Our guide was written by Laura Byspalko and last published on Tuesday 23rd April 2013.
All foreign nationals wishing to enter India must hold a valid visa issued by an Indian Embassy outside of India (preferably from their native country), as well as ensure that their passport is valid for a minimum of 190 days at the time of applying. It is recommended to apply 4-6 weeks prior to departure, however check with your local Indian Embassy or Consulate for their specific guidelines and processing times.
Applying for an Indian visa offers a first glimpse of Indian bureaucracy. It can be a mildly frustrating experience, since forms and requirements often change, queues can be lengthy and the period of stay granted can be arbitrary. Be sure to double-check all dates and important details, such as your name, to ensure appropriate spelling and accuracy.
Visa extensions and change of visa categories can be difficult and/or not permitted so it is best to obtain the appropriate visa prior to arrival. It should also be noted that expats who do not have an employment visa will not be able to remit their salary outside of India.
The Indian Government issues the following types of visas through their embassies and consulates: