India, Indian Visa, Person of Indian Origin, PIO, Non Resident Indian, NRI, Overseas Citizen of India, OCI

Who needs an Indian VISA?

Foreigners coming to India need a valid passport from their country of origin and a valid Indian VISA.

Can we get a VISA on arrival?

No. India does not provide VISA on arrival facility to any tourist. However, If you are from Nepal or Bhutan, you can enter India without a VISA. Nationals of Maldives too do not need an Indian  VISA for a visit period of up to 90 days.

Is there a fee charged, upon arrival at the immigration Facilities?

No. You do not have to pay any fees at the immigration clearance upon arrival. However you will need to pay a fee to get your VISA prior to your travel.

Who is authorized to issue an Indian VISA?

It is the responsibility of the Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs to issue  Indian visas to the foreign nationals.

I am a citizen of country X. Where should I go for an Indian VISA?

Government of India maintains up-to-date information on all Indian missions abroad here. Check your country link there. If your country name is missing, apply to the nearest mission. If you are a Bengladeshi or Pakistani national, the VISA application forms are different. Ask your local Indian embassy for details or visit their web sites - Pakistan Mission, Bangaldesh Mission.

What are the types of Indian VISA, Validity period and documents required?

Visa Details, Validity and Documents required



Required Documents

Tourist Visa

6 months

Proof of availability of funds with you.

Business Visa

One year or more

Letter from company sponsoring you.  

Student Visa

Actual academic duration up to five years.

Proof of admission to an Indian educational institution.

Transit Visa

Not exceeding 15 days

Proof of onward travel out of India

Conference Visa

For the conference duration

Invite letter from the organizers

How do I apply for an Indian  VISA?

You can approach the nearest Indian embassy and apply for your VISA in person. You can also download the VISA application for your country from the corresponding website, fill in the application and mail it to the nearest embassy. List of countries with phone numbers and links to the application site is available here.

What documents do I need to apply for an Indian VISA?

In general, you will need:

  1. Your passport original with a minimum validity of 6 months from data of arrival in India.
  2. Duely filled VISA application form for the specific VISA you need.
  3. Two passport size (3.5 x 3.5 cm) color photographs of your face (really :-)
  4. Letter from your sponsor for Conferences, Letter from your company for business VISAs, financial health proof (yes I have enough money to tour India and go back) or as applicable. Check your specific VISA application.

I am a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or a Non Resident Indian (NRI).  Do I need a VISA?
That depends. Do you possess a valid PIO or OCI card issued by the Government of India? Then you do not need a VISA. Otherwise follow the same  procedure above, fill up a specifiv VISA form for NRI/PIOs and apply using the documents mentioned above.

I am a NRI or PIO and my child or children are not. I want to relocate. Help me with registering my child.

Thanks to our friend who relocated and put together the experience here. There is a lot there. Go check out.

I am a person of Indian Origin. How dp I get a PIO / OCI card?

You should contact the nearest Indian embassy for information. There is specific information from the American mission here.

What is the difference between a PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card and an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) ?

We really do not have much of a clue...but here's what the SFO embassy website says - Read a copy from here, just incase the link fails.