Tourist Visa for India

Visa for India, © Sigler

Last updated on March 03, 2014
All information below is subject to change

All non-Indian citizens must have a visa for India (except citizens of Nepal and Bhutan).

But: Nepalese nationals need a visa if entering India from China.

Individual Visa-on-arrival

There is now a provision of "Visa on Arrival" (TVOA) in India. This means that you receive an Indian tourist visa when you arrive in India, at the airport. 

As of today, the VOA applies for 11 countries. This visa-on-arrival scheme was extended in February 2014 to 180 countries, but it has not come into force.

In October 2013, the Indian authorities proposed to extend the visa-on-arrival scheme to almost all countries. In February 2014 the scheme was approved by the Indian government. However, it is expected that the scheme will take at least 8 months to implement, from around October 2014.

When implemented, you need to apply and pay online before leaving and collect the visa at the airport after three days. The electronic VOA will be available at 26 major airports in the country, and will be valid for 30 days from the date of arrival.

Visa on arrival-countries (February 2014):

Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand.

Visa-on-arrival countries (when the new scheme is implemented):

180 countries excluding Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

Visa on arrival means that you can get a 30-days visa when you arrive at the international airport in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi, Trivandrum and Goa. 

"Visa on arrival" is a single entry, and is allowed a maximum of twice in any calendar year.

A gap of two months between each visit is mandatory. TVOAs aren't extendable and can't be converted to any other type of visa.

Fee for visa on arrival: $60 per person

Group Visa-on-arrival

In April 2013, the Indian government gave the nod to implement VoA for group of foreign tourists (more than four) using air or sea ports to enter India. This group facility applies to all countries except Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan and foreigners of Pakistani origin. 

This means that any family of four or a group from most parts of the world, can use this VoA facility. This scheme took effect April 1, 2013. 

In the process of application, you will need this to apply. Here are the India visa requirements:

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months after the date you leave India
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Filled out visa application

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How much is it 
for a Indian tourist visa?

The price depends on the period of validity and which country you come from.

The cost varies between countries according to the arrangement between the governments. For a 6-months visa, US citizens must expect to pay $ 70. And British citizens have to pay £ 30.

For Australians: AUD 75 + AUD 18 service charge

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The validity of 
visa for India

Tourist visas can be issued for 6 months (180 days), 5 years and 10 years, with single, double or multiple entries into India. But this depends on your nationality. Like, American citizens can apply for a 10 years tourist visa according to a bilateral agreement.

The 1-year tourist visa is no longer available. Applicants have to choose between a 5-year multiple-entry visa and a 10-year multiple-entry visa.

Period of stay:

You can't stay more than 6 months (180 days) at a time... It doesn't matter how long the duration of your tourist visa is.

New visa rules came into force for 6 months multiple-entry visa: Let's say you want to travel to Nepal after you've been in India for 2 months. You stay in Nepal for 3 weeks, and then you want to return to India.

According to the "new" legislation, you have to wait for 2 months before you can re-enter the country.

The same applies if you've stayed in India for 6 whole months - you can't re-enter the country the next day like many travelers do.

After 6 months, you have to be out of the country for 2 months, before you can apply for another tourist visa.

If you want to or have to re-enter India within 2 months, seek an Indian embassy and ask for permission. You'll then get a 're-entry permit' in your passport.

Updated on May 11, 2013: There has been clear reports from travelers that they didn't need a re-entry permit when they visited Nepal. For instance: you exit India and enter Nepal. You leave Nepal after 2 weeks (and not 2 months) and enter India again.

In this case you where you re-enter India in less than 60 days, you don't need a re-entry permit. This practice applies to 'neighboring countries' like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The 60-day rule applies when you exit India and travel to your home country, and then travel back again to India in less than 60 days. In this case you need permission.

Is it that harsh?

Well, the Indian government has stated that they can be flexible for tourists traveling on a 6-months visa. You may re-enter India if you keep all the documents, a detailed itinerary of your routes and you've visited another country like Sri Lanka and Nepal.

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India Tourist Visa run

This is how a Indian tourist visa looks like

You can get a visa for India in:

Bangkok, Thailand 

India Visa Application center:

1, 15th Floor, Unit 1503, 
Glas Hauz Building, Sukhumvit 25, 
Sukhumvit Road.

Visa section open: Mon - Fri 09.00 am - noon, closed on Saturdays, Sundays and official holidays

Vientiane, Laos

002 Ban Wat-Nak 
Thadeua Road, KM 3 
Sisattanak District 
Vientiane, Lao PDR

Consular Timings: 0900-1100 am, Saturday & Sunday closed

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

No. 5, street 466, Phnom Penh

Hours: From 9 am-11 am - collection and submission of visa and passport form. From 4 pm-5 pm - delivery of passport.

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Extension of your visa for India 
- can you extend your period of stay?

It's no longer possible to extend a Tourist Visa in India, unless it's an emergency situation like medical reasons. Visit the MHA office in Delhi.

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Overstaying Indian tourist visa

Remember that it's a criminal offence to overstay your visa for India. If you overstay, you need a really good reason to get away from the fine. I've heard that an example of a good reason is: medical emergency. But you have to be registered in a government hospital.

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