The world of India visas can be a confusing one, and just looking at the requirement list or the online application is enough to make a lot of us shudder. If you are traveling to India for business or tourism, read on if you need to better understand the pros and cons of the different types of India visas
One, Five, and Ten-Year Tourist and Business Visas
If you are planning to go to India more than once this year or over the next 10 years, this is a great option for you.
- You won’t have to apply for a visa every time you go to India for as long as this visa is valid, even after your passport expires
- The visa has less restrictions- you can enter India multiple times with the same visa
- When you arrive to India you will most likely get through customs faster than if you get an electronic visa
- This visa typically takes about a week to process however it can take up to 3 weeks to process so you need to plan ahead and apply in advance
- If something comes up and you need to withdraw your application, it can take up to 72 hours to withdraw
- If you request a 5 or 10-year visa, the consulate may opt to give you a 1 or 2-year visa instead. They will not refund you if they issue a visa of lesser validity than what you paid for
- There is a more complex application process. Most people report that it takes 30-90 minutes to gather the paperwork
- If the application is completed with a small error, you will need to start the application from scratch
- Once your visa is issued, it is shipped back to the address on your application. This address must match the address on your driver’s license, state ID, or major utility bill. It cannot be shipped back to your office or alternate address.
Visit our website for India Visa service.
Electronic Business and Tourist Visas
If you do not have future plans to travel to India, then an electronic visa may be the way to go.
- The whole application process is completed online and takes about 15 minutes, it is really easy. Be prepared to have a scan of your passport and a passport photo with white background to upload. If you are getting an electronic business visa, you also need a business card image that you can upload
- The visa is issued in 2-4 business days, most frequently 2-3 days
- You do not have to send your passport to Swift
- No shipping involved
- The visa is valid for 60 days and 2 entries only
- When you arrive to India there may be a long line- some travelers have reported a 30-minute wait, others a 3 hour wait to get through customs
- You will need to apply and pay for another visa if you decide to go back to India after this visa expires
- You can only get 2 visas like this issued each calendar year
Visit our website to begin the electronic visa service.
If you would like to get the Electronic visa, please make sure to read the fine print from the Indian government website pasted below:
Passport holders from the following countries are eligible to apply for an ETA Visa
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameron Union Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hong Kong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timar, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe
- International Travelers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sight-seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
- Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
- International Travelers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
- International Travelers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may please apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
- Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders or Laissez-passer travel document holders.
- Not available to individuals endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport i.e. each individual should have a separate passport.
- Not available to International Travel Document Holders.”
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.