India has stringent requirements on entry into the country and obtaining an Indian visa can be quite hard if done the wrong way. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuing visas to foreign nationals for their visit to India.
There is no provision for issuance of visa on arrival. The various Indian missions abroad issue visas based on their discretion against payment of a nominal, non-refundable visa fee.
With borders across nations becoming porous, it is incumbent on each nation to verify the credentials of every foreign visitor who visits the country. The immigration authorities of each country validate verification of a foreign visitor’s credentials by a stamped certificate on the applicant’s passport, which is termed as visa.
The visa also grants permission to the applicant to enter the county for a temporary period within a specified period also marked on the visa and termed tenure or validity of visa.
Foreign nationals wishing to visit India should possess their parent country’s valid passport and a valid Indian Visa. The application for this can be made at any of the High Commission abroad. The visa fees and terms of entry are subject to the High Commission’s discretion and immigration laws in force at the time of issuance.
Nationals of countries like Burundi, Cape Verde, Haiti, Mauritius, Jamaica, Maldives and Mongolia can avail the free visa facility. There is no visa requirement for nationals of Bhutan and Nepal.
Procedure for Visa Application
Visa application forms can be collected from the Indian Embassy or High Commission where the foreign national resides. Visa forms for Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals are different than those for nationals of other countries. The visa form for Persons of Indian Origin differs from those for foreign nationals. You should know about how to get Indian visa, in order to apply for one, as this is essential.
Points of Caution
• Though a valid visa may be issued for a period exceeding six months, the duration of stay in India for a person on a tourist or business visa cannot exceed six months.
• The validity of the visa is linked with the validity of the passport i.e. if the visa validity exceeds the validity of the passport, it does not hold good for the period beyond passport validity.
• Validity of all visas starts their date of issue.
• Tourist visa up to five years may be granted if the foreign national is connected with the tourism trade.
• If the visa is valid for more than 180 days, the foreign national needs to register himself with the Department of Immigration within 14 days of arrival.