India Visa Guide: All You Need To Know

 India Visa Guide: All You Need To Know

India is inescapable. Its lavish mix of festivals, traditions, colors, and dishes attract millions of visitors every year, who become enchanted by this vast sub-continent.

If you’re reading this India Visa Guide, chances are you’re considering a trip to India and already have a list of places you would like to visit – but nothing can prepare you for the wonderful experience of the Indian culture.

We’ll tackle one thing at a time in this guide. First, we’ll tell you about the mandatory requirements to enter India and everything you need to know about the India Visa. Then we’ll explore some of the most magnificent aspects of the Indian culture that you can expect when visiting India.

Get ready, because this India Visa Guide will take you on a trip right from the comfort of your home.

What are the different types of Indian Visas?

To visit India, there are paper visas and electronic Indian Visa Application Process. The paper visas are meant for long trips. It’s the best choice for those who have fallen in love with India so much they have decided to work or study there. If you’re one of those, then you can only get a paper visa at the embassy.

But for those who are looking to explore India for the first, second, or maybe the fifth time, there are 5 types of India Electronic Visas available. India is a country worth visiting over and over again. In this guide, we’ll focus on this type of visa. Electronic visas are meant for short trips for tourism, business, or medical purposes and they are a great way to explore India. They are processed fully online from the comfort of your home.

The electronic visas are:

  • Tourist eVisa
  • Business eVisa
  • Medical eVisa
  • Medical Attendant eVisa
  • Emergency X Misc eVisa

These visas have a validity of 60 to 180 days, depending on the visa, and are available for travelers of selected countries.

India Visa Guide – If you want to know more about these visas, you can check our full Indian visa article here.

How do you apply for an India visa?

You can apply for an India Visa from home, and this India Visa Guide will explain how.

First, you’ll need to gather all your requirements. Regardless of the visa you’re getting, you’ll need your passport and a photo with a white background. For the tourist visa, you’ll need only these two requirements.

Additional requirements depend on the particular visa you wish to get. If you’re traveling for medical purposes, you’ll need a letter from the hospital that will provide the medical treatment. In the letter, they must include your personal information as stated in your passport for your visa to be accepted. This is an essential requirement for a medical Indian eVisa Online.

If you’re traveling for business, and you’re applying for a business visa, you’ll need to provide an invitation letter from an Indian-based company, including its name on the letterhead and contact information. Alternatively, you can provide a scan of your business card.

Once you have all your documents handy, you’ll start your process by filling out an application form. There, you’ll have to include your personal information and details of your trip. It usually takes 4 to 5 days to process your visa, although it’s common for travelers to receive their visa within 24 hours. Once ready, you can download it from the site.

The visa will need to be presented at the border upon arrival, so make sure to have a hard copy handy on top of your digital copy, in case it’s requested by the authorities. Make sure that your visa states “GRANTED” before boarding your plane, arriving in India without a proper visa is very problematic.

India Visa Guide – Learn more about the application process for the India visa here.

How do you check your India visa status?

It’s easy for anxiety to get the best of us when we apply for a visa. Travelers want everything to happen immediately and they feel the need to constantly check their application status to make sure it’s moving along.

Luckily, checking the status of your India Visa is very simple and in this India Visa Guide, we’ll tell you how.

After you complete your application, you’ll receive in your email inbox an application ID. It’s a 16-character code. Don’t forget to save this number because you’ll need it to check the status of your visa.

With the application ID handy, go to the India Visa Government site and enter it along with your passport number and confirm that you’re not a robot.

Once you’re in, you’ll be able to see your application and its current status. If you see that it’s not moving along, do not despair. Sometimes it takes a few days to be ready. Even though travelers frequently get their visa within 24 hours of applying, the regular processing time is up to 5 days.

Finally, we know that checking the status of your India Visa is very important as it will allow you to plan accordingly. If your application is rejected, you’ll be able to reschedule your trip and work on the reasons for rejections.

Some of the most common reasons in these cases are a mistake made by the applicant in the application form or blurry scans of the documents. If your application is rejected, check that both the application form and the scans are correct. And in case you decide to apply for the Indian visa again, carefully check that all the information entered is correct before hitting submit. This crucial step will save you time and money.

Now, once your application is successfully processed, then you can dedicate your time to planning your trip and packing for it.

India Visa Guide – Read more about how to check your India visa status here.

What countries are visa-free to India?

Each country has its own visa rule, there are usually many, but they also have exceptions. In this India Visa Guide, we’ll tell you what are the visa exemptions in the case of India.

Travelers exempt from presenting a visa are the citizens of Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal. They are allowed to enter the country for 90 days without presenting a visa, but only if they are not traveling from mainland China.

India also has visa exemptions for travelers that possess a Person of Indian Origin Card. These travelers need to be coming from the countries listed below:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

Visitors can also decide to get a Person of Indian Origin card instead of an electronic visa. Travelers that at any point have held an Indian passport, are married to an Indian citizen or have Indian parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, can apply for a PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card and skip the visa process.

However, this invitation is not extended to citizens of any nationality. On the government site, visitors who wish to apply for the Person of Origin Card can check whether their nationality allows them to do so.

Lastly, citizens of Japan and South Korea can obtain a visa on arrival that grants them a stay of up to 30 days without the need of applying for a visa before departure, as long as they are not of Bangladeshi or Pakistani origin.

India Visa Guide – You can find out more about the visa-free countries to enter India here.

How does a visa on arrival differ from an eVisa?

This India Visa Guide wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the visa on arrival.

Visas on arrival don’t need to be processed before traveling, the way paper or electronic visas do. Visitors only need to present a valid passport upon arrival and the visa will be stamped directly in their passport. At the border, they’ll need to answer some questions about the reasons for their trip and present proof that they can support themselves during their stay in the country. After this short interview, the visa will be stamped.

Currently, only citizens of Japan and South Korea can apply for an India Visa on arrival, as long as they don’t have Bangladeshi or Pakistani origins.

The visa on arrival is valid for a 30-day tourism trip.

India Visa Guide – Get more details about the India Visa on arrival here.

How much does a visa cost?

The price for any visa will depend on the type of visa you need.

In the case of the Indian visas, the tourist electronic visa doesn’t cost anything, as long as you process it directly on the government site. But if you hire an expert visa service, then the final price will include their service fee. They can be anything between $45 and $300, depending on the provider you choose. It would include perks like getting them to check your application before processing them so it’s error-free and customer care agents available to answer all your questions.

The Business eVisa and the Medical eVisa, on the other hand, cost $82 if you apply directly through the government site. If you use a professional visa service, then on top of that, you’ll have to pay their service fee.

The price of the India visa is not subjected to the approval of the travel authorization. If your visa is rejected, and you want to start the process again, you’ll have to pay the government fee once more.

Your visa is non-transferable, non-refundable, and non-extendable.

India Visa Guide – Read more about the prices of your India visa here.

Where are Indian embassies?

Embassies are generally found in the capital or major city in each country. You can find an Indian embassy in these countries:

AfghanistanDemocratic Republic of CongoLaosSenegal
ArgentinaEgyptMadagascarSouth Korea
Bosnia and HerzegovinaIndonesiaNorth KoreaTajikistan
Burkina FasoIrelandPanamaTurkey
ChinaIvory CoastPolandUnited Arab Emirates
ColombiaJapanPortugalUnited States
Costa RicaJordanQatarUzbekistan
Czech RepublicKyrgyzstanSaudi ArabiaYemen

If you are planning a short trip to India and need an electronic visa, you won’t need to visit an embassy. If you have questions, you can easily contact them through their customer service line or email.

India Visa Guide – For a thorough list of cities where you can find Indian embassies click here.

How long does it take to get an India visa?

The electronic visa application is quick to complete. Once travelers have all the required documents at hand, the form can be completed within a matter of minutes.

Visitors can submit a request for a business or medical visa as early as 4 months before the date of arrival. In the case of the tourist visa, the application can be made up to 30 days before arriving in India. If you get a single entry tourist visa valid for 30 days, the validity of your visa will start from the day you arrive in India. In the case of the multiple entry visas, they are valid for a year. In the case of the business and tourist visas, it's also a year, and 60 days in the case of the medical visas. Its validity will start counting from the issue date.

In any case, visitors will need to apply no later than 4 business days before their trip to allow time for processing. Many applicants receive their visas within 24 hours, but the standard processing time is 4 days.

There’s no need to go to an embassy or consulate. You’ll get your electronic visa directly in your inbox.

India Visa Guide – Read more about how long it takes to get your India visa here.

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