This article is a complete guide to obtaining India tourist visa from the embassy or consulate. You can learn everything about India tourist visa types, requirements, eligibility, documents needed, fee and application procedure.
Indian missions around the world issue India tourist visas for those that require a visa to enter India. Most nationalities are eligible to apply for an e-Visa or Visa on Arrival. But there are a handful of nationalities that are not eligible. These nationalities must apply for a tourist visa at their nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
Nationalities that are eligible for India e-Visa or India Visa on Arrival are also eligible to apply for an Indian tourist visa from their nearest Indian embassy or consulate. There may be occasions where a tourist visa from the embassy is a better choice than an India e-Visa or India Visa on Arrival. For example, US nationals can get a 10-year tourist visa from the embassy vs an Indian e-Visa which is only valid for 5 years. So a tourist visa from the embassy is a better choice in this case.
There are three types of tourist visa categories T-1, T-2 and T-3. T-1 is for tourists. T-2 is for tour groups and T-3 is for cruise passengers.
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REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIA TOURIST VISA FROM THE EMBASSY (STICKER VISA)
Who is required to apply for India tourist visa?
Following nationalities are REQUIRED to apply for an Indian tourist visa from the embassy in order to travel to India.
- Congo, Dem. of
- Congo, Dem. Rep. of
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
Nationals who are eligible to apply for e-Visa or Visa on Arrival can also apply for an India tourist visa from the embassy.
Pakistan citizens are restricted from obtaining Indian tourist visas from the embassy. They must apply for a special visa.
Anyone of Pakistan origin is granted only a 3-month single-entry tourist visa. Applicants whose parents or grandparents were born or ever lived in Pakistan are considered of Pakistan origin.
What are the different types of India tourist visas available?
Indian embassies offer three types of tourist visas depending on whether the applicant is an individual, a tour group or a cruise passenger. Below is a summary of the three categories of Indian tourist visas offered at the embassy.
|India tourist visa category||Explanation|
|T-1 (for tourists and visitors)||Tourist visa for individuals, family members or friends traveling together.|
|T-2 (for tour groups)||Tourist visa for group tourists traveling as part of an organized tour group|
|T-3 (for cruise passengers)||Tourist visa for tourists arriving and departing on a cruise.|
For this article, we will focus only on the T-1 category meant for individual tourists.
What is the validity of India tourist visa?
India tourist visa is valid for 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. Your tourist visa validity varies depending on your nationality. Below is a summary of various nationalities and the corresponding tourist visa validity.
|Nationalities||Tourist visa validity|
|Canada, Japan and US||10 years|
|Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Belarus, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, North Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan and Yemen||6 months to 5 years based on the decision from the embassy|
|China||Validity changes quite often due to changes in reciprocity|
|Pakistan citizens and anyone of Pakistan origin||3-6 months|
|All other countries/nationalities||5 years|
How many days can you stay in India on a tourist visa?
You can stay up to 90 days in India on a tourist visa. Canada, Japan and US nationals can stay up to 180 days. Below is the summary of permitted stay for your tourist visa depending on your nationality.
|Canada, Japan, UK and US||180 days|
|All other nationalities||90 days|
How many times can you enter India on tourist visa?
All tourist visas from India are multiple-entry, except for those of Pakistan origin. That means you can enter India as many times as you like. But there are some restrictions on how frequently you can enter India on your multiple-entry visa.
|Tourist visa validity||Restriction on entering India multiple times|
|10-Year tourist visa||No restriction|
|5-Year tourist visa||No restriction|
|6-month and 1-Year tourist visas||– Must have at least 2 months gap between any two visits. |
– Must apply for a fresh tourist visa if it’s necessary to visit India within 2 months of your previous trip.
|Irrespective of the tourist visa validity, nationals from Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Sudan and those of Pakistan origin||– Must have at least 2 months gap between any two visits. |
– Must apply for a fresh tourist visa if it’s necessary to visit India within 2 months of your previous trip.
When can you enter India on a tourist visa?
You can enter India anytime during the validity of your tourist visa. You are allowed to stay 90 days on each entry (or 180 days if you are a Canada, Japan, UK or US national).
Even if you enter India on the last day of your visa validity, you will still be given 90 days of entry (or 180 days if you are a Canada, Japan, UK or US national)
When should you apply for India tourist visa?
Indian tourist visas can be applied for up to 180 days in advance. But the latest is 30 days as the visa processing takes 15-20 calendar days in some locations.
Where should you apply for Indian tourist visa?
You can apply for an India tourist visa from any Indian embassy/consulate in any country. You don’t have to be a citizen or resident of that country. You can be a tourist as well.
In case you are a non-resident or a tourist in a country, the Indian embassy where you have applied may consult the Indian embassy in your home country for the visa process. This usually does not delay the visa process.
Which airports or land borders you can enter India from using tourist visa?
You can enter India from all international airports, sea ports and land borders using an India tourist visa obtained from the Indian Embassy. There are no restrictions on where you can enter or exit the country with a tourist visa.
What is the minimum passport validity required for India tourist visa?
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival.
How many blank pages are required in the passport for India tourist visa?
You need at least two blank pages in your passport for your Indian tourist visa. One blank page is necessary for the visa sticker and another is for entry and exit stamps when entering and leaving India.
What are the documents needed for India tourist visa?
The following documents are needed for tourist visa.
- Completed and signed India visa application form
- One digital photo for the online application
- One physical photograph to affix on the completed application form
- Proof of residence (ID, passport or visa)
What are the India tourist visa photo requirements?
You must upload one digital photo during your online application. The photo must meet the following specifications.
- Must be in JPG or JPEG format only
- Must be a minimum of 10 KB and a maximum of 300 KB
- Must be square in dimensions
- Must not have any borders
- Background must be white or light color
- Must not have any shadows on the face or on the background
- Must show full head from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin
- Head must be about 1 inch to 1 ⅜ inches, i.e roughly 25mm to 35mm
- Eye height must be between 1 ⅛ inches to 1 ⅜ inches
What is the current India tourist visa fee?
The visa fee varies depending on the visa period, the embassy’s location and the nationality. For example, the fee for a 10-year India visa for a US citizen applying from the US is $160 plus VFS charges. The fee for a 1 year India visa for Bangladesh nationals applying from Bangladesh is free of charge.
What is the current India tourist visa processing time?
The India tourist visa processing time is 3 working days the application is submitted directly at the Indian embassy/consulate.
The processing time is 15 calendar days or more if applied through a visa application center such as VFS.
Whether you must apply at the visa application center or directly at an Indian mission depends on your location and whether or not the Indian embassy/consulate has outsourced its visa application process.
INDIA TOURIST VISA APPLICATION PROCESS
How to apply for Indian tourist visa from the embassy?
The India tourist visa application is a two-step process.
- STEP 1: Online Application
- STEP 2: Appointment
STEP 1: Online Application
The first step in the Indian tourist visa application process is to fill out an online application on the India visa portal.
If you are a family or group, each person must complete one online application form. There is no family application. Similarly, each person must schedule one separate visa appointment for document submission.
In the online application, you must select the Indian embassy/consulate where you plan to apply for your visa.
After filling out the application, you must print and sign it.
STEP 2: Appointment
If the Indian embassy/consulate did not outsource the visa application to a visa application center, then you can walk into the embassy/consulate any day to pay the fee and submit your visa application.
If the Indian embassy/consulate has outsourced the visa process to a visa application center, then you will have to go to the visa application center’s website and schedule an appointment. You may be able to pay the visa fee while scheduling the appointment.
On the day of the appointment, you must submit your completed and signed application form, photographs and original passport. You must also pay the fee if you haven’t while scheduling the appointment.
If there is no visa application center near you, you can also send your completed application and documents to the visa application center by mail.
Word of caution on India tourist visa fake websites
If you search on the internet, you will see that there are many Indian visa websites posing as “official websites”. There is ONLY one OFFICIAL website for Indian tourist visas. The rest are all fake. The OFFICIAL website is below.
India tourist visa OFFICIAL website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html
How to track India tourist visa application?
If applied directly at an Indian embassy or consulate: There is no option to track your application. But the processing time is fairly quick. The Indian mission where you are applying will tell you when to come back and pick up your passport, which is usually within 3 working days.
If applied at a visa application center such as VFS: You can track your visa application status on the visa application center’s website.
How to receive the approved India tourist visa?
If applied directly at an Indian embassy or consulate: At the time of submitting your documents at the embassy, the visa officer will tell you when to come back to pick up your passport. You will simply have to go back on that day to pick up your passport with your India visa.
If applied at a visa application center such as VFS: When your visa is processed, you will be notified by email to pick up your passport. If you have opted for returning the passport via mail/courier, your passport will have mailed to your address.
Is there a priority service for India tourist visa?
Unfortunately, there is no priority visa service for Indian tourist visas. You must apply at least 30 calendar days prior to your travel to avoid any delays. Or you can opt for an India e-Visa which usually is processed within 72 hours.
How to contact India tourist visa customer service?
You will have to contact your nearest embassy or the visa application center for any questions.