Indian Visa Requirements - Application Process, Eligibility, Fee & More

Travelling is a life-changing experience, and it gets more memorable if completed without any hassles of those lengthy and burdening visa processes. India is a beautiful country. Period. With many cultures, monuments, friendly people and the world-famous cuisine, all this can be experienced much better if there weren't any visa hassles, right? It is necessary to have desired documents while you are travelling on an international trip. To make your visit to India hassle-free, we have listed some important information regarding the Indian visa requirements.

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Eligibility for Indian Visa

The Indian visa for Indian's with foreign citizenship has slightly different Indian visa requirements. The people within the following categories cannot get a tourist visa and hence have to apply for an entry visa.

1. A person of Indian origin

2. Spouses and children of the person belonging to Indian origin

Indian Visa Requirements

1. Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival. It should have at least two blank pages for stamping by Immigration Officer.

2. Tourist Visas enter their validation mode from the very date they are issued. You can spend a time of 6 months (180 days) in the country. Only US citizens, under a bilateral arrangement, can avail a 5-10 year tourist visa. However, they can still only stay for 180 days continuously.

3.    Visa fee is in the local currency, which means you may have an added service cost.

4.    You need to submit two passport size photos (2 inches x 2 inches) with your visa application.

5.    Extended Visas are readily available for people of Indian origin who are the owners of Non-Indian passports. The ones from Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the list.

6.    In case your visa lasts for more than six months, and you wish to stay more than the limit of 180 days, registering at the Foreigners? Regional Registration Office or FRRO becomes a necessity. This should be done within 14 days of arriving in India.

Application for Tourist E-Visa

In case you are visiting India for 60 days or less, you can apply for Electronic Tourist Visa or eTV instead of a tourist visa. This should be used at least four days before your travel day. It is equivalent to a regular visa, and the only difference is that you don't get a stamp on your passport. Travellers having a Pakistani Passport have to apply for a proper tourist visa at the Indian Mission.

Re-Entry Requirements

1. As you leave India, your passport gets a stamp suggesting that you cannot re-enter the country for the next two months regardless of the visa duration.

2. Permit to re-enter is only granted in cases of emergency. For this, you need to visit and apply for the same at the Indian High Commission or Consulate in the country you are in or the one you are a resident of. If granted the permit you need to register at FRRO within 14 days.

Extensions

Tourist Visas can only be extended in cases of theft (stealing of passport and other essential documents) or medical emergency. FRRO should be contacted in such cases. It is necessary to have a confirmed air ticket and photocopies of passport containing Indian Immigration Stamp and Indian visa to replace or apply for an exit visa. In such cases, FRRO may grant 14 days of extension if you meet the stringent criteria.

Tourist Visa on Arrival for India

Tourism has a high hand behind the country's economic growth. Therefore, to promote inbound tourism, the Indian government has launched a scheme of Tourist Visa on Arrival or TVOA for 11 countries. These countries include Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Indonesia. The Indian visa requirements for the tourist visa are mentioned below. 

1. Eligibility

a)    The person has no residence or occupation in India

b)    The person has financial condition sound enough to stay in the country and possess a return ticket.

c)    The person should have a passport with at least six months of validity.

d)    The person must carry two passport size photographs and photocopy of the passport.

2. Airports offering Travel Visa on Arrival or The Entry Points

Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Bangalore Airports provide Travel Visa on Arrival.

3. India Visa Fees

A fee of US $ 60 equivalent to Indian Rupees is levied on every person including the children, to attain Tourist Visa on Arrival.

4. Group Visa on Arrival

Tourist groups with a pre-drawn itinerary approved by Ministry of Tourism are granted Collective Landing Permit of not exceeding 60 days.
Note
a) Visa on arrival is granted for only 30 days. It is non-extendable and non-convertible
b) Its validity is restricted to a single entry
c) Only two visits are permissible in a calendar year with a visa on arrival. There should be a gap of 2 months between both the tours.

Visa-Free Entry

A)   Bhutan, Maldives (for 90 days), and Nepal are allowed visa-free entries in case they do not arrive from mainland China.

B)    Visa exemption is provided to the people with Indian Origin Card, provided they are not the citizens of the following countries:
Tip
Follow the motto of 'prevention is better than cure' therefore, always keep the photocopies of your documents like passport, visa pages with immigration stamp and air tickets.
These are a few essential points which need to be kept in mind while you are planning to visit India, a country with a rich cultural heritage. With all the Indian visa requirements explained in detail here, you can cross-check this hassle off your list of things to do before visiting India. 

This post was published by Nidhi Khurana

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