India is a country marked by significant historical heritage and a plethora of natural wonders. With its enormous store of flora and fauna, it attracts thousands of visitors from different parts of the world. Except for Nepal and Bhutan, citizens of all other countries need to apply for an Indian visa to grant entry into the country. We are trying to provide all the necessary details required to apply for an Indian visa if you want to visit Kerala.
What Type of India Visa is Required for a holiday in Kerala?
The different types of visas, categorised on the basis of purpose of staying in India, are Tourist Visa, Business Visa, Student Visa, Transit Visa and Conference Visa.
A tourist visa is available for International Travelers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
- People can opt for Tourist Indian visa applications to visit places or family members or friends. Attending yoga courses or programs, official conferences or seminars, business meetings are also permissible as per the Indian visa requirements.
- The maximum stay duration with Tourist Visa is 6 months, though the visa is granted for a longer duration.
- Alternatively, people can opt to access the e-visa scheme of the Indian government. As per the Indian visa requirements mentioned in the scheme, an Electronic Travel Authorization needs to be applied online. The visa stamp can be obtained at the port of entry on arrival in India.
- The e-Tourist visa is granted on three different scales of validity – 1 month or 1 year or 5 years. But the maximum stay cannot exceed 90 days. Citizens of the US, UK, Japan, and Canada are granted a special exemption to stay for 180 days.
Tip: Visa applications are tricky involving a number of documents. You can use platforms like Visabadge that help you get all your visa documents right.
- Grants applicants to attend business meetings and conferences or conduct any business in India.
Under the rules of the India visa requirements, this particular type of Indian visa forbids doing any work or earning money from any company or firm in India.
- A business visa is granted for a duration of 5 to 10 years with multiple entries. But people are not permitted to stay for more than 180 days in a single visit. If an extension is required, the applicants need to register with FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office)
- The proof is required to be submitted from the company or the firm for which the visitor is travelling to India. The letter must state the purpose of the visit, the details of the business, the stay duration, and the sponsorship for the expenses.
- Indian visa regulations permit people to undergo long term medical treatment which may extend more than 60 days. The applicants need to obtain a Medical visa to adhere to the Indian visa requirements.
- The medical treatment should be under special categories like heart, joint replacement, neurosurgeries, organ transplantation. Two attendants are allowed to accompany the patient with a medical visa.
- Students willing to pursue higher education in the fields of learning, music, dance or other traditions and culture, need to apply for a Student visa.
- Granted for 5 years or based on the end date of the course. This particular type of Indian visa can also be extended from India.
- The registration or admission document received from the institution needs to be submitted as proof of evidence
- This particular type of Indian visa is tough to obtain as India is very strict with people linked with media which include journalists, writers, photographers, editors.
- Granted to a person who is either a photographer or journalist by profession, essentially permitted to enter into a region or meet someone not accessible by the general public.
- The visa duration granted is for 3 months.
Entry (X) Visa
- People who are eligible to apply for Entry (X) visa are
- A person with an Indian origin
- Spouse and children of a person with an Indian origin
- Spouse and children of a person staying in India with a Business Visa or Employment Visa
- People participating in any sports or religious events
- Anyone planning to stay in India for less than 72 hours can opt for this type of Indian Visa
- As evidence, the confirmed ticket of return needs to be submitted
- People to shoot for a TV show or commercial film in India, have to apply for a Film visa
- The visa is valid for 1 year
Documents Required for Indian Visa
The documents that need to be submitted for the Indian Visa application are:
- Passport with a validity of 6 months from the date of application. Photocopies of the first and last pages are mandatory
- Photograph as per the specifications
- A residential proof like electricity bill or telephone bill etc.
- A professional proof like a certification from the company or firm where the applicant is employed
- A bank statement or a travel card or foreign currency or international credit card as proof of possessing money for the stay in India
- Filled up online visa application form
- Invitation letter from India for business visa
- Return ticket and confirmed hotel booking
- Medical certificates and documents for medical visa
- Academic and bonafide certificates for a student visa
- Legal documents of the employer, offer letter and agreement letter for employment visa
How to get an Indian Visa Online
The Indian Government has added to its list a total of 166 countries that are eligible to apply for an Indian visa online through its e-visa scheme. The steps for applying for an Indian visa online is mentioned as follows:
- You can apply for Indian Visa online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
- A sample Indian visa form is available for reference. It can be downloaded here.
- The applicant needs to fill up the following details in the application
- The Visa types that can be selected for an Indian visa online are eMedical attendant visa, eMedical visa, eConference visa, ebusiness visa, and etourist Visa
- Name, date, and place of birth, country of birth, religion, citizenship, nationality and educational qualification under the Applicant Details section
- Passport details stating the passport number, place and date of issue, expiry date, place, and country of issue
- Present and permanent address details
- Details of the applicant’s father and mother which includes name, nationality, place, and country of birth
- Marital status
- Previous visa or current valid visa details
- Reference name and contact details
- At the end of the application form, the applicant needs to upload the photograph, as per the specifications defined in the Indian visa regulations
- The applicant needs to fill up the following details in the application
- A copy of the first and last pages of the passport also needs to be uploaded
- The form redirects to the payment gateway to pay the Indian visa fees using a credit or debit card
- An application id will be generated. The status of the application can be checked with the id
- After 3 to 5 days the Electronic Travel Authorization will be delivered to the applicant’s email address
- A copy of the authorization must be submitted at the Immigration counter of the Indian airport on arrival in India. The biometric data of the foreigners are taken at that time. The Immigration officer will grant the e-visa and permit your entry into India
Foreign nationals who need to obtain an Indian visa from the Visa application centres in their respective countries need to duly sign the application form and submit at the centres. The list of the Indian Embassies and Consulates in different countries can be checked at https://www.india.gov.in/topics/foreign-affairs/embassy-consulates.
The applicant must schedule an appointment at the visa application centres and submit the application form along with the required documents.
- Please note:
If the applicant’s parents or grandparents are from Pakistan, then they are not permitted to apply for an Indian visa online
- To apply for an Indian visa, the passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of visa application
- The status of the Electronic Travel Authorization must be “GRANTED” before the travel to India
- It is advisable to carry the return ticket from India while arriving for immigration check
- In some countries, the e-payment system is not available. The applicant has to submit the fees to the Indian Mission in their respective countries along with the supporting documents
What are Photograph Specifications for Indian Visa?
As per the Indian visa requirements, the photograph of the applicant must follow certain specifications as mentioned below:
- The photograph must be a recent one
- It must be clicked on a white or light coloured background
- The size of the photograph must be 350 pixels by 350 pixels
- The face must be looking directly at the camera
- The format for uploading the photograph online must be .jpeg
- The maximum size of the photograph should be 1 MB and the minimum size of the photograph should be 10 KB
- The photograph must not have any borders
- The full face of the applicant must be visible with eyes open
Indian Visa on Arrival
Citizens of certain countries can opt for an Indian visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days. The visitors can enter only via the International airports of Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Kochi, Goa and Hyderabad. The Indian visa on arrival is eligible for a single entry into India. It cannot be extended beyond its specified duration nor it can be converted into any other type of visa. Visitors holding a Tourist visa on arrival are not permitted to visit Protected and restricted areas in India.
The documents required for an Indian visa on arrival are:
- Passport with the first and last page scanned
- Photograph as per the specifications
- The eligibility criteria for the Indian visa on arrival are:
Travelling to India for tourism, meeting friends or relatives, a casual visit for business or attending any medical treatment
- Passport validity of 6 months from the date of application
- A valid return ticket and evidence of adequate money for the stay duration in India
- Foreigners with a passport to Pakistan or with an origin from Pakistan are not eligible for Indian Visa on arrival. They need to apply for an Indian visa at the Indian high commission or embassy
- Diplomatic or official passport holders are not eligible for an Indian visa on arrival
- The ETA must be applied at a minimum of 4 days in advance from the date of travel. The applicants can select the date of arrival from 4 days to a maximum of 30 days
- The photograph specifications need to be strictly followed to avoid visa delays or rejection
- This type of Indian visa fee is $60 for each visitor and should be paid 4 days in advance of the date of travel.
- The fees are not refundable
- The helpline numbers for 24 * 7 Indian visa support services are 91-11-2430066. Mails can also be sent to email@example.com for enquiring on an Indian visa on arrival.
Indian Visa fees
The Indian visa fees vary from country to country depending upon the foreign relationship and agreement with India.
The details of the fees for different countries can be checked from the following two links:
Citizens of certain countries do not require to pay Indian visa fees, whereas some countries need to pay as per the Indian visa requirements.
- Citizens of Japan need to pay $25 for both 1-year and 5-year e-Tourist visas
- The fee for a 1-month e-tourist visa with validity from April till June is $10 and for the remaining months is $25
- The fee for an e-tourist visa for 1 year is $40 and 5-years is $80
- For all other types of Visas, citizens of Ukraine, the UK, the USA, and Mozambique need to pay a fee of $100.
- Foreigners with citizenship of Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Japan need to pay $25. The majority of countries need to pay $80.
Along with the Indian visa fees, 2.5% of the fee needs to be paid as part of the bank charge.
Indian Visa Processing Time
The general Indian visa processing time is 3 to 5 working days from the date of submission. The time may extend up to 1 to 2 weeks for non-US citizens, visitors of Indian origin, short term visas or US citizens with reference.
For the applications which demand additional reference checks, the processing time is more than the normally scheduled duration. Crews and pilots of unscheduled airlines like chartered flights, cargo planes, etc. need prior clearance from authorized signatories in India. Their visa application processing time may extend to 5 weeks.
The Indian visa processing time for citizens of Pakistan or with origin from Pakistan is approximately 6 weeks. For foreign nationals of the Czech Republic or the Slovak Republic, the visa processing time is almost 21 working days. The Indian visa applications from Sri Lanka requires a longer time than others.
Foreign Nationals applying for an Indian visa must not enquire about their visa status through emails, phone calls, letters or fax. The Indian embassy or consulates will convey the visa approval or rejection decision from New Delhi. Accordingly, the applicants can collect their passport with the stamped Indian visa from the respective visa application centres.
Airports of Entry into India with e-visas
International travellers can enter India with e-visas from the 28 International airports in India.
Ahmedabad| Amritsar| Bagdogra| Bengaluru| Bhubaneshwar| Calicut| Chennai| Chandigarh|Cochin| Coimbatore| Delhi| Gaya| Goa| Guwahati| Hyderabad| Jaipur| Kolkata| Lucknow| Madurai |Mangalore| Mumbai| Nagpur| Portblair| Pune| Tiruchirapalli| Trivandrum| Varanasi| Vishakhapatnam
The Ports of Entry into India with e-visas
In addition to that, the sea harbours or ports of Chennai, Mumbai, Mangalore, Kochi, and Goa also permit entry with e-visas.
There are immigration desks at certain Indian cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai to assist tourists arriving for medical treatment.
The visitors can leave India on their return through the authorized immigration areas.
Frequently Asked Questions about Indian Visa
Can you apply for an Indian visa online?
The Government of India has introduced the e-visa scheme through which foreign nationals can apply for an Indian Visa in the portal https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html. However Pakistani nationals or people whose origin is in Pakistan need to apply for an Indian visa through the normal route of submission at the Visa application centres
How much does it cost to get an Indian visa?
The visa fees for e-visa are $80 except for Benin, Mozambique, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America where the visa fees are $100.
The fees for an e-tourist visa are $10 for 30 days from April till June, $25 for 30 days from July till March, $40 for 1 year and $80 for 2 years.
The countries of Argentina, Cook Islands, Niue Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tonga Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nauru, Tuvalu, Uruguay, and Vanuatu are not required to pay any visa fees.
Nationals of Japan, Singapore, and Sri Lanka only need to pay visa fees of $25.
How do I get an emergency visa for India?
Only foreign nationals with a US passport are permitted to apply for an emergency visa for India. The emergency reasons must be genuine for example a death in the family or any critical ailments of children or parents or siblings or for any legal purposes.
The applicants need to submit additional documents for an emergency Indian visa. Proof of evidence for the emergency like the death certificate or medical certificate and a return ticket.
How long does it take to get a visa to go to India?
It normally takes 3 to 5 working days to get an Indian visa from the date of its application. There are certain exceptions that are elaborated on here.
How frequently can you apply for an Indian visa?
Indian visa can be applied as many times as needed by foreign nationals.
Should the Indian visa on the old passport need to be transferred to the new passport?
It is not mandatory to transfer the Indian visa from the old passport to the new passport. But it is advisable to transfer the visa in order to avoid any issues, in case any individual forgets to carry the old passport by mistake.
What are the Indian visa helpline contact details?
The Indian visa support helpline telephone number is +91-11-24300666. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
What if you are on a visit to India and lose your passport by accident?
Contact the embassy or consulate of your country in India and they will issue a temporary passport. Ensure that you carry the consulate’s telephone number and address with you whenever you are visiting a foreign country and usually this will be available online and make sure you have a copy of the passport scanned and stored in your e-mail in order to get the new one