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10 easy tips for a visa to India
Thursday, October 11th, 2012

By Sudha Mathew

So you’ve decided to come to India. Your bucket list with exotic sights to check off is ready, you’ve practiced the celebrity pose on the infamous Taj Mahal bench and of course, you’ve budgeted for silk and spices shopping. Sounds like a dream come true but there’s one thing that may not be that dreamy – a visa.


Though India wants and needs more tourists, it insists on a tourist visa for practically every country on this planet and we know from experience that it can get confusing for people not used to Indian red tape and convoluted processes.

So here’s a quick guide on how to apply for a tourist visa to India, also known as a visit visa to India.

1. Reserve at least 4 weeks as buffer time to get the visa so that you’re not stressed close to the travel date. This is especially true if you’re either a current citizen or a naturalized citizen of another country but originally from a country like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China that have sensitive relations with India. It also pertains if you are applying from a country where you are a resident and not a citizen. An example is a US citizen living in Singapore.

2. This may be a no-brainer but please ensure that your documents are exactly in line with the requirements. So if they ask for a photo with a white background, do not think that you can get away with a light blue background. You will only end up wasting your precious appointment date.

3. Bank certificate – Your financial health and the documented monetary ability to sustain yourself in India for the whole period that you intend to stay is critical to getting the visa approved. Check with the visa processing agency what the guidelines are and ensure that you have that amount or more in your account when you apply for the bank certificate.

4. Go through all your documents prior to your visa interview and stick to the truth. Give clear, complete and to the point answers. Keep an extra copy of the important original documents you have submitted for safety.

5. Have a clear idea of your travel plan and dates. The validity of the visa is effective from the date of issue. Tourist visas may be valid for 6 months to 1 year with single or multiple entries.

6. Like most other countries, India too has appointed an agency in every country for visa processing. It’s easy to find the specific agency for your country via Google. The agency website is usually far more explanatory and simpler to understand than the government site.

https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com - Travisa for visa to India from US.

http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/ – VFS Global for visa to India from UK.

http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ is the official Indian Govt. website for visa applications.

7. Do not make jokes especially about Osama or Pakistani relatives while answering the Consular Officer. No visa official has a sense of humor. It is surgically removed on the first day of the job, trust me.

8. If you need to enquire in person, check the opening dates and times before you land up at the Indian Embassy or the Visa processing center. Indian Embassies and Consulates and hence the visa centers do not work on Indian national holidays (there are many of these) or on the public holidays in their host country.  The agency website pertaining to your country will give you the dates, like this useful link.  https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/consular-holidays

9. What does Indian Mission or jurisdiction on the visa form mean? It means there is an appropriate city/ county/ town to submit your visa application and the answer to that is dependent on your residence address.

10. “I am feeling lucky today”. Under the “visa on arrival in India” scheme of the Government, tourist visas are issued on arrival to nationals of Finland, Luxembourg, Philippines, Japan, Myanmar, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and New Zealand. But even if you are one of the lucky ones, remember to carry all relevant documents.

This note covers only the basic Do’s and Don’ts while applying for a tourist visa to India. Please do ensure that you go through the application form and document checklist in minute detail. Once you have applied… then go back to dreaming about the Taj Mahal.

Visa Image Credit: Indiamike

Wishing you carefree holiday dreams!



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Related Posts:

Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
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About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell


My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.


While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

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