All About Indian Tourist Visas

goa-travelAn Indian tourist visa is ideal for anyone who plan to visit India as a tourist, for holiday requirements or any other non-business related travel. The following category of visitors are not eligible to apply for tourist visas: Persons of Indian origin, spouse and children of people of Indian origin and spouse and immediate family members of foreign nationals visiting India on a long-term visa such as employment, student, research or business. Such individuals should apply for entry-visa instead of tourist visas. Here is a comprehensive overview of Indian tourist visas.

A tourist visa is usually granted to a person who plans to visit India for the purposes of sight seeing, mountain tracking, recreation and casual visits to meet friends and relatives in the country. In fact, no other activity will be permitted on a tourist visa for that matter. You can only apply for a tourist visa if you are not resident or occupied in India. In case, you are working with a charity, volunteer organization or a non-profit organization, you should apply for an employment visa instead of a tourist visa to India. People who are coming for medical treatments should apply for a medical visa instead of a tourist visa. Family members of diplomatic persons, who don’t qualify for diplomatic visas, should come on an entry-visa. Such individuals include older children and domestic partners of diplomatic staff. If these people come on a tourist visa, all the requirements of that particular visa category will apply to them.

The U.S. and India has a bilateral agreement when it comes to issuing tourist visas. Under this agreement, a US citizen is eligible for 6-month, 5-year or 10-year tourist visas. Non-US citizens are eligible for tourist visas up to six months. The validity of the duration of stay will begin on the day of issuance of the visa, and not the day that you enter the country. A six month visa will be valid from the first day of issuance up to exactly six months. The duration of stay in India is limited to 180-days or 6-months on each visit. This is regardless of the duration of the valid visa. You cannot request for an extension of stay if you have come to the country on a tourist visa. It will not be granted in any way. Also, a tourist visa will not be permitted to be converted to any other type of visa for that matter. These are some of the most important facts to remember when you are applying for a tourist visa into India.

India has a service of issuing tourist visas on arrival. This scheme is applicable for citizens of certain countries in the world. The validity period of such a visa is limited to 30-days. It is only valid for a single entry to the country, and available only through specific international airports in India.

e-Tourist visas fall under a different procedure, and can be approved in about 4 business days.