India Visa Guide

If you're planning a trip to India, whether, for tourism, business, or another reason, one of the first things you'll need to do is obtain a visa. Luckily, for most nationalities, an Indian visa is easy to get: India has significantly simplified the application process to attract more business and tourism.

India has various visa options depending on your visit's purpose, duration, and nationality. However, navigating the visa application process can be confusing, especially if it's your first time applying. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the various types of Indian visas, the application process, the required documents, and more to help ensure a smooth and successful visa application experience.

Table of contents

India visa types

Based on the goal of your visit, you may apply to the following Indian visa categories:

Other types of Indian visas depend on your citizenship, employment status (such as diplomatic, UN), and travel purposes.

How to apply for E-visa to India?

Indian e-visas are available to foreigners from 156 eligible countries going to India for tourism, engaging in business activities, attending informal cultural courses, doing voluntary work, getting medical care, and visiting governmental conferences, seminars, and workshops.

Here are the steps to apply for an electronic Indian visa:

  1. Visit the official Indian e-Visa website. Remember that several commercial websites masquerade as the official Indian visa website and charge extra for filing. The website you want should end with the "gov" domain;
  2. Select the "e-Visa Application" option from the menu;
  3. Choose the e-Visa category you require based on your purpose, such as tourist, business, medical, or conference;
  4. Fill in the online application form with all the required details, including personal information, passport details, and travel itinerary;
  5. Upload a scanned copy of your passport's bio page and a recent passport-style photo.
  6. Pay the visa fee using a credit/debit card or electronic wallet. The Indian visa price depends on the category and duration you need.
  7. Once the application is submitted and approved, you will receive an e-Visa by email. Print out the e-Visa and carry it with you while traveling to India.

India visa photo size & requirements

When applying for visas, you usually have to attach a valid photo, and Indian visas are no exception. Here are the requirements for Indian visa photos:

Here is an example:

India visa photo

As Indian visa fees are not refundable, ensure all your documents, including photos, are in order. This helps you minimize the probability that your visa application will be rejected.

To get the quickest results with your photos, you may trust the professional online photo service Visafoto.

Visafoto will edit your picture so that it fulfills all the technical requirements. It can edit your background, adjust the size, face position, brightness, and contrast, and even fix head tilt.

Simply picture yourself following the dress code and posing rules, as explained above. Make sure your picture is taken in decent lighting, preferably under daylight. Then, upload your image to the tool below.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
Additional options
Upload photo & Continue


Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.

It should look like this:

Origina photo

You will get two types of photos: a digital one for electronic submission and a template for printing.

Example of an India visa photo
India visa photos for printing

India 5-years visa

This is a popular visa type issued online to tourists who frequently travel to India. It requires the same package of documents as a short-term tourist visa.

A five-year e-visa allows you to stay in India for no more than 90 days in one trip. All trips taken together must be at most 180 days in a calendar year.

How long does it take to get a visa to India?

Indian e-visa processing time takes from 1 to 3 days. The time frame for issuing visas that require personal submission depends on the visa category and the specific consulate.

How much does the India visa cost?

The Indian visa fee ultimately depends on its category and duration of stay. Furthermore, this depends on whether you apply online (in which online payment services may take a commission), through a visa application center (in which the center may charge service fees), or directly. For tourists of different citizenship, there are different prices. The price of the most popular Indian visa type - a 5-year online visa - is $80 for nationals of most countries. The 1-year e-visa to India will likely cost you $40.

In any case, visa fees are not refundable even if your visa application is not accepted.

India visa extension

The general rule is that Indian visas that imply longer periods of stay can be extended in India. Visas extendable in India are:

You can extend your Indian visa online at the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) website without visiting the office. It is recommended to apply at least two weeks in advance.

It is usually not possible to renew a tourist visa while in India. To do this, you must leave the country and apply for a new e-visa. The most accessible countries for a visitor from India are Sri Lanka and Nepal. In some cases, if you have spent more than 90 or 180 days in India in one year, this method will not work. Check the current tourist visa renewal requirements, which are regularly updated.

Keep in mind that if you overstay your Indian visa you will need to pay a fine of at least $300.

Checking Indian visa status

If you have applied for an Indian visa, whether electronically or in person, you can check the status of your application online on the official Indian visa site.

For that, you will need your application ID and passport number. You will also need to input a captcha code that the website needs to combat spam.

Last update: April 2023

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