Tourist Visa for India

Every foreign citizen is required to obtain a visa for India before they enter the country. According to the Indian visa policy for tourists and visitors, there are two Indian visa types to apply for: The e-visa and the regular tourist visa. The Indian e-visa is for a shorter period of stay and it’s also much easier to apply. The regular tourist visa for India is a pain and more expensive, but allows for a longer stay. Depending on your nationality, you can apply from a minimum of six months up to 10 years. Read on through our article on the tourist visa for India. Explore both options and get answers to questions like who can apply, how much it costs and what the requirements are.


Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, India has taken measures to flatten the curve. This includes a number of travel bans and restrictions.

COVID-19 update July 01, 2020

The ban on international travellers entering India for the purpose of tourism is still in effect, and no visas are being issued. India’s borders are still closed to tourism. Those travellers that are permitted entry need to have a valid visa obtained from any of the Indian Missions abroad. They will also have to show a Medical Certificate of having tested negative for the Coronavirus. This must be issued within 48 hours of their departure.

tourist visa of india Tourist visa

e-visa for India

The format for e-visa for India resembles a visa on arrival but is not exactly the same. The applicant needs to submit their India visa forms and pay the necessary fees online. The applicant would be informed online via email if the electronic tourist visa is granted or not.

You don’t have to courier your passport or visit an Indian Embassy or consulate. Once they grant your visa, you can board your plane. Authorities will stamp the tourist visa on your passport on arrival.

While similar, it’s still not exactly a visa on arrival, as you still have to apply before you arrive in India. However, it’s a lot less cumbersome than sending passport or having to line up outside an Indian Embassy/consulate.

e visa for india The e-visa for India is easy to access

The Indian Tourist Visa Application Information

Eligibility for an Indian Tourist Visa

PURPOSE: The Indian Government only considers four reasons sufficient for obtaining this visa. These are: recreational and sightseeing, visiting friends or family, medical treatment for a short duration, and conducting short and casual business.

PASSPORT: The original document should be valid for another six months from arrival. It should have at least two blank pages to fill up with Indian stamps. Those holding Pakistani Passports or are of Pakistani origin are unfortunately not allowed this convenience. The process for Pakistani passport holders is a little different, and is streamlined and not as easy. Diplomatic/Official Passport holders, those endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport and International Travel Document Holders will all have to go through the regular method of obtaining visas.

Then, you need to fill the Indian Visa Application.

Application requirements for the electronic tourist visa for India

PASSPORT: You’ll need to submit a scanned copy of your passport’s information page after filling the application form.

PHOTO: If you have a digital copy of a passport sized photo, upload it to the website. Alternatively, scan a regular passport photo instead and upload it, here’s a detailed list of documents and the photo specifications.

PROOF OF DEPARTURE: You will need to provide a confirmed round trip ticket. This shows that you’re not trying to sneak in and start a new life.

FEES: The e-visa fee depends on the country of origin. At the moment citizens from 169 countries can apply for an e-visa.

Details of E-Tourist Visa for India

For applications to be eligible they must be submitted no later than 4 days and no earlier than 34 days before the date of arrival. You might want to consider a traditional tourist visa for India, if you’re the kind who likes your itinerary done and dusted well in advance

The duration of stay on the e-visa has increased from 30 days to 60 days with a double-entry. This change has come in effect from April 01st, 2017. The Indian Government has also increased the window for applying for an e-visa from 30 days to 120 days. Therefore, it has became easier to obtain a tourist visa for India. You can now also apply for a medical or business visa online. However, this requires different documents to be uploaded, see here

You can pick up a visa on arrival at the airports of Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi as well as the cruise seaports of Kochi, Goa and Mangalore.

Carry a copy of your Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) at the time of your travel. After you arrive at an airport, authorities will stamp your e-visa onto your passport at the e-visa counter. Afterwards, you need to go to the immigration counter where they’ll stamp your passport. This might take quite some time at busy airports like Delhi or Mumbai. So allow your self some time if doing a layover.

Your ETA will usually be processed and issued within 3 business days after your online application if approved.

India Visa - Photo Credits, toursit visa for india Tourist Visa for India (Photo Credit)

How can you apply for a regular tourist visa for India?

If you’d like to stay for longer than 60 days, go for the regular tourist visa, requiring you to send an application and passport to the consulate or through the VFS.

In the UK, VFS Global handles all visa applications for India. This visa’s duration of stay is up to 12 months with multiple entries.  However, India limits the period of stay without exit to 6 months. You can apply in person or by post. It takes a minimum of 2 weeks until you receive the tourist visa for India. Its validity starts from the date of issue.

In the US Cox & Kings Global Services handles regular visa services. Authorities limit the period of stay without exit to 6 months. But, you can also apply for a validity of up to 10 years with multiple entries. Apply in person or by post, but it’s definitely a thorough process. Read more on how to apply here.

Australian citizens can apply for a visa with multiple entries for a year, maximum stay of 6 months on VFS Global. It costs about 135 AUD. It takes an average of 5 days plus shipping if you send it by post.

Requirements for the Regular Tourist Visa

For all visa applications, you require:

  • Fill a form
  • Send in your passport with a minimum validity of 6 months on the date of application with two blank pages
  • One or two photographs with precise specification well-documented on the visa websites
  • A reference from both someone from your country of origin and someone in India. For the latter, you can use the address and number of a hotel or travel agency – like us for example!

Passport and other documents

This might sound exhausting but we promise you: India is worth the effort. If you are interested in a trip to India plan your trip with us now!

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