India Tour And Travel -Visa is a mandatory obligation for anyone to enter India, including children.
One has to make sure it is managed before planning to enter India. Foreign tourists are advised to check the applicable visa/visa extension fees with the Indian Government Tourism Offices or Indian Embassies located in their respective countries. The visa must be obtained abroad at the Indian Mission.
If you plan to visit a neighbouring country like Nepal and re-enter India, a double/multiple entry visa must be obtained. Visitor visas are issued for one month, six months or five years.
Visitor visas can be extended for three months at the New Delhi Registration Office, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, or, with the Superintendent of Police at any Regional Headquarters. If your stay in the country exceeds 180 days, visitors are required to obtain a tax clearance certificate, which is available from the outsourced section of the Income Tax Department in all major cities. It is also advisable to keep bank receipts showing that the currency has been exchanged.
However, the standard visa requirements are:
- The original passport is valid for at least six months
- Relevant visa fee
- Two recent passport-size photographs (five photos in case of Pakistani people)
- Supporting documents, where necessary
- Duly completed application form (citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh are required to apply for special application forms)
Once your visa formalities have been completed, you should now have a bird’s view of this vast continent so that you can face any problem while travelling to any parts. India forms a natural subcontinent in the northern Himalayan mountains.
The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, which forms parts of the Indian Ocean, are located west and east respectively. India’s neighbours are China (Tibet), Bhutan and Nepal in the north, Pakistan in the northwest, and Burma in the northeast.
To the east, almost surrounded by India, is Bangladesh. Near the southern tip of India, on the other side of the walk Strait, lies Sri Lanka. India has 28 provinces with constitutional powers defined in the constitution.
The 28 provinces are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizan Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
There are also seven Union areas including the National Capital Territory of Delhi, headed by Lieutenant Governors or Managers, all of whom are appointed by the President. The Delhi and Pondicherry areas also elected prime ministers and state legislatures.
The areas are Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Pondicherry.
Special permits may also be required with a visa to visit certain parts of the country. Certain parts of the country require special permits before they can be visited. Such areas where special permission is required are as follows:
Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland
These Union / Union areas have been designated as protected areas and outsiders may not enter these areas without special permits. These permits are issued by the Permanent Secretary, Department of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi 110 003 at least 4 weeks prior to the expected visit date.
Other Sikkim areas such as Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang and Zongri in West Sikkim and Pemayangtse are not included in the internal line and are declared restricted areas. After getting permission, each visitor can visit Gangtok, Rumtek and Phodang, Zongri and Pemayangtse. Duration of stay is increased from 7 days to 15 days.
Permits can be issued by all Indian Missions abroad, all Foreign Office Offices (FRO) and the Office of Foreign Registry (FRROS), and Immigration Officers at Airports in Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and New Delhi.
Manipur is also open to foreign tourists; Permits can be issued by all Overseas Missions, all FRROs, Home Affairs Commissioner, Manipur, Imphal. Duration of stay is increased from 3 days to 5 days. Permits are no longer required in Darjeeling, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Each foreign visitor is required to obtain a prior permit for the Port Blair Municipal Area, Havelock Island, Long Island, Neil Island, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Rangat, where nightstands and Jolly Buoy are allowed, South Cinque, Red Skin, Mount Harriet, Madhuban where only day visits are allowed.
Only Bangaram and the Subeli Islands are open to foreign tourists. Permits are required, available from Lakshadweep Administration, Wellington Island, Harbor Road, Kochi – 3.
The facilities are available for issuing group tour visas for not less than 4 members and are sponsored by a recognized government tourism centre. Such groups may split into smaller groups to visit different places in India after obtaining a combined “travel license” from Indian immigration officials. They must reunite and leave as the first group.
Visa rest is granted to citizens of countries such as Nepal and Bhutan. One can get information from the Indian Embassy.
Visa for Trekking and Mountaineering Expeditions
If the proposed tour plan includes taking people to an altitude of 6,000 meters, a visa is issued after the ‘non-opposition’ of the Indian Mountaineering Federation. When the travel plan proposes to visit less than 6000 meters, it is compulsory to submit a visa application for a trip indicating the dates and destinations to be visited and their length.
Points to Keep in Mind
- The issuance of a visa does not mean that a person is armed with the right to enter India. Personal entry is subject to the decision of the Immigration Authority.
- Documents can be verified whenever the need arises.
- Some cases may require approval from the state.
- The time it takes to issue a visa varies with each application.
- People wishing to visit restricted/protected areas require special permits.
- If a person plans to visit a neighbouring country and re-enter India, a double/multiple entry visa must be obtained.
Types of Visa
The Indian government issues a variety of visas, suitable for a variety of travel purposes. Listed below are some of the different types of Indian visas.
Visitor Visa: This visa is issued when you come to India on holiday to explore the country.
Business Visa: For business-related travel, you need to apply for a business visa.
Student Visa: This visa is issued for study purposes only in India.
Transit Visa: Designed for passenger passengers only, so they can cross India to reach their destination.
Missionary Visa: This visa is for people who come to India to work as missionaries.
Employment Visa: This visa is for professional professionals or those appointed by Indian companies, organizations, firms, etc.
Journal Visa: Professional journalists and photographers visiting India must apply for a Journalist visa.
Conference Visa: This visa is issued for visiting conferences/conferences/meetings in India.
Research Visa: This visa is issued by the Government of India for research purposes.
Entry Visa: Offered only to Indians or family members of a person employed in India.