their return ticket upon their arrival in India, as well as enough money for their stay in India.
For applicants whose visits are not among the parameters of the e-visa, applications should be lodged in person to the nearest ministry or embassy. A tourist visa collected in this manner usually permits up to six months of legal travel within India.
What Type of Visa is required for India?
Travelers staying in India for less than seventy-two hours should obtain a Transit visa otherwise a Tourist visa is required.
Nationals of the U.S, Japan, and Canada are issued Tourist visas of up to ten years of validity. Tourist visas of five-year validity are increasingly becoming available for citizens from most countries, where biometric enrollment equipment is readily available.
Otherwise, Tourist visas are usually granted for three months, six months, or one year. The visas are generally multiple-entry visas.
Note: The visa is valid from the day of issue, not the day of arrival in India.
Also, it does not matter how long your Tourist visa is valid for, you are not allowed to stay in India longer than six months at a time. Note, some Tourist visas only permit stays of up to three months at a time.
Other types of visas available to travelers visiting India include Employment visas, Business visas, Intern visas, Student visas, Research visas, Film visas, and Journalist visas.
How and where to obtain a regular Indian visa?
The Indian government has launched an online application process whereby you can fill and lodge the form online, and then lodge your passport and supporting records in person to the Indian embassy in your country.
Alternatively, you can get an Indian visa via a visa processing center if you cannot appear at an Indian embassy in person. You will be required to fill your application form online, on the center’s website, and then mail in your application and required records.
In the U.S, Indian visa applications are processed by Cox and Kings Global Services. In the UK and Australia, it is VFS Global. In Canada, BLS International process visa applications.
Along with your visa application and fee, for an Indian Tourist visa, you will require a passport that has a validity of at least six months and has two blank pages, a passport-sized photograph, and information of your itinerary. Proof of residential address and copies of flight tickets may also be required.
The main difference between the Indian regular visa and the e-visa is that the first one is valid for a longer period of time than the other.
Permits for restricted/protected zones in India
Even if you have a valid Tourist visa, some remote zones in India require visitors to acquire a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to enter them. These zones are generally near borders.
Such areas include Andaman, Arunachal Pradesh, and the Nicobar Islands, and some areas of northern Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Ladakh, and Kashmir, and Rajasthan, In many circumstances, individual tourists are not permitted, only tour/trekking groups.
You can obtain your protected area permit when you apply for your Tourist visa. Alternatively, it can be obtained while in India before transiting to the protected area.