Visa is a mandatory requirement for anyone who wishes to Travel India, including children. One should ensure its possession before planning to enter India. Tourists from other countries are advised to check current applicable visa fee/visa extension fees with Government of India Tourist Offices or Indian Consular Offices located in their respective countries. The visa must be obtained abroad from an Indian Mission. If planning to visit a neighboring country such as Nepal and then re-entering India, a double/multiple entry visa should be obtained. Tourist visas are issued for one month, six months or five years. Tourist visas can be extended by three months at the foreigner's registration office in New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, or, with the Superintendent of Police at any District Headquarters. If your stay in the country exceeds 180 days, then tourists are required to get a tax clearance certificate, available at the foreigner's section of the income tax department in every major city. It is also advisable to keep bank receipts to show that the money has been changed legally. However, the general requirements for visas are:
1. Original passport valid for at least six months
2. Correct visa fee
3. Two recent passport-size photographs (five photographs in case of Pakistani nationals)
4. Supporting documents, where necessary
5. Duly completed application form (Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals need to apply on special application forms)
Points to Remember
1. Granting of visa does not mean that one is armed with the right to enter India. One's entry is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Authorities.
2. The documents can be verified whenever the need arises.
3. Some cases might need clearance from the government level.
4. Time taken for issuing visa differs for every application.
5. Persons who desire to visit restricted/protected areas need special permits.
6. If one plans to visit a neighboring country and then re-enter India, a double/multiple entry visa should be obtained.
Visa relaxations have been given to the nationals of the countries like Nepal and Bhutan. One can obtain the details from the respective Indian Embassy.
Visa for Trekking and Mountaineering Expeditions
When the proposed tour itinerary includes taking people to the height of more than 6000 metres, visa is granted after 'No Objection' of the Indian Mountaineering Federation.