Updated: on 23 February 2024

With well over a million square miles of three dozen states and territories to explore, an India travel visa is a ticket to explore one of the largest, most diverse countries on the planet, but you need to understand the entry requirements to India before you book your ticket. Whether it is the mighty Himalayas, the palaces of the Maharajahs, wonderful wildlife of India’s National Parks, fabulous festivals, beautiful beaches, or incredible culture, your amazing adventure begins with a planning consultation with the Secret Retreats expert on India and a visa to go to India. Thankfully an India tourist visa that will give you plenty of time to explore is relatively easy to acquire, the entry requirements to india are not too difficult to navigate and Secret Retreats has all the information you will need to obtain one.

Most nationalities can apply for a visa to go to India online, through an Indian Embassy or Consulate, or via a visa agent before leaving their own country. The easiest way to obtain a visa for India is by applying for a Tourist e-Visa which is valid for 30 days, one year, or five years. The one- and five-year India travel visa will permit the holder multiple entries to India for a maximum of 180 days per single calendar year. Before applying, all foreign nationals must own a valid, undamaged passport that is valid for at least six months from the intended date of departure from India. Your passport will also need at least TWO blank pages for the necessary Immigration stamps.

Nationals of Bhutan, Maldives, or Nepal entering India overland are permitted a visa-free stay in the country, as long as they do not enter via mainland China. If you are issued the 30-day India tourist visa you will be permitted two entries into the country. This is particularly handy if you intend to hop over the border to Nepal. The cost of your visa depends on your nationality, how long you wish to stay, and the purpose of your visit. It may be necessary for some applicants to be able to supply proof that they have sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of their visit and to have proof of return or onward travel arrangements.

India E Visa Requirements and How to Obtain One

The India e visa requirements can be found online at the official government website https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/ .The India e-Visa website will ask you to supply a good quality scan of your passport ID pages, a digital passport-style photo, and the required visa fee (the amount charged depends on your nationality). Note: Allow at least four working days for your e-Visa application to be processed (72 hours is the minimum time it takes an e-Visa to go to India to be issued). Once your e-Visa application has been processed and accepted, you will receive the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). We advise printing out several copies before you travel so you can present them to the Indian Immigration authorities as required when you arrive in the country, this is your proof you have successfully met the India e visa requirements and completed an online application. Your e-Visa for India allows you to enter the country at 25 airports, and five designated seaports (please check the government’s official website for details of the ports of entry and any related travel updates).

A Useful Checklist for the India e-Visa Requirements:
  • Scan and upload good-quality images of your passport ID pages and passport photo.
  • Pay the e-Visa fee using an approved credit card, debit card, or payment wallet.
  • Receive the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) via email and print out several copies.
  • Present all relevant travel documents at Indian Immigration, get the stamps, and have a wonderful adventure with Secret Retreats as your travel guide!
Note: Extending your e-Visa is only possible for exceptional circumstances such as passport theft or medical emergencies. A police report or official letter from a hospital will be necessary and you may be required to attend an interview at the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO). Be aware that there may be additional fees, but these will be explained to you during the application process. Before you decide to travel to India, you must consult a medical professional about any vaccinations and medicines you may require depending on which part of the country you intend to travel to. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance are also essential for your peace of mind.

Apply for an Indian Entry Visa at an Embassy or Consulate

If you are planning to travel into the country from a neighbouring country, Pakistan or Nepal for example at a land border crossing, you will need to apply for an Indian entry visa at an embassy or consulate before departing your home country, or from an approved visa supplier in the country you intend to cross the border from. It is always best to apply for a visa in person from your own country, as the rules can get more complicated, and the process becomes painfully slow if you apply from another country. If you decide to use a visa agency for your visa to go to India in another country, be prepared to pay additional fees. If you are planning on applying for any other type of visa than an e-Visa, please visit the India government’s official website at: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html. Note: An Indian Visa on Arrival (VoA) is only available to nationals entering the country by air or sea from Japan, South Korea, or the United Arab Emirates. For more information about VoA please visit: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/visa-on-arrival.html. Those who intend to visit areas in and around disputed external borders, such as with Pakistan and China, will also need to obtain Restricted Area Permits, or Protected Area Permits. These are difficult to obtain outside India so they are best arranged when in the country by applying through local travel agencies and local government offices. A student visa for India is available for visitors wishing to attend full-time educational courses – meditation, Yoga etc. – but these can be complicated to obtain. Applicants will need to provide documentation from the institution they intend to study at, and you should contact your Indian Embassy or Consulate for the latest rules and regulations as they may change during the application process.

Obtaining a visa to go to India for travel and tourism is a not a particularly complicated process. As experts in putting together travel itineraries to India and across Asia, we are constantly reviewing the requirements for Indian entry visas. Please feel free to contact us for assistance with planning and booking your next holiday to India or elsewhere in Asia. Our Asia travel experts are putting tailor-made travel to Asia’s most fascinating destinations on a daily basis. Be sure to take a look at our ready-made India travel itineraries too. We look forward to planning and booking your India holiday of a lifetime.
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