India has a wealth of experiences, from the Taj Mahal & Wonders of Agra to the street food attractions of our Old Delhi’s Belly tour. You can explore many of them with our Southern India Travel Guide. But before you pack your bags, you’re going to need to know India’s visa requirements. So if you’re asking yourself “Do I Need A Visa to Visit India?” read on, and discover everything you’ll need to know.
Who Needs a Visa to Visit India?
Almost anyone looking to enter India will need a visa, including those under 18 years of age. The only exceptions are citizens of Nepal and Bhutan. The good news is that the process for tourists is an easy one.
How to Get a Visa to Visit India
The traditional way to get a visa to visit India was to submit your application at the nearest Indian embassy or consulate. While this method may still be necessary for a small minority of visitors, tourists from most countries looking to visit India are now able to apply for an online eVisa instead.
Who Can Get an Indian eVisa
Around 170 different nationalities can apply for an Indian tourist eVisa. They include most countries within Europe, USA, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, including Israel.
The biggest absence from the list of permitted nationals is those from Pakistan. Visitors intending to travel on a Pakistani passport or anyone with Pakistani ancestry are unable to apply for an eVisa. You must physically apply for a visa at the nearest embassy instead, even if you are not resident in Pakistan.
The India eVisa Application Process
Apply for your eVisa at least four days before your intended departure date. During the application process, you’ll be asked to upload a clear passport-style photograph. You will also be asked to supply a scanned image of the biometric page of your passport – the page which has your image and personal information on it. The only other information you will be asked for it’s a reference in India. The details of hotels in India, or your tourist company, are all that is required.
If your application is successful, you will receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). You will need to present this to border staff on arrival into India.
How Long do India eVisas Last
eVisas are routinely issued for 30 days, one year or five years. However, stays should not exceed 90 days, somewhat reducing the utility of the latter two options. Passport holders from the USA, UK, Canada and Japan are able to remain in the country for a continuous 180 days. During the application process, it’s possible to request a double or multi-entry eVisa, with each stay again limited to 90 days.
It’s worth noting that the validity of eVisas starts on the date of issue, not from the date of entry into India.
You’ll need at least six months validity on your passport to apply for either a visa or eVisa. Officially, this six month period of validity needs to run from the time at which the application is submitted. But we would recommend you have six months grace left on your passport from the date you intend to enter Indian territory to be on the safe side.
Ports of Entry
To take advantage of the India eVisa program you’ll need to enter India by air or sea. At present there are 28 permitted airports. They cover all the country’s main points of entry by air. When applying for your eVisa you’ll need to know which airport you are flying into and out of.
There are also five seaports that accept the eVisa. These are Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. This means you cannot use an eVisa to arrive into India overland by any means from any of its neighboring countries. You’ll also need at least two full clear pages in your passport to receive the relevant entry and exit stamps.
Visas on Arrival
Only citizens of Japan and South Korea can currently seek a Visa on Arrival. All other nationalities should apply for their visa or eVisa before arriving into the country.
There is no shortage of extraordinary sights to visit in India. Tourists of almost all nationalities are able to take advantage of the relatively quick and easy eVisa program. This means you can happily turn your attention to delights such as our 5 Day Best of Rajasthan Package Tour or Hampi and Badami 7 Day Tour from Bangalore. Make the trip extra special with a stay in one of the most beautifully designed hotels in India, or add in some of the specialized tours of India that we offer.