If you are planning to travel to India, you would do well to apply for a visa well in advance. A visa is mandatory for British travellers headed to India, meaning that without a visa, you’ll be barred from entering and sent straight back on the plane.
However, in the past few years plenty has changed. For instance, you won’t need to apply for a visa at the Indian embassy in London. These days, everything can be done online from the comfort of your home. Furthermore, the application process has been simplified quite a bit; generally, it won’t take longer than fifteen minutes to complete an application.
The mandatory Indian visa
If you want to travel to India, you’ll have to deal with the mandatory visa. This document needs to always be in your possession when travelling to India. There are only a very few number of exceptions where tourists don’t need a visa to go to India.
For starters, all tourists and business travellers need an Indian visa if they wish to enter the country. This rule doesn’t just apply to adults, children and even babies are required to possess both their own visa and passport. It is not possible to have children included in the passport and visa of their parents. A personal visa is mandatory for everyone.
Children are seen as individual travellers by the Indian government, which thus require individual visa. Therefore, if two adults travel with two children, four seperate visas need to be applied for. When applying, you can apply for a visa for several people at once; however, the price per visa remains the same as if you’d submitted four separate applications.
Types of Indian visa
To apply for an Indian visa, it’s important to know the difference between the various visa. For instance, you can only apply for an electronic visa is you plan to stay in India for less than 60 days. Tourists that want to stay longer or wish to work or study in India, do not qualify for the electronic visa. In those cases, it’s necessary to have a different visa stamped into your passport.
There are different types of visa you can apply for: eTourist Indian visa, eMedical Indian visa and eBusiness Indian visa. Each travel purpose has its own visa type.
The Indian visa has limited validity
Keep in mind that an Indian visa only has limited validity. It allows you to stay in India for a maximum of 60 days. This timer starts as soon as you arrive in India. That’s why it is important to write down the right date of arrival in the application form. The date of arrival can deviate a maximum of 30 days from the date filled in during the application. After approval of the visa, it is valid for a maximum of 180 days.
Arrange an Indian visa on time and with care. It’s happened before that travellers believed that they didn’t require a visa to go to India, and ended up being barred from entering the country. Furthermore, you can only apply for an Indian visa twice per calendar year.
Important when applying for the Indian visa: the traveller must possess a passport which is valid for at least six more months after arrival in India. Make a clear scan or photo of the passport, and also carry a recent passport photo with you. Take note: not all passport photos meet the requirements set by the government of India. Read more about the Indian visa photo requirements here.
Indian visa application
If you want to apply for a Indian business e-visa, a business card from the company you want to visit needs to be provided. It is permitted to arrive by plane or by boat. A number of regions are only accessible under certain restrictions namely: Arunachal Pradesh, Panipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
When the Indian government issues the visa by e-mail, it is recommended to print it and keep it with the passport. The visa allows you to stay in the country for up to 60 days. If you want to stay longer, study or work or live in India, you need to get a paper visa at the embassy.
There are different types of visa: the ‘eTourist visa’, ‘eMedical visa’ and ‘eBusiness Visa’. Apply for the right visa for the right travel purpose. Applying for a visa only takes a few minutes. Write down the information on the passport correctly. It is possible to add multiple people to a single application. You still need to pay per person. The fee for an Indian visa is €109,95 per person.
Indian visa application
Forgot Indian visa?
Generally, the Indian visa is issued within four workdays. If you didn’t make the application on time, it is possible to submit an urgent application. In 90 percent of the cases, the Indian visa is then issued the next day.