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Indian Visa Procedure – The Steps Involved in Getting a Visa

The Indian government has stringent guidelines on visa issuance and getting an Indian visa can be challenging depending on your needs. Provided completed documents are submitted, a visa is issued within 48 hours. The official Government portal allows for submission of applications and lists all documents that are required to be attached with the application.

A visa is a certificate that a Government has verified the credentials of a person seeking to enter the country. This is evidenced by the visa granted certificate attached to the passport of the applicant. The visa also grants permission to the person for a period of stay in the country – which in India does not exceed 180 days.

The Indian External Affairs ministry has authorised all Indian Embassies and High commissions to collect visa applications from foreign nationals. There is a nominal visa fee payable except by nationals of certain countries like Burundi and Mongolia who get free visas. A visa is not necessary for travelling to India for Nepalese and Bhutanese nationals.

The Indian Government portal has detailed instructions on visa applications, mode of submission and the type of visa applicable based on the purpose of travel.

Steps to Get a Visa

In order to know how to get Indian visa, read on:

1. Check on the types of visas applicable, based on the purpose of travel and download the form that’s necessary.

2. Fill in the form online. Handwritten forms are not accepted.

3. Download all the completed forms and print them out. Check if all the documents are attached as per the checklist.

4. Check on the fees applicable and payment options for the same.

5. Attach photographs as per guidelines specified (size, background, matte or glossy finish).

6. Sign the forms as per the instructions.

7. Attach all the documents and photographs after rechecking them.

8. Submit the completed application in person or by post.

9. Track the status online and keep your fingers crossed.

Cautionary Measures

1. Allow enough processing time before planning your travel.

2. Passports are returned as per the mode specified in the application. Plan your travel after allowing enough transit time for passports to reach.

3. The Indian Embassy is very selective and rarely issues 5 and 10 year visas. It therefore helps to apply for the shortest duration of stay, regardless of the fee that is paid.

4. For people on a tourist visa, a gap of at least two months is a must between two consecutive visits.

5. Diplomatic and Official Passports are processed at the embassies and no fees are charged for the visa.

6. Tourist Visa On arrival has been introduced on a limited basis for citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore citizens in exceptional circumstances.

7. The processing time typically is around two working days. The list of consular holidays will be available on the government website

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