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VISA & MORE

Visa Requirements-India
All visitors need a visa for India, except citizens of neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan. India has a limited Visa on Arrival facility for tourists who are citizens of 11 countries (Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand , Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia). This is likely to be expanded to 180 countries from November 2014. For now, eight countries have been left out of the expanded visa program: Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia. Otherwise, your Indian visa must be obtained before arriving in India. Here's what you need to know to prepare your India visa application.

What Type of Visa is Required for India
Visitors staying in India for less than 72 hours can obtain a Transit Visa, otherwise an Indian Tourist Visa is necessary. A confirmed airline booking for the onward journey must be shown when applying for the visa. See more about how long is an Indian transit visa valid for?
Tourist visas are generally issued for six months, depending on what nationality you are. Some countries issue visas for shorter duration such as three months, and longer duration such as one year. Most visas are multiple entry visas.
Ten year visas are obtainable from the United States. In addition, five year visas are available for people from 18 countries. These are France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Vietnam.
However, no matter what the duration of your Tourist visa is, you're not allowed to remain in India for more than 6 months (180 days) at a time. Furthermore, the above mentioned 5 year tourist visa only allows stays of up to 3 months (90 days) at a time. Also note that a two month gap applies between visits to India on Tourist visas (although there are some exceptions).
Other types of visas that are available for visitors to India include Business Visas, Employment Visas, Research Visas, and Student Visas.

Tourist Visa : Tourist visas are issued to people who want to come to India to visit friends or going sightseeing. Although tourist visas can be granted for more than six months, depending on the applicant's nationality, it's not possible to remain in India for longer than six months at a time on a tourist visa. In late 2009, India introduced new rules to curb the misuse of tourist visas in India (people who were living in India on a Tourist visas, and doing quick runs to a neighboring country and back every six months). Specifically, a two month gap was required between visits to India. This requirement was finally removed in late November 2012.

Medical Visa : Medical visas are provided to those seeing medical treatment in India at recognized and specialized hospitals, and treatment centers. The treatment should be significant in nature, such as neurosurgery, heart surgery, organ transplant, joint replacement, gene therapy, and plastic surgery. Up to two Medical Attendant visas will be issued for people to accompany the patient.

Student Visa : Student visas are granted to people who wish to come to India and study at an officially recognized educational institution. This includes the study of yoga, Vedic culture, and Indian system of dance and music. The main document required is student admission/registration papers from the institution. Student visas are issued for up to five years, depending on the duration of the course. They can also be extended in India. In regards to yoga, the term "Yoga visa" is often mentioned. However, it's actually a Student visa that's provided for the purpose of studying yoga. Most of the well known yoga centers in India will require those who study with them to obtain a yoga Student visa. A tourist visa is not sufficient.

How Much Does an Indian Tourist Visa Cost?
The cost of an Indian Tourist Visa varies between countries according to the arrangement between governments. For a six month Tourist Visa you can expect to pay $70 in the United States, 30 pounds in the United Kingdom, and $90 in Australia. Some countries, such as Japan, South Africa, Argentina, Jamaica, and Mongolia have special agreements with India that allow their citizens to pay significantly less for a visa.

How to Apply for an Indian Visa?
The Indian Embassy has started outsourcing the Indian visa application process to private processing agencies in many countries to make it more efficient.
In the United States, Indian visas are issued by Travisa Outsourcing. In most other countries, VFS Global has the responsibility for issuing Indian visas, including in the United Kingdom,Australia, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka and France.
When applying for an Indian Visa, you'll need to obtain a visa application form from the Indian Embassy in your country, or complete an on-line application form on the website of one of the visa processing agencies where possible.
Along with your application and fee, for an Indian Tourist Visa you'll need to submit your passport that's valid for a least six months and has at least two blank pages, a recent passport sized photo, and details of your itinerary. In some countries, proof of residential address may also be required. Your visa application form may have the space for Indian referees, but this section usually isn't required to be completed for tourist visas.
All foreign nationals (including British citizens) must obtain a visa for a visit to India. It is essential that the India visa is obtained prior to travel.
NOTE: Please be advised that visa requirements are subject to change and that visa procurement is the responsibility of the traveller. Please also ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your planned date of return from India.

The current regulations regarding tourist visa's which are as follows:-
1. People travelling on tourist visas to India must allow at least a 2 month gap before re-entering the country regardless of the purpose of their first visit.
2. Those transiting India en route to visit a neighbouring country for tourism (ie: Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Pakistan etc.) then returning to India for tourism must apply for a re-entry permit before they depart from their home country or re-arrange their travel to avoid transiting in India. In case the traveler does not apply for re-entry permit from their home country they will not be allowed to re-enter India.
2.1 The earlier restriction of 2 months gap between two visits of a foreign national entering to India on a Tourist Visa has been reviewed and changed w.e.f. Nov 23, 2012. The above conditions are now applicable only to citizens of Afghanistan, China,Iran,Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and Bangladesh. The government of India has decided to introduce 'Tourist Visa-on-Arrival' for citizens of five countries -- Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore on an experimental basis with effect from 1.1.2010.

Should you have any questions regarding these new regulations please contact the Indian Embassy.

India visa information for UK Residents : http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk
Timings: Submission of Application: 0830 - 1430 Hrs | Passport pickup: 1300 - 1630 Hrs Monday-Friday
Visa Application Centres in UK:

  • London
    India Visa Application Center 60-62 Wilton Road,
    Victoria, London, SW1V 1DE.
    India Visa Application Center 142-148 Goswell Road,
    London EC1V 7DU.
  • Hayes
    India Visa Application Center 1-3, Canalside,
    Uxbridge Road
    Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 0JN
  • Birmingham
    India Visa Application Center
    20 - 21 Pemberton Street
    Birmingham B18 6NY
  • Edinburgh
    India Visa Application Center
    66 Hanover Buildings Rose Street,
    Edinburgh EH2 2NN
  • Cardiff India Visa Application Center
    C/o. The India Centre,
    Sanquhar Street, Splott,
    Cardiff, CF24 2AA.
  • Glasgow
    India Visa Application Center
    C/o. Mel Milaap Centre
    134 Berkeley Street,
    Glasgow, G3 7HY.
  • Manchester India Visa Application Center
    C/o. Jain Community Centre
    669 Stockport Road, Longsight,
    Manchester, M12 4QE.

 

India visa information for Australian Residents : http://www.vfs-in-au.net/
Timings: Submission of Application: 0830 - 1430 Hrs | Passport pickup: 1300 - 1630 Hrs Monday-Friday
Visa Application Centres in Australia:

  • Embassy of India - Canberra (AUS)
    3-5 Moonah Place, Yarralumla
    Canberra, Australia
    Tel: +61-26-2733999, 62733774
    Fax: +61-26-2731308
  • Embassy of India - Melbourne (AUS)
    15, Munro Street Coburg, Victoria 3058
    Melbourne Australia
    Tel: +61-3-93840141
    Fax: +61-3-93841609
  • Embassy of India - Perth (AUS)
    Lvl 2/ 4 Ventnor Av
    West Perth 6005, Australia
    Tel: (08) 9486 9011
    Fax: (08) 9486 9611
  • Embassy of India - Sydney (AUS)
    25, Bligh Street Level 27, Sydney
    New South Wales 2000, Australia
    Tel: +61-29-2239500, 92239239
    Fax: +612-92239246

 

India visa information for New Zealand Residents :http://www.hicomind.org.nz/index.php
Timings: Submission of Application: 0830 - 1430 Hrs | Passport pickup: 1300 - 1630 Hrs Monday-Friday
Visa Application Centres in New Zealand:

  • Embassy of India - Wellington (NZ)
    180, Molesworth Street,
    P.O.Box 4045, Wellington-6015, New Zealand
    Tel: 04-473 6390
    Fax: 04-499 0665
    www.hicomind.org.nz

 

India visa information for USA and Canadian Residents.
Timings: Submission of Application: 0830 - 1430 Hrs | Passport pickup: 1300 - 1630 Hrs Monday-Friday
Please refer to the relevant embassy websites and visit the links below to complete your visa form and obtain instructions.
Visa Application Centres in USA and Canada:

  • Embassy of India (USA)
    Consular Wing
    2536 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC USA - 20008
    Tel: (202)939-9861/65/66/68
    Fax: (202) 387-6946
    www.indianembassy.org
  • Embassy of India (CANADA)
    365 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
    Toronto, ON - M4W 3L4
    Tel: 416 960 0751/52
    Fax: 416 960 9812
    http://www.cgitoronto.ca

 

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