Visa policy of India
Visitors to India must obtain a visa from one of the Indian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or countries whose citizens may obtain a visa on arrival. India plans to reform the visa policy during 2014 by allowing tourists from most countries to obtain an electronic visa online.
Visa policy map
Visa on arrival
This is applicable at the following airports: Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram. Visa on arrival allows only a single entry and is issued maximum of two times in a calendar year, with a minimum gap of 60 days between each visit.
In October 2013, India decided to initiate the process of extending visa-on-arrival access to 40 more nations. In January 2014, plans were confirmed by Planning Minister of India. The sixteen different types of visa would also be reduced to three: work, business and tourism. The proposal initially met resistance from intelligence agencies and the possible problem of queues emerged. In February 2014 it was announced that Indian intelligence agencies have given their approval to visa-on-arrival for up to 180 countries, largely due to the new possibilities provided by the Immigration, Visa and Foreigners' Registration and Tracking (IVFRT) system. The system would not be a typical visa on arrival in order to avoid clutter at the airports, but a system based on a prior online applications modelled after Australian Electronic Travel Authority system.
On 5 February 2014 it was decided to introduce visa-on-arrival to tourists from 180 countries. Technical implementation, such as setting up the website for applications, is expected to take about 6 months and the authorities hope to have it in place for the tourist season beginning in October. Nationals of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Sudan will be excluded from this program. Prospective visitors will have to pay a fee and the electronic version of the visa should be granted within three days. The program is expected to apply to all international airports.
Costs for visa applications
Visa applications must be submitted in person to an Indian consulate. Costs differ per consulate and region. Visa-handling services charge a small amount on top of this fee; however, they normally check that the completed application form meets all requirements and submit the documents on the applicant's behalf.
Restricted and Protected Area Permits
A Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required to enter the states of Nagaland and Sikkim and some parts of the states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh. A Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required to enter the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of Sikkim. Some of these requirements are occasionally lifted for a year at a time. Permits are not required for nationals of Bhutan travelling by air to/from Bhutan via Bagdodra and for nationals of Nepal travelling by air to/from Kathmandu. Special permits are needed to enter Lakshadweep Islands. Maldivians citizens are allowed to visit Minicoy island for fifteen days if allowed by the High Commissioner of India to the Maldives.
- "Visa Information - India". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- India to extend visa-on-arrival to tourists from 180 countries
- Bureau of Immigration (India): Tourist Visa on Arrival
- India revamps visa system to boost visitor numbers
- Intel nod for visa-on-arrival
- India set to ease visa restrictions for 180 countries except Pakistan
- "RUVisa – Visa Procurement Services". Ruvisa.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-25.