Indian Visas

Everything you need to know about Indian visas


Indian Visas

Everything you need to know about Indian visas


What is an Indian Visa?

An Indian visa is a pre-approval from the Indian government for entry into the country. There are several types of Indian visas: Tourist, Business, Work, Student, and even E-visas also known as ETAs. Visas on arrival are not available in India, you must apply in advance to your visit to India. Visas are stamped into your Passport and must be shown upon arrival in the airport and once you get to India to be admitted.

Indian visas come in two forms; the tourist and business visas are placed into your passport before you leave the US and remain there, the Indian E Visa is a printed page that you carry with you into India and then they stamp it into your passport when you arrive at the airport in India. This is a good option for fast Indian visas. All Indian visas are tied to your passport number, so if you update your passport you will need to carry your old passport with your Indian visa and your new valid passport (as long as personal information like your name has not changed).

Picture of an India Visa
An Example India Visa Document

How to Get an Indian Visa

To get an Indian visa you must check that your Passport is valid, have two blank facing pages or else Renew Your Passport - then gather the other required documents for processing. Other documents include your flight itinerary (ie flight to Mumbai, Delhi, etc), copy of your driver's license and Indian visa application forms. For business travel, additional letters are required. India requires more applications than most countries (such as Chinese Visas) to obtain a visa, so keep our list handy when applying for your Indian visa application. We also have a guide to the Indian visa application that will help you. Indian tourist visas are generally valid for ten years, whereas Indian business visas are generally valid for one or five years (you must specifiy which validity you are applying for). If you need to get an Indian visa today and you have any questions, please contact us 24 hours a day at 1-866-487-3279. You can also view ItsEasy Passport and Visa reviews left by clients just like you.

How to Get an India Visa

Indian Tourist Visa

Indian Tourist Visas Indian Tourist visas are generally issued for ten years and allow you to vist for up to 60 days at a time unlike countries that issue shorter term visas like Russian Visas. These visas can also be used to visit people you know in India as well as sight see and travel to the different states within India. Popular states to travel include Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Delhi. The Indian visa will allow you to travel to most states within the country for up to 60 days each trip (this excludes protected and restricted areas*). The Indian eTourist visa is a short term Indian tourist visa that allows you to land in popular airports such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Delhi and then be stamped into the country for thirty days stay. They are now double entry and are valid for six months. This is also commonly referred to as a visa on arrival for India though this terminology is incorrect. Again, you must obtain this visa before you fly to India.

*Protected and Resetricted areas in India that you CANNOT travel to with an Indian visa:

  • Parts of State of Manipur
  • Parts of State of Mizoram
  • Parts of State of Arunachal Pradesh
  • Whole of State of Nagaland
  • Whole of State of Sikkim
  • Parts of State of Uttaranchal.
  • Parts of State of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Parts of State of Rajasthan
  • Parts of State of Himachal Pradesh
  • Whole of Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Part of the state of Sikkim
You can apply for a permit to visit these areas through the Ministry of Home Affairs in India.

You can also obtain a permit from an FFRO (Foreign Regional Registration Office) and travel with a recognized travel agent to these areas in groups of two or more.

Indian Business Visa

Indian Business visas are valid for 1 or 5 years for Business Meetings and Visiting your company in India. Along with general tourist visa requirements, you will also need an invitation and business cover letter (see an example Indian Business Cover Letter or Indian Business Invitation ) to confirm the purpose of your visit to India. These Business and Invitation letters must cover your purpose, date, duration, and full details of your visit to India. The Indian Business visa allows you to travel within India for Business purposes for up to 60 days at a time. Please note that an Indian Business visa is not valid for conferences, they have a specific visa for conferences that must be obtained separately.

Indian Business Visas

Indian eTourist Visa, eVisa or VOA Visa

An Indian E-visa is an electronic visa valid for up to six months. These are not visas on arrival, you must obtain them before you visit India. The visa is applied for online and processed by India, usually in 4-6 business days. Once you have your Indian e visa, you will need to print it and carry it with you and present it on arrival into India, they will then fingerprint you and stamp a visa approval in your passport thus beginning your stay of up to 30 days. Most countries like Saudi Arabia Visas do not offer electronic visas. If you need an urgent Indian visa, this option might be best for you.

Please note that only certain airports allow you to enter with an Evisa, popular airports include Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. You can travel within several Indian states with the e visa and can exit from any authorized immigration check post. However you must enter India through one of the following airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh,Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi and 3 designated seaports (i.e. Cochin, Goa, Mangalore). You can only have TWO Indian e visas per calendar year.

India Evisa eTousit Visa

Other Types of Indian Visas

Indian Conference visas are vald for thirty days and must be applied for before you visit India. These visas have specific requirements based on if you are invited by an Indian Government sanctioned conference or a private conference. Along with the basic tourist visa requirements you will need a business cover letter to confirm the purpose of your visit to India. The letter must cover your purpose, date, duration, and full details of your visit to India; it also needs to state whether you are speaking at the conference or attending. This is Business Letter is unique and different compared to letters for countries like Brazil visas .

How Long to Get an Indian Visa

Indian visa processing varies by state and the visa type as the consulates are jurisdictional. Typical processing times for Indian visas are anywhere from 15-20 business days. It is recommended that you apply for your visa at least one month in advance of your visit to India. Indian e-visas are much quicker, they take about 4-6 business days for processing as they are limited to up to six months and only two entries are allowed per year. The electronic option favors those who need to obtain an Indian visa quickly provided that they are going as a tourist or for light business (such as meetings within your company or gaining new client information).

How Long to Get an Indian Visa

Requirements for Indian Visas

Basic India Visa Requirements


Applicant must submit their current, signed passport. Visas are stamped into a passport, therefore the original passport is required.

The passport must have two (2) blank visa pages and be valid for at least six (6) months at the time of application and through the duration of the trip upon arrival (although six months past the date of exit from India is highly advised to avoid issues upon entry).

If you do not have a passport, please review the different US Passport Service options.

Photo Requirement

Applicant must submit two (2) identical, color, passport style photographs. The photos must be recent and generally should not be the same used for the passport itself.

Note: The Indian Embassy will not accept visa photos if the applicant is wearing glasses.

Proof of Travel

Applicant must submit a computer-generated itinerary from a travel agency or online booking tool (such as an e-confirmation or online booking) showing departure from the US and arrival/departure for the destination.

Note: if traveling via private charter the charter's manifest should suffice.

Proof of Residency

Applicant must submit a legible color copy of their driver's license or state issued ID.

If the applicant does not have a state issued ID or has recently moved and not updated their ID, applicant must also provide a recent utility bill (sewer, water, electric)

Applicants Under 18yrs

If the applicant is less than 18 years old, applicant must submit completed, signed and NOTORIZED authorization form. Although not clearly indicated, BOTH parents (or one parent with supporting custody documentation) must sign the form.

Supplemental Form

Applicant must submit one completed, two page form. Print the documents (single sided).

Visa Application Guide

We provide an "Application Guide". It is very important that the instructions are followed. Failure to follow the instructions exactly may result in rejection of the application. It is highly recommended applicant print the Application Guide and reference it while completing the visa application.

Visa Application

Applicant must complete an online application. After completing the online application, applicant must print and sign BOTH pages (the first page is signed up the small rectangular box towards the upper right, the second page is signed on the signature line. Note additional requirements for signatures for minors listed in the application guide above).

Indian Visa Application Form


Business Cover Letter

Applicant must submit a Business Cover Letter (BCL) from a US company. The BCL must be an original, signed document on company letterhead indicating the date, duration and purpose of travel, list a contact and address at the host company, and observe moral and financial responsibility for the applicant. Please review the example below.

Note: Business Cover Letter must clearly state duration of visa request. This request must match both the letter of Invitation and the request made on the application itself. For example, "We are requesting a five-year multiple entry business visa for John Smith".

Invitation Letter

Applicant must submit a Letter of Invitation from the inviting party or organization. The letter should introduce the applicant, detail the purpose of the trip, provide dates of the visit and be signed by a company officer with contact details included. Scanned/printed copies are generally acceptable.

Note: Letter of Invitation must clearly state duration of the visa request. This request must match both the Business Cover Letter and the request made on the application itself. For example, "We are requesting a five-year multiple entry business visa for John Smith".

Certificate of Incorporation

Applicant must submit a clear copy of the inviting company's "Certificate of Incorporation".

A certificate of incorporation is a legal document relating to the formation of a company or corporation. It is a license to form a corporation issued by state government.

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