Updated guide to Indian Tourist Visa

UPDATED March 16, 2022: India announced it has restored all currently valid five year tourist visa given to citizens of 156 countries and regular paper visa to nationals of all countries with immediate effect (two years after their suspension follow the COVID-19 outbreak).

March 8, 2022 Update: India announced it will resume scheduled commercial flight operations to international destinations from March 27, restarting unrestricted travel after two years and for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began via Reuters.

February 10, 2022 Update : India updated entry requirements on February 10, 2022 and you can access the latest Guidelines for International Arrivals here. The New Delhi Airport website also has updated information for travellers. And you should also check with your airline on their requirements.

Guidelines for tourists arriving in India: All arriving international passengers need to fill out the Air Suvidha Self-declaration Form. You must fill it out before traveling.

October 15, 2021 Update: India began granting 30-day tourist Visas for foreign tourists coming to India through chartered flights on October 15, 2021 and by regular flights on November 15. 

Most nationalities can use the e-visa service with a few exceptions that include Canadians and British.

Several other Visa categories are also available and will allow travel to India including e-business visas and e-medical visas. Get more info here: Indian Visa Application for Tourist Visa .Get more info here: Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

September 17, 2021 Update :  “the Indian government has withdrawn the e-visa facility for the citizens of Canada and the United Kingdom. This comes as a reciprocal move after these countries decided to ban the entry of Indian citizens after certain states started seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases. ” See announcement here. 

Please note: the updates above are current. From here on, to the end of the page, I have not updated the information that pertained to Indian visas prior to March 2020. As this information may be again applicable in future, I am not changing it for now. 

If you are from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and many other countries, you need a passport and a Visa to visit India, even as a tourist. However, getting a Visa for India is much easier than ever, and the Indian Visa application process now includes the option to apply for an India Visa online (the e-Visa). It’s also cheaper than before. Americans, Australians, and others are all eligible for a 10-year tourist Visa for India and the new Indian Business Visa. To find out if your nationality is on the list for the e-Visa, click here: Indian Visa Online

1-year e-Visa is now available for e-Tourist Visa (as of March 25, 2019).

  • One month e-Visa fee: US$ 25 from July – March, peak season for tourism
  • One month e-Visa fee: US$ 10 from April – June, low season for tourism
  • A new 5-year e-Tourist Visa: US$ 80
  • 1-year e-Tourist Visa: US$ 40

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Tip 1: Decide which type of Indian Visa you want

Regular Visa: To apply for a regular Visa, such as the 10 year tourist Visa, you need to apply at an Indian mission. You have to apply online first, print the form and bring it to your local consulate or the outsourcing company. There is a three step Indian Visa application process. You can read the detailed instructions here.

There will be many very specific rules, such as the exact dimensions of the photos you need to bring. If you don’t follow the guidelines precisely, and to the letter, they will not accept your application. Likewise if there are any mistakes, such as a name misspelled.

e-Visa: To apply for the e-Visa, you can apply online on this page: Indian Visa Online. See below for more details.

TIP: Make sure your passport has more than six month’s validity from your date of travel.

Tip 2: Contacting your Indian mission for a regular Visa

You need to contact the Indian mission in your country to begin the process of getting a regular Indian Visa and filling out the Visa application form.

  • If you are from Canada, visit the Consulate General of India, Toronto website or the High Commission of India in Ottawa website.
  • In Canada, you can visit the BLS Services website. This is the company that the Consulate General of India in Canada outsources its Visa processing to.
  • If you are from USA, start here at Embassy of India.
  • If you are from Britain, start here at the High Commission of India website.
  • If you are from Australia, start here at the Consulate General of India, Sydney website.

Indian Visa, Indian Visa application

Tip 3: Everything you need to know about the e-Visa 

To apply for the e-Visa, you can apply online on this page: Indian Visa Online. And to find out about all the Indian Visa categories click here.

  • When you arrive in India, you will have to wait in line at the airport to have the Visa stamped.
  • The e-Visa is good for visits not exceeding 30 60 days  one year. [NOTE: The latest info on the Indian government website now says up to one year. This information changes so please double check at the time of you travel.]
  • [NOTE: The latest info on the Indian government website now says 120 days. This information changes so please double check at the time of you travel.]
  • You can apply twice a year for the e-Visa
  • e-Visa is for e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, e-Conference Visa, e-Medical Visa, and e-Medical Attendant Visa.

But please double check to make sure your arrival airport is on the current list, as it has changed.

TIP: There are a lot of fake sites out there that look very similar to the official Indian government site. Be careful, always check for “gov.in” in the URL.

Indian Visa, Indian Visa application

Tip 4: All about Visas for Yoga study in India, education, volunteering,  journalism, and doing business in India

Education: If you are attending a recognized educational institution in India, you need an education Visa. 

Bloggers: Many travel bloggers are hobby bloggers, and a Tourist Visa will probably be just fine. Just make sure you mark down that you are in India for tourism, not for work.

UPDATE: It’s not a good idea to say that you are a writer as this implies you are a journalist.

Volunteers: If you are volunteering in India, you need a volunteer Visa.

Other types of Visa include conference, medical, transit, and research Visa. You can see a list of all the categories of Indian Visas here.

TIP: The most difficult part about applying for an Indian Visa is getting all the details right. If you make a mistake, you could be denied.

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