India visa policy defines rules and requirements for foreigners intending to enter India. The regulations vary between nationalities: while citizens of some countries can travel without a visa, others need an Indian e-Visa, a visa on arrival, or a regular visa.
Nationals of Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal are the only ones who have visa-free access. Bhutanese and Nepalese may live and work in the country without any limit of stay. Maldivians do not need visas to enter India for stays of up to 90 days.
The most advantageous way that helps save both time and money is by applying for an online visa to India. It can be used for various purposes: tourism, business, visiting conferences, undertaking treatment, or accompanying patients traveling to India for treatment.
A visa on arrival is available at several Indian entry ports for citizens of Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. However, it is still not as convenient as an India online visa and requires some hassle at the airport.
Persons who cannot apply for an India visa online or at the entry port must get a regular visa. A traditional visa to India can be applied for at the Indian foreign mission in the applicant’s country.
It is essential to apply for the right type of India visa for the purpose of your travel, as otherwise, you may not be allowed to enter the country. Furthermore, all travelers to India must examine other entry requirements.
Foreign citizens can enter India provided they meet all the travel requirements of this country, including having a valid passport, visa, and yellow fever vaccination card.
Travelers of Pakistan origin have additional restrictions. They cannot use electronic visa facilitation. Also, India does not issue them tourist visas: Pakistanis can only travel to India for essential, business, or religious purposes.
To avoid problems at immigration, ensure your passport meets the India entry requirements: it is machine-readable, has 2 blank pages, and does not expire within at least 6 months from your arrival in India. All foreigners, excluding Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal nationals, must get a proper Indian visa for the purpose of their travel.
If a person is traveling from the endemic zone of yellow fever, they need a yellow fever card. The countries with a high risk of yellow fever transmission include some African, as well as Central and South American countries.
Many COVID-19 restrictions in India have been eased. As of April 2023, travelers no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a negative test. However, it is necessary to comply with instructions and surveillance measures upon arrival in India, for example, thermal screening or random COVID-19 testing.
There are also restrictions on what you can bring into India. The prohibited items include antiques, firearms, drugs and psychoactive substances, pornographic material, counterfeits, pirated goods, and goods that infringe on intellectual property rights.
Special permits may be required to use land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal in east and north-east India. It is recommended to reach the local authorities to get more information.
Currently, international travelers going to India are required to have the following documents:
It is strongly advisable that you visit the official website of the Indian authorities to review the latest updates on the documentation required to enter India.
According to the visa policy of India, foreign travelers can use three methods of obtaining Indian visas: an e-Visa, a visa on arrival, and a regular/traditional visa.
The e-Visa facility was launched in 2015 by the Indian government to make the application process for eligible citizens easier.
The Indian e-Visa is available in several types for different purposes: an e-tourist visa for recreation and casual family visits (for 30 days/1 year/5 years), an e-business visa for business handling(for 1 year), a medical attendance visa, a medical treatment visa, and a conference visa.
The application process consists of 3 steps: complete the form, pay the fees, and check the email address. The approved e-Visa to India will be sent to your email address. It is possible to apply for India online visa within several minutes from the comfort of your home.
Visa on arrival can be obtained at 6 Indian entry ports: Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
It is issued to nationals of Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates for business, tourism, medical or conference purposes.
Still, it is recommended to apply online in advance, as queues for visas on arrival are long, and there is a risk of refusal.
If you cannot apply online or are not eligible for an e-Visa to India, you need to get a regular visa. It is necessary to schedule an appointment at the Indian embassy or consulate and gather the required documents.
You should attend the appointment on time, submit the application and documents at the concerned Indian embassy/mission in your country, and have the visa interview with the consular officers.
See the list of eligible countries and get the Indian visa required for your nationality:
Visa on arrival
In order to visit India, underage travelers must meet the same requirements as adults. They include holding an India visa, a valid passport, and a yellow fever vaccination certificate if required.
Additionally, immigration officers may ask for such documents as the child’s ID and birth certificate; medical information concerning allergies, vaccinations, and special needs; a consent letter signed by the child’s parents or guardians if the child is traveling without them.
Children need the same visas as adults, so the required information and documents are no different. The Indian visa application form for minors must be completed by their parents or guardians.
According to the India entry requirements, all persons stopping over in India for transit require a transit visa if they will be at an Indian airport for a period exceeding 24 hours, or if they plan to leave the airport transit area.
A transit visa for India cannot be obtained from immigration counters at ports of entry, a traveler must get it before departure. It is possible to apply for an Indian e-tourist visa for 30 days or a special transit regular visa for 15 days.
A regular visa for transit through India is issued only for changing flights to get to another country. In order to receive this type of visa, an applicant must have a confirmed ticket and a visa for the destination country.
Note: tourists arriving in India through the sea are exempt from getting an Indian transit visa, as long as they remain on board of the vessel while it is docked at an Indian port.
A visa is required for all foreign travelers to come to India. Only the citizens of Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal do not need an Indian visa - they are visa-exempt.
India offers three ways to obtain an Indian visa for short-term trips: an electronic visa, a visa on arrival, and a regular visa. You should check the list of eligible countries to know which method of applying for an Indian visa you must choose.
Yes, citizens of Japan, South Korea, and the UAE can get an Indian visa on arrival. However, India e-Visa is still a more advantageous method.
All travelers to India must have a valid passport, an Indian visa (for non-visa-exempted foreigners), and a yellow card (if coming from the yellow fever endemic zone). Currently, COVID-19-related documents are not required, but restrictions are constantly changing, so it is crucial to check for updates closer to your travel date.
A transit visa for India is not required for visa-exempted citizens, travelers staying within the airport transit area for no longer than 24 hours, and tourists remaining on board of their vessel while in India. All other categories of travelers must obtain a visa to India.
The entry requirements for children traveling to India are the same as for adults: a valid Indian visa and passport, and yellow card if applicable. In some cases, additional documentation may be required.
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