Who needs a visa to visit India?
Virtually everybody except Nepalese and Bhutanese. Nepalese nationals do need a visa to enter India if they are coming from China.
How long a visitor visa to India is valid?
A visitor visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and not from the date you enter the country. It means that as soon as you have been issued a visa, the countdown to six months begins.
If you are eligible for a tourist visa on arrival, the visa is valid for 30 days.
How much does it cost?
Indian visa fees are charged on a reciprocal basis and depend on how much your native country charges for a visa for Indian nationals. Due to this, the Indian visa fee can be cheap to quite expensive. For example, a national of Portugal would not have to pay the same amount as a UK national would. For UK nationals, it is currently around £83 for a six-month tourist visa.
How do I pay for the visa?
You can choose to pay online once you have completed your details online. Paying online would speed up your visa process though you can pay by other means as well.
How long does it take to have a visa issued?
Apart from a few countries such as Pakistan or Sri Lanka whose nationals may have to go through extra paperwork and time, an Indian visitor visa on average does not take more than a week to be issued and your passport returned to you. At least that is the case in the UK.
How to apply?
Application for an Indian visa needs to be completed online and then printed and sent off to the nearest Indian embassy. For admin purposes, the printed forms would be sent to the VFS centre and once they have checked and validated your application, they would then be sent to the respective Indian Embassy or High Commission. At least this is how it is done in the UK.
What would you need?
You would need a valid passport that has at least 6 months of validity remaining on it. with 2 photos of 2 by 2 inches long and wide. Access to the Internet. A credit or debit card to pay for your visa fee. A printer to print off your forms.
Additional cost: You would need to send your completed forms by post and doing so would require a secure post as well as a secure post prepaid envelope to include with your application for the return of your documents.
You can also opt-in to receive text messages for the status of your application by paying some extra money. If you do not want to send your passport photos with the forms, you can upload one online but at a cost of £10 per photo.
How long does it take? Once your application is received and does not contain any errors such as your details, photo requirements, etc, expect to receive your visa in about a week and sometimes even earlier.
To fill out your initial visa application form go to Online Indian Visa Form
What photo size would I need?
You would need two passport size photo but the photo size for the Indian visa has to be 2” by 2”. Take extra care in making sure that you send the right size photo and as specified on the photo guidelines as failure to comply would delay or return your application form back to you.
Can I have the visa once I have arrived in India?
Not unless you are a citizen of one of the following countries who are allowed to collect their visa on arrival.
Current countries whose nationals can apply for an Indian visa on arrival
Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
How do I apply for a visa on arrival in India (also known as e-Tourist Visa)?
Apply online by going to http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ and filling out the details, printing the forms, and sending it with required documents.
Do children generally need a visa for India?
Yes, regardless of their age.
How much do children pay for the visa?
Same as the adult applicant.
I have a connecting flight from India, do I need a transit visa?
If you are in India due to the route of your flight and you will be spending not more than a few hours at the airport or do not intend to leave the terminal (for a quick sightseeing tour etc) then you would not need a transit visa.
Any other fees or charges on top of the Indian visa fee?
Yes. You would need to pay a service charge of £10.20 payable to VFS Service UK and depending upon whether you choose to upload a digital photo or opt-in for a mobile text message regarding the status of your application would push up the total fee.
You would also need to send and receive your forms, documents, and passport by secure post adding an additional £15 or so to the total chargers.