How to get a visa to India

Thinking of visiting India? From Maharashtrian capital Mumbai, to Kerala’s lush tropical landscapes, the country encompasses an epic diversity of cultures and experiences. But don’t get distracted when planning your trip — be sure to attend to important practical matters, like how to get a visa to India. Read on to find out how to do exactly that.

Do I need a visa to go to India? 

Unless you’re an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder, you do need a visa to travel to India.

The only exceptions are nationals of Nepal and Bhutan, both of whom can enter India without a visa.

Given that India has several visa categories, you need to make sure you get the right visa for the purpose of your visit, and the duration of your trip.

UK citizens

UK citizens need a visa to enter India. The UK Government’s foreign travel advice for India recommends UK nationals consult the eFRROBureau of Indian Immigration and Ministry of External Affairs websites for up-to-date information. 

The UK Government advisory also points out that visitors intending to travel to India should check their passport is valid for at least six months from their date of entry into India. Passports should also be machine-readable and have two blank pages for the visa.

US citizens

As for UK citizens, US citizens need a visa to go to India. It’s recommended that travellers check the website of the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for the most current information. 

Beach of Mararikulam, Village in Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Mararikulam, Kerala, India © Shutterstock

How to get a visa to India

Your best bet is the visit the India’s government’s online visa website to apply for a tourist e-visa. Nationals of 130+ countries are eligible to do this.

Other eligibility factors include having at least six months of validity on your passport at the time of applying for the visa. You also need a return ticket, or proof of your onward journey, along with sufficient funds to cover your stay in India.

The online visa website details several tourist e-visa options, depending on how long you plan to stay.


Lotus temple, New Delhi, India © Shutterstock

India tourist visa photo requirements

As part of the e-visa application process, you’re required to upload a digital photograph of yourself. 

This must be submitted as a jpeg that’s a minimum of 10 KB, and a maximum of 300 KB. In addition, the height and width of the photo must be the same size.

The photo must show the whole face from the front, and your eyes must be open, with your head centred in the frame, against a plain white or light background. 

If there are any shadows on your face, the photo is likely to be rejected.

Loktak Lake Manipur in India © Shutterstock

Loktak Lake, Manipur, India © Shutterstock

Can I get help with getting the India visa? 

By using our tailor-made trip service you will be provided with invaluable information that’ll help you make the most of your time in India.

Aside from checking the India’s government’s online visa website, and your country’s official guidelines, you could take all the hassle out of planning your dream trip to India.

Victoria Memorial architectural monument and museum at Kolkata © Shutterstock

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata, India © Shutterstock

How quickly will I get the India visa?

It will take at least 72 hours for your Indian tourist e-visa to be processed. You’ll be emailed about your visa status once it’s been processed.

How long is an Indian visa valid?

When you apply for an Indian tourist e-visa, you must select how long you require it to be valid. Options are available for 30 days, one year, or five years.


Arambol beach, Goa, India © Shutterstock

How much does an Indian visa cost?

The cost of an Indian visa varies, depending on the duration of the visa you’re applying for.

As a guide, for a 30-day tourist e-visa, you can expect to pay $27.50.

Can I extend my visa while in India?

To extend your visa while in India, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Visit the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) - you can find the addresses on the Ministry of Home Affairs website or by asking at your hotel or local police station.

2. Fill out the visa extension application form.

3. Provide the necessary documents, such as your passport, current visa, and any supporting documents that may be required for your visa extension.

4. Pay the visa extension fee, which varies depending on the type and duration of your visa.

5. Submit your application and supporting documents to the FRRO or FRO office.

6. Await a decision on your visa extension application. This may take a few days or weeks, depending on the workload of the office.

7. If your visa extension is approved, you will receive a new visa sticker in your passport with the extended validity period.


Ullal beach, Mangalore, India © Shutterstock

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