What Types of Indian Visa are available
Indian Government has brought about significant changes to its Visa policy since September 2019. The options available to the visitors for India Visa are perplexing because of multiple overlapping options for the same purpose.
This topic covers main types of Visa for India available to the travellers.
Indian Tourist Visa (India eVisa)
Tourist Visa for India is available to those visitors who intend to visit India for no longer than 180 days at a time.
This type of Indian Visa is available for purposes such as Yoga program, short term courses that do not involve getting a Diploma or Degree, or volunteer work up to 1 month. Tourist Visa for India also allows meeting relative and sight-seeing.
There are several options of this Indian Tourist Visa available to Visitors in terms of duration now. It is available in 3 durations as of 2020, 30 Day, 1 Year and 5 Year validity. There used to be a 60 Day Visa to India available prior to 2020, but it has since been decommissioned. Validity of 30 Day India Visa is subject to some confusion. You can read about the clarification regarding this topic at here.
Tourist Visa to India is available both through the Indian High Commission and also Online on this website called eVisa India. You should apply for an eVisa India if you have access to computer, a debit/credit card or Paypal account and access to email. It is the most trusted, reliable, safest and quickest method of obtaining India Visa online.
In short, prefer to apply for India eVisa over visit to Embassy or High Commission of India.
Validity: Indian Visa for Tourist that is for 30 Days, is allowed Double entry (2 entries). Indian Visa for 1 Year and 5 Year for Tourist purpose is a multiple entry Visa.
Indian Business Visa (India eVisa)
Business Visa for India allows the visitor to engage in business activities during their India visit.
This visa allows the traveller to engage in the following activities.
- To engage in sales/purchases or trade.
- To attend technical/business meetings.
- To set up industrial/business venture.
- To conduct tours.
- To deliver lecture/s.
- To recruit manpower.
- To participate in exhibitions or business/trade fairs.
- To act as an Expert/specialist in connection with an on-going project.
This Visa is also available online in eVisa India through this website. Users are encouraged to apply online for this India Visa online rather than visit to Indian Embassy or Indian High Commission for convenience, security and safety.
Validity: Indian Visa for Business is valid for 1 Year and is allowed multiple entries.
Indian Medical Visa (India eVisa)
This Visa to India allows the traveller to engage in medical treatment for themselves. There is a supplementary visa related to this called Medical Attendant Visa for India. Both these Indian Visa are available online as eVisa India through this website.
Validity: Indian Visa for Medical purposes is valid for 60 Days and is allowed Triple entry (3 entries).
All those travelling to India with an eVisa India are required to enter the country through 28 designated ports of entry. They may, however, exit from any of the authorised Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India.
List of the 28 authorised landing Airports and 5 seaports in India:
- Port Blair
Or these designated seaports:
Indian eVisa is valid for entry from limited set of airports and seaports. Refer to the latest list here.
India Visa On Arrival
India Visa On Arrival allows members of reciprocal countries to come to India 2 times a year. You need to check with Indian Government latest reciprocal arrangements whether your home country qualifies for Visa on Arrival.
There is a limitation of Indian Visa on Arrival, in that it is limited for duration of 60 days only. It is also limited to certain airports such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Foreign Citizens are encouraged to apply for an eVisa India rather than changing requirements of India Visa On Arrival.
Known problems with Visa On Arrival are:
- Only 2 countries as of 2020 were allowed to have India Visa On Arrival, you need to check at the time of applying whether your country is in the list.
- You need to check for latest guidelines and requirements for India Visa On Arrival.
- The onus of research is on the travellers as it is an arcane and not very well known type of Visa for India
- Traveller will be forced to carry Indian Currency and pay in cash on the border, making it further inconvenient.
India Regular / Paper Visa
This Visa is for Pakistan nationals, and for those who have complex requirement or stay beyond 180 days in India. This Indian eVisa requires physical visit to Indian Embassy / Indian High Commission and it is a long drawn application process. The process includes downloading an application, printing on paper, filling it out, making an appointment at the embassy, creating a profile, visiting embassy, getting finger printed, having an interview, providing your passport and receiving it back by courier.
The documentation list is also quite large in terms of approval requirements. Unlike the Indian Visa online (eVisa India), the process cannot be completed online and Indian Visa will not be received by Email.
Other types of Indian Visa
If you are coming for a Diplomatic Mission on an UN mission or Diplomatic Passport then you need to apply for a Diplomatic Visa.
Movie Makers and Journalists coming for work to India need to apply for Indian Visa for their respective professions, Film Visa to India and Journalist Visa to India.
If you are seeking long term employment in India, then you need to apply for an Employment Visa to India.
Indian Visa is also offered for Missionary work, Mountaneering activities and Student Visa coming for long term study.
There is also a Research Visa for India which is issued to professors and scholars who intend to conduct research related work.
These types of Indian Visas other than eVisa India require approval by various Offices, Department of Education, Minsitry of Human Resources depending on the type of India Visa and can take up to 3 months to be granted.
Which Visa Type Should You Get / Should You Apply?
Amongst all types of India Visas, the eVisa is easiest to get from your home / office without any personal visit to Indian Embassy. So, if you are planning a trip for short stay or up to 180 days, then eVisa India is the most convenient and preferred of all types to obtain. Government of Indian encourages use of Indian eVisa.
For more answers and information click Frequently Asked Questions.
Ensure that you have checked the eligibility for your India eVisa.
United States citizens, United Kingdom citizens, Canadian citizens and French citizens can apply online for India eVisa.
Please apply for a India Visa 4-7 days in advance of your flight.