India's visa requirements
Updated 2017-09-19 11:03

If you are travelling to India, find out more about the important documents and formalities required for your entry to the country. All foreign nationals must have a valid national passport and a valid Indian visa to enter the country. Holders of PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards also need to have their passports.

Applying for a visa for India

There are different types of visas available such as the employment visa, business visa, diplomatic visa, urgency visa, transit visa, tourist visa, etc.. Depending on the duration and purpose of your trip you have to apply for the most suitable visa. Please note that the application forms and procedures may differ depending on the country you apply from, and in some cases, depending on the region within the country. While filling in your visa application make sure that you have used the correct form.

There are certain documents that you will need for all visa applications regardless of the type of visa you apply for. These include:

  • your passport, valid for at least six months (or the period of time you apply for) and with at least three blank pages in it;
  • two passport-sized photographs; and
  • two of the respective visa forms, completed and signed.


All types of visa start from the date of issue, so you cannot apply in advance for a visa that becomes valid at a later date. However, the process can be time-consuming so don't leave it too close to your date of departure.


You can apply for a visa online via the India Visa Online website. Carefully submit all the required information and after filling the application visa form, you can check the status of the visa online -- you have to type your visa request number, your password number and the access code which will be displayed. Appointments can also be taken online.

Once the visa application has been submitted it takes at least three working days to process the visa. During this process it is evaluated whether you are eligible for a visa or not. The processing time varies depending upon the nationality and other factors.


Handwritten visa applications are not accepted from countries where online request service is available.

Visa fees

Generally the visa fee is charged according to the type of the visa applied for and the estimated duration of the stay. The fee structure is divided into three main categories namely basic fees, processing fees and special fees. The total amount of the fee is indicated only when all the formalities are fulfilled. Once received, fees cannot be refunded, even if the visa application is withdrawn or cancelled.

Visa exemptions

Citizens of Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal are offered visa-free entry to India only if they do not arrive from mainland China. In March 2015, the government of India also announced a visa exemption for Seychelles nationals allowing them to stay in the country for a maximum of three months.

Useful links:

Indian Visa Online ' Information on visas
Indian Visa Online ' Online request
Indian Visa Online ' Checking your visa status

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