Most visitors to India need a visa. This India tourist visa guide will discuss how to get a visa for India (the easy way), what you’ll need and how to apply.
It covers the e-Visa in depth which tends to be the easiest and quickest way to get a visa for India as well as other options.
This India visa guide is suitable for all nationalities.
Do I Need A Visa For India?
Citizens of certain countries don’t need a visa (or a passport) to enter India.
In fact, if you’re from one of these countries, you can also live and work freely in India and you can stay as long as you want. They have freedom of movement.
This visa exemption applies to citizens of the following countries:
Citizens of the Maldives can stay for up to 90 days visa free (however they don’t get the freedom of movement).
How To Apply For A Visa For India
If your country doesn’t appear on the visa exemption list above then you’ll need to get a visa.
There are a few different ways you can get a visa.
- Apply online for an e-Visa.
- Get a visa on arrival when you arrive in India.
- Get a visa from an Indian Embassy or Consulate.
The e-Visa tends to be the easiest method and most countries (see list here) are eligible to use it.
Can I Get An e-Visa For India?
Launched in 2014, the e-Visa (also known as e-Tourist Visa or eTV) is one of the easiest ways to obtain a visa for India and is open to citizens of many countries.
You can apply for one of the following visa options:
- 1 month
- 1 year
- 5 years
You must apply for your e-Visa at least 4 days prior to your date of arrival in India and you can apply as early as 120 days in advance for the 1 year/5 year visa. For the 1 month e-Visa, you can only apply up to 30 days in advance.
The 1 month e-Visa is valid for 30 days from your date of arrival in India and 2 entries are allowed.
For the 1 year and 5 year visas, these are valid for 1 year/5 years from the date the visa is granted and multiple entries are allowed.
Even if your visa is valid for a long time e.g. 1 year, you can’t stay in India continuously for that time. The length of each visit to India must be under 90 days for most citizens. For citizens of the UK, USA, Japan and Canada, you can stay up to 180 days each time.
After your 90 (or 180) days are up, you need to leave India and can re-enter if you still have remaining validity on your visa.
Which Countries Can Apply For An e-Visa For India?
Please note: anyone of Pakistani origin who has parents/grandparents who were born/lived in Pakistan cannot apply for the e-Visa. This applies even if you’re a citizen of one of the below countries. You will need to apply for a regular visa.
Eligible countries for the e-Visa
|All EU Citizens||Albania||Andorra|
|Angola||Antigua & Barbuda||Argentina|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||Botswana||Brazil|
|Comoros||Costa Rica||Cote d’Ivoire|
|Dominican Republic||Ecuador||El Salvador|
|Nauru||New Zealand||Cook Islands|
|Papua New Guinea||Paraguay||Peru|
|Rwanda||St Kitts & Nevis||St Lucia|
|St Vincent & The Grenadines||Samoa||San Marino|
|Solomon Islands||South Africa||South Korea|
|Trinidad & Tobago||Tuvalu||Uganda|
|Ukraine||United Arab Emirates||United Kingdom|
Where Is The Indian e-Visa Accepted?
The e-Visa is accepted at 29 airports and 5 seaports in India. Ensure you arrive at one of these to be allowed entry.
How Much Does The e-Visa Cost?
The costs of the different types of e-Visas are below. For the 30 day visa, there are 2 different prices for different times of year. The visa is cheaper during low season.
- One month e-Visa (April to June): $10
- One month e-Visa (July to March): $25
- One year e-Visa: $40
- Five year e-Visa: $80
Please note: there will also be an additional bank transaction fee of 2.5%.
Certain countries don’t have to pay any fees for the e-Visa. See the list below, if your country doesn’t appear on the list below then you need to pay the fee as above.
Countries that don’t have to pay for a visa:
|Palau||Papua New Guinea||Samoa|
|Seychelles||Solomon Islands||South Africa|
Citizens of Japan only have to pay US $25 for the 1 year and 5 year visas.
How Do I Apply For The India e-Visa?
You need to submit your application on the Indian e-Visa website.
What You’ll Need:
- Travel details e.g. date of arrival etc.
- Passport valid for at least 6 months
- Photo of yourself
- Debit/credit card to pay fee.
Once you’ve submitted your application, your e-Visa will be sent to you by email within 3 to 5 working days.
Make sure you print out a copy of your e-Visa for when you travel to India as you’ll need to present it at the immigration counter at the airport. The immigration officer will then stamp your passport for entry.
Can I Convert Or Extend My Indian e-Visa
No, unfortunately you can not extend your e-Visa or convert it to another type. If you need more time in India that your visa allows, you’ll need to leave and re-apply.
Can I Get A Visa On Arrival In India?
Citizens of certain countries can get a visa on arrival when they arrive in India. The list of countries eligible is below:
|Japan||South Korea||United Arab Emirates|
This visa is valid for 60 days meaning you can only stay up to 60 days in India.
It costs 2,000 rupees.
You can only get a visa on arrival up to 2 times each year.
Please note: this isn’t available to anyone of Pakistani origin.
You can only get the visa on arrival at one of the 6 designated international airports below.
Applying For A Visa At An Embassy/Consulate
Visa applications can be submitted either in person or can be sent in the post.
Fees differ per embassy/consulate so it is worth checking with your closest embassy/consulate for exact fees.
Thanks for reading this India tourist visa guide that discusses how to get a visa for India and what you’ll need.
I would definitely recommend the e-Visa as the best option if you are eligible to apply for it as it’s the quickest and easiest option.