Visa For India - How to Apply

There are 2 types of visas for tourists who are traveling to India. An e-visa and a tourist visa that goes through an embassy or consulate (not solely submitted online).

There are Pros & Cons to both options. So let's discuss the easiest one first. And that's the e-visa.

E-Visa to India:

Pros: Simple, 100% online application, takes approx. 3 business days (assuming no issues), 60 day validity

Cons: non-extendable, 2 max per calendar year

What You Need in Advance:

  • digital passport photo (jpeg format size: 10-300 kb), square photo, equal height & width (no glasses, hats etc. & some countries don't like bare shoulders, so I always cover them just in case)

 

  • a passport with 6 months left on passport before expiration with 2 blank pages. 6 months calculated from date of arrival in India)  

 

  • digital scan of passport photo page with signature

 

  • Credit Card to process Visa fees

Things to Note:

You have 120 days to enter the country once you apply

You can only receive a max of 2 e-visas per year

Each E-Visa is valid for up to 60 days with 2 entries into the country

Link to Apply:

https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

Tourist Visa for India:

Pros: longer visa duration (up to 10 years for Americans), 

Cons: must mail or hand deliver visa paperwork to an office, at least 5 business days to process (not including transit/mail time), more detailed visa process

What You Need in Advance:

  • digital passport photo (jpeg format size: 10-300 kb), square photo, equal height & width (no glasses, hats etc. & some countries don't like bare shoulders, so I always cover them just in case)

 

  • 1 actual passport photo

 

  • passport with 6 months left on passport before expiration with 2 blank pages. 6 months calculated from date of arrival in India)  

 

  • copy of passport photo page with signature

 

  • Name, Address & Phone number of reference in India

 

  • Name, Address & Phone number of reference in Home Country

 

  • Credit Card to process Visa fees

Things to Note:

The duration of this visa depends upon your home country and where you are applying. 

Americans, applying in the United States can receive tourist visas valid for up to 10 years (entered as 120 months when applying).  However, when I applied for a visa for India while traveling in Nepal, I was only granted 4 months.  When I applied again from the US, I received 10 years.

But for Westerners applying in their home countries or abroad, 4-6 months is a typical duration that is granted.

The number of entries granted also varies by country, but 2 is pretty standard.

 

Link to Apply: 

https://www.in.ckgs.us/

I used CKGS - This is an optional service. I used this service because I was in a hurry to get my visa and wanted to make sure there were no delays or problems with my visa's processing. (note, I don't get any commission or referral fee)

Although you begin the application on this site, you'll later be redirected to the Indian website and then back to CKGS.

*A note about this process. As you'll see when traveling to India, sometimes things are slightly less straight-forward than they seem and don't work exactly as you may expect.  This may not begin only when you land. It may start with the visa process. 

For me, I had lots of issues with this website.  At times it timed me out, and the navigation wasn't always smooth and setup in the way I expected. But that said, I got the application submitted and processed.  If you encounter any issues, just remember to stay calm and keep going.  Think of it as India travel prep :)

 

*Note, when I recorded this video the e-visa was only valid for 30 days. This has since been increased to 60 days. This info current as of October 2017.

*I will always do my best to keep all of this up to date. But things change frequently.

Happy Traveling!

And check out my course

India: How to Travel Safely & Still Have Fun!