Global Gallivanting

The complete guide to applying for an indian visa (for uk citizens).

indian visa

FAQs and a complete step by step guide on how to apply for an Indian visa from the UK.

2019 update, 1 year online tourist, business and medical indian evisas are now available for citizens of 161 countries hooray, so you may not need this post anymore   read this new post about how to get your 1 year india evisa online.

Nearly all visitors need to apply for a visa before traveling to India (apart from citizens of Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan) so applying for an Indian visa is an essential part of planning your trip to India.

Sadly the process can be tedious and over the recent months new developments have made it even more confusing, especially for UK passport holders. From statutory biometric testing and finger printing to visas on arrival ! What’s going on!?

I’ve just applied for my 5th Indian visa in as many years, each time the process has been slightly different but equally confusing, so I thought it was about time I guided you through the process of how to apply for a tourist visa to visit India. Despite the frustrations with the visa process it will be worth it! India is probably the most incredible place to travel in the world!

Please bear in mind this is from the point of view of a British / UK passport holder (and this is just my experience, I’m happy to answer your queries but I’m not an immigration professional and I am updating this post regularly to ensure all information is correct but guidelines and costs can change frequently and suddenly. Requirements and processes for other nationalities are different so I cannot comment on the process for other nationalities. If you’re from the USA read this post  , if you’re from Australia read this post and  if you’re from Canada read this post.   

How to Apply for a Tourist Visa to India

So what’s going on and how do you get a visa to visit India?

UK  passport holders must apply for a visa before visiting India, even if you go for an E-Visa or Visa on Arrival. Some important things to note before you start is that Indian tourist visas are  valid from the date of issue not the date of your entry to India so being prepared and applying months in advance will waste the time on your visa.

Short term Indian visas – visa on arrival and e-visas.

How to get an indian visa on arrival/ e visa.

There has been a lot of talk about India introducing Visa on Arrival ! Horay! This would be a great step towards increasing tourism in India but the visa on arrival is deceptive – it is more an E-Visa / electronic travel authority. Y ou must still apply for the visa in advance before you travel but it does make the visa process quicker and easier for short visits.

Citizens from 161 countries are eligible to apply online for an E Tourist Visa to India , including UK and Ireland, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and many European Countries.

At first the ETA was only valid for 30 days and was only single entry (1 month) but now you can get a 60 days (2 months). The cost of the E Visa depends on nationality.   For UK citizens the cost of the E Visa has recently increased to USD $75 (about £54) plus a small admin charge. The application process is fully online, you can apply a minimum of 4 days before you travel to India.

Update April 2017: The E-visa now has three subcategories; e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, e-Medical Visa. Double entry is permitted on E-Tourist Visa and E-Business Visa. Triple Entry will be permitted on E-Medical visa. The e-visa facility has been extended to the nationals of 161 countries for entry through 24 airports and 3 Indian seaports. The seaports are Cochin, Goa and Mangalore and the window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days.

vfs global india tourist visa from uk

How to apply for an Indian E Visa online

You can apply for an E Visa to India on the government website here , You then collect your visa on arrival at one of the major airports in India.

Sounds easy but bear in mind that there is still quite a lot of paperwork to fill out and if you make a mistake on the forms you could be rejected and have to apply again. The fee for the visa and for processing for the application is non-refundable, even if the visa is not granted.

If your parents or grandparents were born in Pakistan, sadly you not be eligible to get an E-Tourist Visa whatever your current nationality so unfortunately you will have to apply for a normal Tourist Visa.

To take the stress and hassle out of applying for your Indian visa let  iVisa  sort everything out for you. They charge a service fee but make the process simpler and easier to follow and offer a zero frustration policy.  They can process your application and send your E Visa via email in only 18 hours. They also have a window for arrival of 120 days meaning you can get your visa sorted well in advance of your trip but remember you still need a apply online no later than 4 days in advance of your arrival date to India.

The ETA is not extendable or convertible and you can only apply for 2 ETVs in 1 year. As the process is fully online (you are not required to send off your passport and wait for 2 weeks for the visa to be processed) the E Visa makes a quick holiday to India much easier.

British Passport holders are now eligible for an E Visitor Visa for India!

Applying for a 6 month or 12 month Indian tourist visa with VFS Global

If you want to visit India for longer than 1 or 2  months (which I highly recommend as there is so much to see in this huge, diverse country and its not a place you can rush) then you will still need to apply for a visa by sending away your application and passport.

The Indian visa application process in the UK has been outsourced to VFS Global,   the website and instructions for applying for the visa are confusing to say the least.

If you want to make the process easier for the longer visa then you can use an agency like Visa HQ  or read on and I’ll guide you through the process of applying for an Indian tourist visa with VFS Global.

vfs global india tourist visa from uk

Which Indian visa should I apply for?

Basically most UK citizens travel to India on a tourist visa  valid for 3 – 6 months.  You can get single, double or multiple entry, 3, 6 or 12 months. Tourist visas are non-extendable and non-convertible. You may as well apply for a 6 month or even 12 month multiple entry tourist visa because the price and process for applying is still the same. However, even on a 12 month visa you are still not allowed to spend more than 180 days (6 months) in India but you can leave for a day and come back without having to go through the hassle of applying again!

You can also try for an upto 5 year multiple entry tourist visa. Again there is a maximum stay of 180 days per visit and they say that biometric enrollment is mandatory for the 5 year visa, although this is yet to be fully implemented. You will need to also provide a letter stating why you require a 5 year tourist visa. The duration of visa granted is at the discretion of the authorities and they do not refund the difference if the visa is rejected or given for a shorter period of time. Again there is a maximum stay of 180 days per visit.

Tourist visas are only granted to foreigners who do not have a residence or occupation in India and whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives, etc. No other activity is permissible on a tourist visa. There are different visas for volunteering, studying, journalism, employment, business, research etc which require more documents and biometrics.

vfs global india tourist visa from uk

When you fill out the form there are many questions where your answer may cause the rejection of your visa. If you’re parents or grand parents are from Pakistan or if your occupation is linked to the armed forces or media/ journalism. Any media or journalist related occupations will likely be rejected and you would need to apply for a different Journalist visa which is only valid for 3 months and provide biometrics. If you work in the media, police or armed forces, commercial pilots/crew members, charity/social workers, researchers, and priests you will need a letter from your employer stating the purpose of your travel.

However, the duration of the visa is at the sole discretion of the Issuing Authority. The High Commission of India do not always give you the exact length and entries of visa that you have asked for so you never know what you’ve got until you receive your passport back. All visa fees  are non-refundable even if your visa is rejected or the duration granted is shorter than what you asked for. Also, the validity of the visa begins from the date of issue by the High Commission of India and not from the date of travel on your application form.

For the best chance is getting the longer visa it’s always best to apply in your home country. You can apply from places like Nepal, Sri Lanka or Bali but often they will only grant 3 month single entry visas.

How much does a tourist visa for India cost for a UK national?

A tourist visa for India costs £112 for UK passport holders.

But then after you add on other processing fees, the cost for postage and to get special passport photos taken the total cost for applying for an Indian tourist visa adds up to £119.44 in total. The 5 year visa costs £339.44

The fee is also non-refundable—even if your application is denied the fee is not refunded.

Palolem Beach in Goa

So can I apply online for an Indian visa, through the post or do I need to attend an appointment and submit biometrics or fingerprints?

The most confusing thing is that it is hard to find information that tells you how to apply by post as all the information on the website seems to say that you need to make an appointment to physically go to London and apply for the visa in person. In March 2015 it was announced that:

“All Applicants will be required to book an appointment online to submit their applications at VFS Application Centres (14). Applicants will be able to book an appointment on VFS Website  at the time of filing online application forms.  Biometric Data collection, including fingerprint data and facial imagery will be a mandatory requirement for all visa applicants soon. As a result, all visa applicants will need to first apply online and, thereafter, be physically present (mandatorily) at India Visa and Consular Services centres, by appointment, for submission of visa application and biometric data enrolment.”  And  it goes on to say that “ No applications will be accepted without appointment after 16th March 2015.” And “ No applications will be accepted by post.”

Seriously! What a way to encourage tourism! 🙁

As much as I love India I can see why people would choose to visit somewhere like Thailand or Sri Lanka to save this kind of hassle and expense.

After searching around the website and in forums a bit more I am relieved to find that actually Biometric data collection has not been introduced for tourist visas (apart from the 5 year one, but even so this is not always the case, or if you are a journalist) and applications can still be received through post/courier but need an additional processing time of at least two weeks and I successfully received my visa through the post.

So it seems like the plans to make attending an appointment and submitting fingerprints and biometric data appear to have been shelved for a while thankfully. But, it could have been made a little clearer, on the website.

vfs global india tourist visa from uk

How to apply for an Indian visa by post

When applying for an Indian visa, either by post or by appointment, you need to start by filling out the form on the VFS Global website.

The first mission is working out where to start the application and where to find the online application form, to save you the trouble here is the link.

Click on this and then click on the red tab that says ‘regular visa application’ –

The first hurdle to over come is which ‘mission’ you select. All postal applications are only being accepted in Hounslow so pick UK London but if you did find it more convenient to attend an appointment there are several other offices across the UK.

Then continue to fill out the ridiculously long form – I’ve never been asked so many questions from my religion, education, any visible identification marks, occupation, place of birth of mother and father and whether my grandparents were born in Pakistan, details of previous visits to India and the previous visa number and all the countries that I have visited in the last 10 years.

References for applying for an Indian Visa

The form also asks you for a reference in India – if you don’t have any friends in India you can use a hotel or tour company as a reference . If you haven’t booked a hotel yet (because you are still figuring out how to get a damn visa!?) you could always book provisionally on  and cancel or change the booking later. Or just pick a hotel as I doubt that they even check the reference anyway.

Next you need to provide a reference in the UK – I always just use my Mum!

Once you have answered all the questions, confirm the details. It then gives you your application number – it’s a good idea to make a note of the application number incase the website crashes because you have the application number you can log back in, if not you’ll have to start again. The website often crashes or does peculiar things! Sometimes it gets stuck at the part where you print off the form and won’t progress to make the payment or appointment. If that happens to you use this link to get there!

Then you need to print off the application form. Make sure you sign it in the right places (on both pages) and attach the right size photos. You also need to print off and include a signed declaration form. You can find that here –

vfs global india tourist visa from uk

Photos required for the Indian Tourist Visa Application

The Indian visa application also requires 2 passport photos but they are a different sized passport photo to normal UK passport photos – 50mm x 50mm, the same size as USA passport photos so you can quite easily get these done in most photo booths for £5 for 4 or a specialised photography shop in the UK.

You can also check the specifications and take a photo yourself and upload a photo to the application for a service cost of £10 or you can get them printed out at Boots for less than £1.

It’s a good idea to get some extra ones because you will need them if you want to get a sim card for your mobile phone. See more on this (also overly complicated process) on how to get a Sim Card in India

Cruising the backwaters in a house boat in Kerala

How to submit the Indian visa application

Click on the button to ‘make appointments and payments’ and select your mode of submission – either you want to make an appointment or send by post.

Then go to the tab at the top – ‘Visa Fee and Pay Details’ and you can make the payment. The payment page looks a bit dodgy but I’ve never had any problems with it.

Money Saving Tip – Watch out for the extras. Untick the extra charges for uploading a photo and delivery. VFS will ask you for £14.95 per application to return your passport instead, when you go to the Post Office to send off your application (I always send mine special delivery)  get another special delivery, prepaid envelope and self address it – this should cost only £7.25. Half the price!

Where to send your Indian visa application

Check you have everything:

  • Printed and signed application form
  • Declaration form
  • 2 sized passport photos
  • Return signed delivery envelope

Don’t send it to the address on the top of your Indian visa application form – send it to:

Indian Visa and Consular Application Centre,

The Vista Centre,

First Floor, Part A, Block 50, Salisbury Road,

Hounslow, TW4 6JQ

Sunset over romantic Udaipur in Rajasthan

How long does the Indian visa take to process?

Officially it states that the processing time for an Indian tourist visa takes a minimum of 2 weeks. I’ve had mine come back in anything from less than a week to a bit over 2 weeks, so allow enough time but remember it’s valid from the date of issue not the date of entry.

You should get an email or text saying something along the lines of ‘a decision has made on your application … your processed application is ready for collection or courier’ Once you get this your passport should be back with you in the next few days after that. You will not know until you open the post whether your visa has been granted or refused or if it has been granted for the full amount of time and number of entries you have asked for.

Do I need another permit?

Until late 2012 you were not allowed to leave and renter India within 2 months (you had to wait 2 months even if your visa was still valid!?) To enter without the gap of 2 months you had to apply for a permit to re-enter and to get this had to compile an itinerary for the whole trip. Thankfully a re entry permit is no longer required and that restriction has been lifted.

vfs global india tourist visa from uk

However, certain restricted areas including most of the states in the far North East, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and some border areas still require permits. Usually the easiest way to obtain these through going with a travel agency or on a tour.

Can you apply for an Indian visa outside of the UK or your country of residence?

Although it’s always better to apply for a visa in your home country or country of residence, it is possible to obtain and Indian visa in neighbouring countries, although since the introduction of the E-Visa is has become harder and travellers have reported difficulties recently in obtaining Indian visas, especially in Bangkok, Thailand and often only get single entry 3 month visas are given out when the travelers asked for multiple entry, 6 month visas. Now the E Visa is valid for 60 days and is much easier to obtain you might want to try that if applying for outside the UK.

I’ve heard that places like Cambodia , Laos and Myanmar are now good places to get an Indian visa, but this is just what I’ve heard from friends and other travelers. By getting the visa in your country of residence means you have the best chance of being accepted and getting the longer term visas, but it’s still possible to get one in Southeast Asia but its a good idea to check online forums and ask around before deciding which place to do it.

If you want to get your Indian visa in Nepal heres a good post on the subject  or read here about the process in Sri Lanka. I recently got an India visa in Bali too – here’s how to do it.

Incredible India will be worth it

As with everything in India really, the visa process requires a bit of patience and persistence but you will be richly rewarded and with proper planning your first trip to India will be memorable for all the right reasons!

Make sure you check out my  Complete Step by Step Guide to Planning for your First Trip to India and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!

India is a country like no where else on earth, it will challenge, enchant, surprise, captive and transform you! It will be worth it!

Need Help with Applying for your Indian Visa?

I’m happy to try and answer your questions but bear in mind I am not an immigration professional .

If you need professional assistance contact iVisa for the E Visa or Visa HQ for 6 month visa . You can also contact VFS Global with any queries by emailing [email protected] or call +44 203 793 8629 or +44 203 788 4666 (Monday – Friday 8:30 – 15:30 (except for Consular Holiday) You can also call   09057570045 from Monday – Friday 8:30 – 17:30 (except for Consular Holidays) but this number charges 95p per minute from a BT landline and more from a mobile.

Want more India travel tips and stories?

Sunset over romantic Udaipur in Rajasthan

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Hi Anna, thanks for the post, it has been so much more helpful than everything else I’ve found online.

I need just one piece of help though! I’ve followed your instructions (sort of, I unfortunately found this useful blog after completing most of it)

I’ve filled in the form, paid, printed the application and got a payment receipt. I don’t recall the option of making appointment/send by post. I want to post my application.

The tab is still open and when i click on the ‘appointment’ menu it takes me to a calendar of available appointments and has no option for posting the application.

Have I gone too far now and committed to making an appointment rather than posting?

If you can help me here I would be most grateful

Thanks again for your great post.

Yes, it can be really confusing trying to apply by post rather than appointment. So when you started the application did you select London and your ‘mission’? London is the only place that accepts postal applications.

If you’ve done that then under the ‘make appointments and payments’ tab you should be able to select your mode of submission as sending by post.

Pay, print off, sign and send all the documents to Indian Visa and Consular Application Centre, The Vista Centre, First Floor, Part A, Block 50, Salisbury Road, Hounslow, TW4 6JQ.

If there is no option for that then maybe you selected the wrong ‘mission’ at the start and I’m pretty sure if you’ve made the payment you can’t get a refund or change your application.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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hey! thank you so much for this has allowed me to get so far. now im just struggling to pay…cant see a ‘make appointments and payments’ tab..i have submitted the form, printed off the other pages, now feeling lost! help!

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Why didn’t I find this before! I’m currently crying in my room because I leave on the 6th January yet I can’t do my own signature from my passport. Nightmare.

Oh no! I hope it all goes ok for you and you have an amazing trip to India! Let me know if you got your visa OK in the end?

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Thank you so much for this! I have been scouting the internet for so long for this information. We are currently in Philippines and were hoping to get our indian visa from here or would we have to apply when we were back in the UK?

Thank you, yes the official info can be a bit confusing so I’m so glad you found it helpful. You should be able to pick up an Indian visa in neighboring countries. I’ve personally not done it but know people who have. Sri Lanka and Thailand are good options. Perhaps it is also possible in the Philippines too?

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This scares me I am an elderly British national,currently visiting my daughter in Australia I shall be calling into Chennai on April 10 & Cochin on April 13 on a cruise liner & thought it would be a piece of cake getting an evisa online.No such luck.The drop down ports of entry only offered me airports.Secondly I could not apply more than 34 days before my proposed date of entry Ill try emailing the Indian visa people online for advice !! I wonder what will happen if I fail to get a visa.Perhaps they will throw me off the ship

Hi David. I haven’t any experience in entering India on a cruise – surely there must be something set up to assist cruise passengers with this – Perhaps call your cruise loine for advice or try the VSF Global (they are the ones who process visas to India for UK citizens) helpline +44 203 793 8629* +44 203 695 9849* or there is also an email address: [email protected] Good Luck! I’m sure they will be able to sort something out for you.

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Hi Anna! Do you know anything about how to apply for the 6 month visa when you’re abroad? Im in new Zealand at the moment but I’m from the UK.. cant find much info!!

Cheers, Clare Xx

Hi Clare, yes it can be a bit confusing applying out of your home country. I’m not really sure about applying from NZ but I do know that you can Indian visa in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal etc in person by going to the embassy there or you could apply online but you will only get a 30 day visa and its not extendable. Good Luck 🙂

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I have been trying to find out how to get my father a visa to visit Indian. He is a British subject (born in Indian) and now lives in the USA (on a green card). He is planning to come back to get a indian visa in London in July to travel there in September. He is elderly and unable to get to anywhere in the USA to sort this out, we suggested he came back and did it here with us helping him. Do you know if London will provide him with a Visa?

Hi Tracey, if he is a British passport holder then the best place to get the visa would be in the UK. Hope this helps and enjoy your trip to India 🙂

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I found this post really helpful for the very confusing indian visa application – thank you! Just one question – do you know if the price quoted at the end of the application is in dollars or pounds? My application came to 110 but it does not quote a currency.

I would imagine its in pounds if you are applying as a uk citizen from the uk website. Mine normally comes to that amount after they add the other fees on.

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Hi Great!I’ve been searching google for several hours looking for relevant info on this. I am very happy to comment here and thank you so much for sharing this. I am going to suggest this to my UK friend.

Thanks, I’m so glad it was useful 🙂

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What a fantastically (is that even a word!?) informative blog post – definitely adding to my bookmarks. Thank you ☺️

Thanks so much, glad it was useful!

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This has been really helpful. My girlfriend and I are thinking about Goa in mid August and have both quit our teaching jobs. We were thinking about doing some teaching work whilst in India, whether it is paid or volunteer work where some expenses are covered.

What would you recommend? We plan to be away for a year and doing several months in India.

Excited to hear you are planning a trip to India. To be honest Goa in August will be in the middle of monsoon so not the best time to come. Maybe have a look at this post first – As English is one of the official languages in India there are not as many teaching jobs for foreigners as there are in other places in Asia although one of my friends did find a paid job and wrote about it here – Of course there are many volunteer opportunities but you may need a work/ volunteer visa for them. Have you seen websites like Workaway and Helpx they have opportunities where you work in exchange for food and accommodation. Hope this helps. Good luck and hope you have a great time in India whatever you choose to do!

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Hi Anna, so to be clear, if I want to visit for less than 30 days, it should be quite a simple process with the e visa option? as opposed to anything longer where the process becomes more time consuming?

Hi Paul, Yes if your visiting for less than 30 days the e visa is a much cheaper and easier way to get an Indian visa – you don’t even need to send your passport away but you do still need to fill in the paperwork online and then print off and take it to the airport with you. Getting a longer visa usually takes 2 weeks as you have to send your passport away for processing. Hope this helps and hope you have a great trip 🙂

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Hi The above 6 months visa is true for All British passport holders going to India with the exception of Srilankan born British passport holder. Be aware, If you are born in Colombo but holding a British passport by naturalisation, Indian visa authority treats you differently, you only get 3 months maximum visa with single entry only. Don’t know why ? All Sri Lankan are not terrorists, past is past , India should rethink and change the rules and treat all British passport holders equally. Any comments.. Please write. Thank you. Anand, Colombo born UK citizen [email protected]

Hi Anand, I didn’t know that sorry to hear you’ve had trouble getting a visa 🙁

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Thank you for this blog, it is really useful. I had a quick read of it, and couldn’t see the answer to my question.

I was wondering if you have ever applied for the Indian Tourist visa from Nepal? And if so, do you know if it is possible to apply for the 6 month visa? I am seeing mixed messages, with some people saying you can only get 3 months from visa if you apply for it in Nepal. Its a mind-field of confusion, which is why blogs like yours are so great!

Happy travels 🙂 Jess

Happy travels 🙂

Hi Jess, I haven’t applied for it in Nepal and its always best to apply in your home country if possible but my friends at Nomadic Boys have and wrote a really useful post about it that you should find helpful. 🙂 Happy Travels

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Hello Anna,

I am so grateful for your blog! I will be travelling around India on my own starting in November, for 3 months and you’ve covered almost every question I had, so thank you! I have a particular question about the visa though.. I am applying for a postal visa application from the UK and have a UK passport (I’m Scottish) however for the past 2 years I have been living in Berlin and have been registered as living and working there. I am still currently registered there as I have a bit of work to finish but have an appointment to de register at the start of October. Do you think I should wait to send the application off after I de register from Berlin or is it enough that I have my mums address in Scotland (where the visa application will be posted from) and am on the voting register in Scotland also? In your experience would any of this affect me getting approved for the tourist visa? Also do you think this leaves me enough time to get the visa in time for travelling on the 8th of November?!

Sorry for the long winded question and thanks for your help! Nicola

Hi Nicola, excited to hear that your planning a trip to India and so glad to hear that my blog has helped. I’m not an immigration professional but, in my experience, I would say that it’s always better to apply from your home country and where your registered to vote. Applying with your Berlin address may make things more complicated, I love Berling though! 🙂 I would say if you are registered to vote in Scotland then that is your permanent address and the one you should use. Mine usually takes 2 weeks, so maybe apply 1 month before you are due to go to be one the safe side. Hope you get your visa without any worries and hope you have a great trip to India! 🙂

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Hi Anna! Your blog is great – so helpful. I am currently trying to fill my visa application in but I am a little stuck on the port of entry and exit question. I haven’t booked travel yet as I was waiting for my visa to be processed so not sure where I would be entering – was going to compare prices for different cities. Does it matter if I enter and exit from different places stated on my visa application? Any help would be appreciated as I can’t seem to find any info online. Thanks!!

Hi Sam, yes I don’t book my flights until I have the visa. I don’t know if it will cause you problems if you select one place and then enter at another but maybe it’s best to check the flights and think more about your itinerary first so that you don’t write the wrong thing. I’m not sure to be honest but I don’t think it matters that much – I mean I don’t think they check the references so maybe it will be OK. Good luck and have a good trip 🙂

Hi again Anna,

Thanks for your reply, I will apply from my UK address and send it off at the start of October!

Another question, I have just completed the application form online for the tourist visa station UK London as my mission as I want to post it. When I got to the end I made the mistake of choosing save and print form rather than make appointments and payments.. So now I have my form saved to be printed out but I haven’t paid for it yet! Or stated that I want to post it.. When I tried to check my visa status using the application ID it says the information cannot be found? Is there a way I can get back into my application to finish it off or should I fill it all out again? Stress! Thank you!

Hey Nicola, glad to help. Sorry but I think if the application ID can’t be found it hasn’t done it properly and you probably have to start over – I’ve done it myself a few times sometimes the website is a bit dodgy 🙁 Hope you get your visa OK in the end and have a good trip!

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Hi Anna thank you for this, I understand the e-visa application process from the uk and that is starts from the day you apply, i assume that the visa has to be valid for the whole time you are there we go on the 8th October, can we complete the application now with a company and would they hold onto it and not process it until nearer the time…..I’m worried that if I do it wrong I will run out of time to re-apply but don’t want to do it too soon either unless they hang onto it and issue it nearer the date. Thanks for your help.

Hi Alison, yes the visa starts from the date of issue and you can only apply 33 days before travel and yes it has to be valid for the whole time you are traveling in India. If you overstay your visa you could face a fine and a ban on visiting India! 🙁 I think if you use iVisa they can organise the timescale for you so you can apply now through them and they will lodge it at the right time so that you don’t have to worry about your visa expiring too early or forgetting to apply later on! Hope this helps and have a great time in India! 🙂

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hello, thanks so much for this informative post. id never have been able to complete our visa applications without it! i am applying for visas for myself, my partner and our children (including one from a previous relationship)

do you know what supporting documents i have to send along with the children applications?

and also, if i can post all applications together in the same envelope?

thanks again 🙂

Hi Nina, Glad it helped! It can be a bit of a tricky process. I’m not really sure to be honest as I’ve only ever applied for myself but the website says that the documents required are:

“For Minor Child (Under 16 Years of age):

A copy of the child’s birth certificate showing both the parent’s names. Consent letter addressed to the HCI, London OR its respective consulates signed by both the parents Photocopy of Parent’s passports along with the copy of their current Indian Visa, if already holding one. If parents are Indian citizens, copy of the resident status in the UK would be required. In case of Divorce, Child Custody Letter from court in respect of the child is required. In case of Single Parent, Solicitor’s Letter and Child Benefit letter will be required. In case of Minor’s Application/Declaration either of the parents can sign the application form.”

I’m not sure if you can post them together sorry, perhaps email them to ask if you have any more doubts. Their email address is – [email protected]

Hope this helps 🙂

i can’t seem to find the declaration form you link to? sorry if I’m being silly! my brain is a bit fried from this whole visa process 🙂

Hey, sorry they must have changed the link to the declaration form – here it is Hope this helps 🙂

Thanks so much! got it now 🙂

sorry to ask more questions… hopefully my last! do you know how long i have to submit all my documents from the date i paid online? and I’m just getting a little panicky after reading on the vfs site that “all applicants must make an appointment” and “only urgent visa applications will be accepted via the post”? really appreciate your help x

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Anna I think I love you a little, this is exactly what I have spent the last few hours searching for. Thanks so much for writing it, will certainly help with my application now. Wishing you the best karma filled weekend. Namaste! X

Hi Dave! Thanks so much – so glad it’s helped 🙂 Happy Travels 🙂

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Hi there, love your blog! It’s helping me final make sense of this whole process haha!

Sorry if you’ve already covered this and I’m being dim, but my partner and I are planning to go to Sri Lanka in December, we’d like to stay there for 2-3 months before flying over to India. We’d like to apply for the 6 month visa but if we do this before we go then we will only be able to actually get 2-3 months in India as the visa will begin when we get it, before we go to Sri Lanka! can we apply for a 6 month visa from Sri Lanka? Are we just as likely to be able to get a 6 month visa to India from Sri Lanka as if we were applying from the UK? We’ve already booked our flights to Sri Lanka and now we’re kinda panicking because apparently we need exit flights from Sri Lanka to get into the country but I don’t want to book flights to India until I know we will be able to get a visa…

Hi Gemma, generally it’s always best to apply from your home country as you will get the maximum visa validity from there. If you’re from the UK you could try applying for a 1 year visa – they recently introduced them and its the same price.

You can get a visa for India in Sri Lanka but I haven’t done it myself. I’ve heard they sometimes give out 1 month or 3 month or maybe 6 months. You can never be sure how long they will grant you.

Maybe try to get a 1 year visa for India while your in the UK and then you don’t have to worry so much about the timing and you know you have your visa sorted.

Hi Anna thanks for your advice, I just realised you’d replied so sorry for my late reply! We did end up applying for the 1year visas from home, just waiting on them coming through now so fingers crossed!!

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Thank you so much for your post.

Please can you tell me if it is still possible to send the application by post without the need to attend an appointment in-person?

Many thanks, Chris

Yes it is possible to apply by post – all the details and the address are in this article.

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Thank you for this great post. This is very helpful.  I recently heard of a 5 year tourist visa. Do you know anything about it?  I did see it mentioned somewhere on the site, with a 300 pound fee.  As I intend to visit India a few times over the next few years it seems like a good investment.. It’s not clear if additional documents are required.  How risky do you think it is? Of course I understand you’re not an immigration officer, just wondering if you’ve heard anything about it..

Hey Rfe. Yes, I have heard of it but I have also heard of people applying for it and being refused or only getting 1 or 2 years but not receiving any refund. I’ve heard that its harder to get than the shorter visas and riskier for the chance of denial but this is just what I’ve heard from friends. If your from the UK I think you can get a 1 year visa quite easily now for the same price as the 6 month visa. Hope this helps and hope you get your visa fine.

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wow, am I grateful for your post, without your advice, I would never have understood the very complicated website, you explained eveything so well!! ( I am a technophobe)

I now have my application form, all ready for posting, and I cannot wait for my trip to India, and yeah I intend to take my time and soak it all up!! – months – if they send me the correct visa, of course!

keep up the good work, much appreciated,

cheers, Steve

Hi Steve! Yes its a bit complicated isn’t it! So glad that I could help – hope everything goes smoothly and hope you enjoy India! 🙂 Happy Travels

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Great advice, thanks so much!! I am now slightly freaking though as I am leaving on 4th Nov and won’t be able to send my application until Thursday – eg. 15 days before I leave… Do you have any idea if I will be able to have the address on the envelope as where I am staying in London just before I leave..? Or if there is any way to contact them to go and pick up my passport from the office?? Aaaaah!!

Hey, 15 days might be enough time but it’s cutting it fine. Maybe try to make an appointment instead of doing it by post that could be quicker. I guess you could put any address on the return envelope – I’m not sure I think you need to allow more time really to be on the safe side. You can contact VFS Global to check by emailing [email protected] or call +44 203 793 8629 or +44 203 788 4666 .. Hope this helps

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Thank you very much for very clear advice. I can now be more confident in making an application. I would have missed including a Declarstion Form, if I had not come across your blog. The online form does not ask for name of hotel, etc but after printing there is a blank space for it. I did not write and add on the printed form. I hope it is okay.

I am retired so have no current employer as requested in form . I cannot proceed further without filling that. I have just entered my home address. Is that okay or will I be denied a. visa because of this. Very confusing.

Your advice to each question is excellent and very clear. Most useful

Hey I’m glad that you found it the post useful. I’m really not sure what happens if you don’t add the hotel – maybe it is OK as maybe they don’t check that anyway but with all these things its always best to read the form really carefully and answer every questions otherwise they might deny the visa. I’m sure there is an option to say that you are retired or unemployed on the form.

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I’ve just received the email from VFS Global saying that my email is ready for collection/Courier

Now this might be a silly question, but if i’ve attached a return signed delivery envelope when i sent my Visa off, Do i still need to pay for a courier?

Many Thanks

Hey Micheal. The email/ text from VFS Global just says the same thing every time so don’t worry if you have included the return envelope then your visa should be posted back to you like this.

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Hi Anna, really useful post, thank you! Just wanted to check what you mean by declaration form?

Never mind, I found it! Thanks

Hi Anna, on the form there is one space for a photo to be pasted. Do you stick it on with glue? Also, where do you put the other photo? Thanks,

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Thanks for this post, I’ve read both of them and they’ve been so helpful! I’m a UK citizen eligible for an ETV – I just had a few questions about this and I haven’t been able to get hold of anyone on the phone! Would really appreciate some advice 🙂

I’m flying in to Mumbai and getting on a connecting flight to Kochi. At what stage will they issue my ETV? If it’s in Mumbai I’m wondering if there’ll be enough time as I only have an hour or two before the next flight.

Is an ETV also valid on inbound flights? After arriving in Kochi, I’m heading to Madurai then Delhi so will the visa still be valid?

Lastly, when it’s advised to apply for a visa no less that 5 days before departure, does this include weekends or is it just working days?

On the reference and declaration form, do you have any links to any templates I could use? 🙂

Hi Charlotte, glad the post was helpful.

To be honest it depends on which carrier you take if you have to switch airports in Bombay then you will need to clear immigration and get the E Visa there or somethings you can transfer straight through without changing airports and do immigration at your final destination so I cannot say but if you ask your airline they will be able to tell you.

The visa will be valid and if your flying domestically within India you do not have to go through immigration for those flights.

I’m not sure if it’s 5 working days or all days – maybe best to ask the professionals – If you need professional assistance contact iVisa for the E Visa or Visa HQ for 6 month visa. You can also contact VFS Global with any queries by emailing [email protected] or call +44 203 793 8629 or +44 203 788 4666 (Monday – Friday 8:30 – 15:30 (except for Consular Holiday) You can also call 09057570045 from Monday – Friday 8:30 – 17:30 (except for Consular Holidays) but this number charges 95p per minute from a BT landline and more from a mobile.

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Happy New Year to you!

Thank you for this wonderful website- its answering so many of my questions !

I’m currently filling out my visa application form ( also seems like they have made changes very in the last week but anyway) …. and my question is..

Do you know how important it is to have the correct Port of Entry? I think I will fly into Cochin, but haven’t booked flights yet as want to make sure I get the Visa first! Should I hold off submitting it until i’m 99% sure or just go for it anyway now?

Many thanks,

Glad you’ve found my site helpful – as I say I’m not an immigration professional so I can’t say for sure but no ones ever checked my point of entry – I’m not sure oif it really matters so much but don’t quote me on this – if you want professional help the numbers to call are listed at the bottom of the post.

Hope you have a good trip – Kerala is a great place to start! —> 🙂

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Great post which has cleared up many of my questions. Just to confirm however, I am from the UK and will be visiting India for 3 weeks in April. Am I right in saying I simply need to apply for the E-tourist Visa online?

Also, I will be flying domestically a couple of times during my stay in India. Surely this wont affect my one entry visa as I wont actually be leaving India during these flights?

Glad that the post helped you 🙂 Yes if you visit for less than 30 days then an e visa is the easiest and quickest option and if you are flying domestically it will be fine as you won’t be leaving the country.

Hope you have a great trip 🙂

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Honestly this post is such a life saver. I am planning on visiting India after Sri Lanka and SEAsia this year however I’m already travelling so it will be tough to get it by post unless I stay in the same place for a while. I’m definitely reading your other India posts! X

Hi Charlotte

Glad that you found it useful! You can get the 30 day e visa online anywhere in the world and you should also be able to get an Indian visa in Sri Lanka quite easily.

Hope you have a great trip! 🙂

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Hi Anna, thank you for the post very helpful!! We are planning on travelling south east Asia , just finishing selling up our life here in Devon. We have our flights booked to Sri Lanka for June 1st for 30 days and flights booked to India at the end of June I’m still a bit confused as to what to do for the best, we want to travel through India, including Goa :), for a few months so will need the extended visa not the E-visa. But when do we apply for it, if i do it now and it is issued by say April will we have until next April to use it? or might they randomly give us only 3 months in which case it won’t be long enough. why is it so confusing and difficult? Thanks in anticipation of your help 🙂

Yes, it is a bit confusing and a bit of a risk as the visa starts as soon as it is issued and there is no guarantee the length of visa you will get. You can apply for a 6 month or 12 month multiple entry visa which should cover you for the time you want to spend in India. Btw if you are planning to go to Goa in July you may not want to spend much time there as it will be raining and most things will be shut by then. Maybe read these posts – and

I think more often than not they will give the longer visa (assuming you are from the UK and all your documents are correct and you don’t have an occupation in journalism or the military or any connections to Pakistan or anything else that brings up a red flag for them.)

It’s also possible to get the visa in Sri Lanka ( but usually they only give 3 months I think but I’m not 1005 sure) however, it’s always better to apply in your home country. You could just apply before you leave, if they did give you a shorter visa you could go to Nepal or Sri Lanka and get a new one – it’s a difficult situation I’m not sure what to suggest.

Hope this helps and hope you have a good trip.

Thanks Anna, we already read about the monsoon so we are starting on the south east coast in Chennai and then across and down to Kochi and pretty much following your suggested route for travelling India 🙂 in the hopes that we will be constantly behind the rain, fingers crossed lol but we are brits so used to a bit of rain. I am going to apply for the 12 month visa in April and go with whatever happens. thanks for your help x

Thanks, sounds good, hope you have a good trip 🙂

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I’m planning my first trip to India and am not even sure how I would have started to navigate the visa process without your amazingly helpful guide!

I’m completing the online form and can’t progress any further without checking a couple of things. Can I just confirm that as a British passport holder I don’t have a Citizenship/National ID No.? Also, is the place of passport issue what appears under ‘Authority’ on the photo page? Mine says HMPO. If this is correct, is HMPO enough or would I need to write HMPO UK.

I really hope you’ll be able to provide some insight, Google seems a little undecided!

Thank you so much 🙂

Hi Becca, Yes it can be confusing so I’m glad my blog has helped Your passport number is your ID so you don’t need one. Yes, Authority means the place where the passport was issued. I just write what it says, mine says IPS but if your says something different under Authority just write whatever it says there I think. Hope this helps, have a great time in India 🙂

Thanks so much for this 🙂

I just have one more question. I’m a little confused about which online form I need to fill in. I’ve nearly completed the form via the linked you provided: . However, I’m confused about the difference between this form and the one on the Vfs Global website. I want to book an appointment in London rather than posting the application and on Vfs Global it says ‘For Visa: Applicants are advised to follow the instruction for “Appointment & Online Payment” upon completion of online form.’ So I am assuming that I actually need to complete the form on the Vfs Global website rather than the one on the Indian Visa Online website.

Hope you can help!

Thanks again,

Hi Becca, there are two different forms and companies depending on which visa you want – the 30 day e visa/ online visa or the longer term visa. If you want to longer term visa you need to go through VFS Global and complete the form online there before printing it and either posting it or taking it to the appointment with you. Sorry if it wasn’t clear.

Ah that makes sense, no problem I’ll just copy the info over from one to the other! Thanks again for your help, it’s appreciated 🙂

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Hi Anna – i am a Uk citizen resident in Italy for more than 2 yrs & plan to apply for a multiple entry one year visa for India – would this be granted (or one for 6 mths), if i go on a one way ticket, or do they require evidence of a return on arrival, if not before ? – many thanks, Steve

Hi Steve, normally they do not ask for a return ticket when applying for the visa but often the do at the airport so it’s best to have one.

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I need to visit India on an urgent basis.I am facing a marital discord making me depressed to an extent where i need my familys support.

Also, both me and my husband are unemployed(even if i fill in my status as a housewife.

Will our unemployed status affect my application. Can my visa application be rejected as I am unemployed.

Also, will I be having to show my bank statements for same.

Hi Ananya, sorry to hear about your situation. If you are a UK citizen applying for an Indian visa in the UK then I don’t think you need to show bank statements – I have never been asked but as I am not an immigration professional I can’t really advise you on this. It would be better to contact VFS Global directly – the details are on the bottom of the post. Hope you can get your visa soon.

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Hi Anna, influenced by “The Marigold Hotel ” film and series, a group of 8, 65+ uk wrinklies are planning 40 days in and around Jaipur leaving 19th October. As I am organising the trip I have booked flights and hotels via (Cart before the horse) and now for the visas. Your blog was terrific, very helpful and my idea, as I travel a lot and need my passport, is to complete the application online and send it in when i’m back in Uk in August which i hope will then take two weeks to process and I will have a 12 month multi entry visa. I read somewhere of a guy who took his application and everything needed to London and then collected it a week later with no agro is this also the place in Hounslow?

Hi John. Great to hear you are planning a trip to India and glad that you found my blog helpful 🙂 You have plenty of time to apply for the visa as it starts from the date of issue not the date you arrive in India so it’s better to wait. Yes you can apply online and either post your passport off (usually takes 2 weeks) or make an appointment in London – sometimes it can be done in as little as a week but I would allow at least 2 weeks to be on the safe side. You can either collect your passport or have it sent to you by post. Hope you have a great trip – I’ll be writing more about Rajasthan soon hopefully in time for your trip 🙂

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Thank you so much for this useful and helpful blog! Being from London, I wandered if you had any idea as to whether it was possible, to go to the Indian embassy in London, apply and get a 30 day or more visa on the same day? All the best Candace (

Hi Candace, I don’t think it’s possible to get a visa the same day, but check with VFS Global as things can always change. If you only need a 30 day visa you can apply for an evisa online. This post explains more about e -visas –

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Thank you so much for your useful post! I visited India for two weeks and totally fell in love with the Country. Since being back (2 days) I’ve decided to go back for a long weekend next week.

Only thing is I can’t work out if I’m allowed to. My visa was the single entry visa. Am I able to apply for a new one so soon. When I’ve researched it, I’ve found different views on it and can’t work out if they will give me a visa so soon after the last one.

Thanks in advance for your help 🙂

Hi Char – you should be able to apply for a new visa as soon as you want. The gap of having to wait 2 months for re entry to India was lifted

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Thanks for the detailed information @ Anna. Travelers always face problem regarding the VISA when they want to travel abroad. Each country has their own rules and regulations. So it is mandatory for the tourists to read all the instructions written on the official websites, because the information change from time to time. When you have the latest information, you will do the right thing. However, it is always best to know from a similar person who has experienced the whole lot of thing already.

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We are doing a cruise next year January and February 2018 taking in Mumbai , Goa and Cochin . Having researched the internet and your blog ( great info ) It is my understanding that whilst Goa and Cochin accept e visas whilst on a cruise ship , Mumbai does not . So what sort of visa do we need and where do we get it from as I think the VFS global service only does e visas . Many thanks Julie

Hi Julie, VFS Global is for the longer term visas not the E visas. The rules on E visas were recently changed (see here – ) You can now enter at seaports in Goa, Cochin and Mangalore but I’m not sure about Mumbai, perhaps if your first entry to India is via one of those eligible then maybe it’s OK but then how many entries are allowed and what constitutes as an entry if you are traveling between different ports in the same country. To be honest I have never taken a cruise and I’m not an immigration professional so you should seek professional advice – at the bottom of the post there are the contact details or I would check with the cruise company – they should know what to do. Hope you have a good trip 🙂

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I am going to India in October. Do I get an E-Visa at the airport or should I apply for a visa before going.

Hi Shirley – you MUST apply for the E visa online before traveling to India – all the info on how to do this is in the post

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I’m wondering if you can offer any advice on my visa situation for India. I have a 6 month multiple entry tourist visa which expires on 1st September. I spent two and a half months in India (April-mid June) and wish to return at the start of August and stay until mid-late October. I know you cannot change or extend existing visas, but I’m wondering how to go about it or if my travel plans are possible. Would be able to apply for a new visa even though my current one isnt up? Or do I have to wait for this one to end before getting a new one? If that is the case, would I be able to simply leave India for a few days to somewhere such as Nepal and apply for a 60 day e-visa? I hope you can help a little!

Thank you 🙂

Hi Megan – you can apply for another visa even if your old one is now finished but you cannot extend your visa. If your visa expires halfway through your trip you could go to Nepal or Sri Lanka and apply for a new one the traditional way or you could leave and apply for an e-visa from anywhere and then go back to India.

Hello Anna 🙂

I made a post yesterday but it didn’t seem to work so I will try again!

I’m hoping you can offer me a little advice. I currently have a 6 month tourist visa which expires on 1st Sept. I only spent 2 and a half months (April-mid June) in India and wish to return at the start of August and stay until mid to late October.

I obtained the visa in Bangkok as I was living in Thailand at the time. I will be returning from the UK where I am visiting family for one month.

I have spent hours doing visa research and finding your blog has helped calm my mind a little; so thank you very much!

I know that the 6 month tourist visas are non extendable, so that is clearly not an option. I can think of two other options and I am wondering if they are possible; 1. Cancel the current visa and apply for a new 6 month visa whilst in the UK (although I’m slightly worried that could backfire and mean I cannot return at all this year!) 2. Return at the start of August, stay the month to finish off the current visa and then get out of there to somewhere such as Nepal and either apply for another tourist in Kathmandu, or apply for the e visa (which is now 60 days?!)

…I’m thinking option 2 would be better…IF they would grant me an e visa so soon after my 6 month visa.

Thanks in advance!

Hi Megan – some people make spam comments so your post did work but I was travelling without access to internet so I was not able to approve it. Your right that the visas are not extendable but I think it doesn’t matter if you apply for a new visa before your old one expires. You could apply for a 6 or 12 month visa from the UK – you still have to leave every 180 days (6 months) You could also go for option 2 and get another visa in Nepal but the duration would be less and maybe only single entry than if you apply in your home country. You can also get the e visa from anywhere. I’m not an immigration professional but I’ve applied for a visa the day after my old visa expired and had not problems. Hope you sort out your visa whichever you decide to do and have a good trip 🙂

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Thank for you all your advice. I just wondered if you knew. I am flying to new Delhi in a few weeks. I have already been granted an E-tourist visa. However I shall be volunteering at an orphanage for 10 days before travelling for 15 days on am organised tour. When I rang the E-visa contact number, he expressed you should be fine with that of your main purpose is travelling. I’m a little worried as I want to make sure I have the correct visa. Do you have any recommendations or suggestions ? It would be gratefully appreciated. I am leaving in 12 days time. So not too much time left. I even amended to ring the high commission in London however was on hold for 40 minutes.

Many thanks

I understand your confusion, officially you do need an employment visa for volunteering but at this late stage you are unlikely to be able to get one as it is more complicated to apply for than a tourist e visa.

However, you are also traveling on a tour and for a longer duration that you are volunteering and many people come and volunteer for short periods on a tourist visa (I think its a bit of a grey area) so my advice would just be do not mention the volunteering if they ask you your reason for visiting India – just tell them about the tour you are going on and I wouldn’t think you will have any problems.

Hope you have a great time!

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Hello i need help getting a visa is your entering india via land. And can i apply for it now? I am planning to get into india the 7th of november but will be leaving the UK from september the 10th and not returning to the UK until AFTER my india trip? Please help i am very confused.

Hey Caroline. The Indian visa starts from the date of issue not the date of entry so if you apply now and are only given 3 months then your visa may run out before your trip ends and they are non extendable and you can get a fine or ban from India if you overstay. If you are going to be in India for 2 months or less then you could apply for an E Visa while you are on the road. You could also apply in Sri Lanka, Nepal or Bali if you are going to be visiting those countries first. Hope this helps

hello, so i cannot apply for the e-visa because e-visa’s are only for when you fly into india which you then sort out at the airport, but i will be entering india from nepal via land so need a normal visa and i need help with appying for this one, how long it lasts, when i should apply, what the process is, can i pay to get it done quicker? thanks!

Yes e visas are for when you fly into India but you can now also enter from a sea port on an evisa so maybe it’s possible. I’m not sure maybe you can enter overland – its best to ask the professionals. I would advise you to contact – thats who I use for e visas and they will know if you can go overland with an evisa. For more info about getting the visa in Nepal check out this post –

Hey Caroline, it usually takes between 1 and 3 weeks to get the visa. You can apply for a 6 month or 12 month visa but the duration issued is up to them- you never know until you get the visa and also I’m not a visa professional so I cannot say anything is 100% guaranteed – it never is with visas they can reject the visa if you don’t sign in the right place for example. It is always better to get the visa in your home country but many people get it Nepal. Call the numbers listed in the post to seek advice from a professional visa agent and check out the post about getting the visa in Kathmandu

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Hi thanks for this post, this is really helpful and reassuring – I’m worried I’m going to send off my passport and not get it back! I’m heading to India in October and applying for a 6 month tourist visa via post – I can’t find anywhere on the website where I can pay online – do you know if they have stopped accepting this now? I can’t find anything like you described – I have also uploaded a digital photo, so does this mean I don’t need to send physical photos too? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

If you have uploaded digital photos then you shouldn’t need to send in photos as well. The bit where you pay online is only after you’ve finished the application, it kind of takes you to another page that does look a bit dodgy but I’ve never had any problems with it. You click on the button to ‘make appointments and payments’ and select your mode of submission – either you want to make an appointment or send by post. There should be a tab at the top thats called ‘Visa Fee and Pay Details’ and thats where you can make the payment. I’m sure it will be fine – they process lots of visa applications all the time allow 2 – 3 weeks to get the visa back. I’ve haven’t personally needed to do it for a year now though but I can’t imagine they would take away the option to pay online. Hope this helps, good luck 🙂

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Hello, I wondered how you go about what you need to do to live there permanently and either get residency or a business visa. I spent just a couple of weeks touring India last December and I love it there and would like to give up my life in England to live a more simple life in India. Possibly Goa. A yoga retreat on a beach resort would be great! I really can’t find much information on moving to India though. I know I would need a business partner who is Indian too though – that’s another hard thing that I can’t find information on anywhere. I have capital, I have business acumen (I work for an investment bank) and I have the desire and capability to really do this, but the starting block seems so hard. Thanks Kristy

Hi Kirsty – sounds amazing but yes its a bit complicated, buying property, starting a business or getting residency is really hard without an Indian partner. You can see info about how to get a business visa here –

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Hi Anna. Great blog. Most helpful. We travelled to India 3 years ago and spent 8 fantastic weeks travelling in the north. We are going on a cruise in December and calling in at Mumbai and Cochin. We only stop for two days at each port and we need to apply for the full tourist visa which is a very costly four days but apparently there is no alternative unless you can advise otherwise. Since we loved India so much the first time and plan to go back to explore the south, I was thinking of going for a 6 month, multiple entry visa and planing a trip next year. Is there any way I can be guaranteed getting a 6 month visa instead of a 3 month? Also, how far in advance can I make the application. We go on the cruise in December but I need my passport for other trips in October and November.

Hi Micheal – Theres no way you can be guaranteed anything with Indian visas! The length and number of entries they issue is up to them and also the visa will start from the date of issue. But I’m pretty sure that recent changes mean that you are now allowed to enter India through these seaports with an E Visa. Check with who should be able to confirm this and can give you professional help. Hope you have a great trip

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Hello thanks for all this infomation. Its very helpful! Just wondering if you knew if I could apply for a visa from Cyprus. I live in the UK but am working in cyprus until late Oct and want to go visit a friend in India in Nov. Can I apply while I am here or should i wait until i am back in london?

Hi Kelly, if you are going to visit India for no more than 60 days then you could apply for an e visa online from anywhere. Otherwise you will need to send your passport off for about 2 weeks to get the visa and it’s best to do it from your home country.

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Thank you for the information it’s been really helpful. I seem to have run in to a problem though .. I’ve submitted the application and now there seems no way for me to access it again; I haven’t paid any fees yet but there isn’t any way to get back in to the application to select a mode of submission or make a payment. I can however track the application using a ref number that was given but this only tells me that the application is in progress with no further options.

Do you think I should start the process again as perhaps I’ve missed something? Given how strict they seem to be I’m worried that a duplicate will affect my application. Any help would be appreciated!

Once you submit the application you go to another page to made the payment/ appointment. Do you have the temporary application number? You should be able to get back into the application if you have that. Otherwise, I’m not sure what went wrong but it sounds like if you have not made a payment or an appointment your visa application won’t be able to go any further so maybe you’ll have to start again.

Thanks Anna,

My partner just went through the same application process and again there was no payment option once the application was submitted, and no way to retrieve the application other than to reprint the pdf. I have since been emailing their helpdesk at info.inuk but the information I am getting back from them is similarly frustrating in it’s lack of clarity and despite asking them for confirmation of what I should do next they only seem to want me to refer back to the vfs site for help. I have asked to send a postal order instead but even getting confirmation that this is acceptable has been a struggle! Anyway thank you for your help, I am sure that this hassle will be worth it in the long run!

I think there is a problem with their site as I’ve heard this has been happening to alot of people this last week or so where it doesn’t take you to the payment and appointment screen and the only thing you can do is reprint the application form.

Make sure you note down your application number and try going to this link for the payment and make appointment screens – )/Index.aspx

There you should be able to type in your application number and passport number and make the payment or appointment.

If it doesn’t work one day you can try the next day and sometimes it will work then.

The link has worked first time – what a relief!

Thank you for all your help Anna we really appreciate it, I’ll certainly be coming back to the sit for more tips.

All the best, Andy

Glad it worked for you 🙂 Sometimes the site can be a bit dodgy! :s

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I just like the caring information you provide to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again right here frequently. Thanks for sharing this so valuable post!

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Hi Anna Thank you for your useful blog. It’s a long story but in essences I want to take my 13yo son to Goa for at least 3 months this winter. He’s dyslexic and would greatly benefit from one to one intensive English and maths lessons. Our schools have failed him. I would appreciate any links or advice. Thanks in advance Chris

Hi Chris. Sorry I’ve only just received your message. I don’t have kids myself but have heard good things about the yellow school in Anjuna. Hope this helps

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Hi Anna, thanks for your advice and tips on how to complete this dreaded visa application for India. Ive been on my PC for nearly 4 hours now and after finding your page just by accident , I have moved a bit forward with the visa application for India that I need, however I am kind of stuck again. Here are my problems and inquiry, I hope you can help or point me to someone who can help. Im a UK citizen as is my mum who is elderly and frail. Her brother in India is quite ill and so I am taking her over to see him just for 8 days, so we dont require long period visas. We are travelling mid October. Im not very good with a computer so thought Id go for the print and post option and chose LONDON as my mission. I have got as far as printing my visa application . I have been able to print it out and also printed the declaration form via link you provided. My questions now are as follows .

1. I cant seem to be able to pay for the visa. I followed your instructions and went onto the pay visa processing fee screen option ( on site), however, after I entered the details required, I got a a messege in red saying “Please fill a new e-Visa application as the application format is changed” . HELP!!! Do I have to do this all over again and does it mean I cant do this application by post? Im not entirely sure how to upload photos to the format they want and hence wanted to do this by post or in person. 2. Do I not need to scan my passport somewhere, is giving them passport details on the form enough? 3. If I am successful with getting my visa done,( god help me!!!) I will have to do my mums visa too. Just wondered, can I use the same email address I used for my visa to apply for hers as she isnt on email? Mind you the application i submitted is logged as submitted and being processed despite me not paying yet AND weirdly, I havent got any email acknowledgement to say its even been submitted!!!! what do i do!!!

Sorry for a million questions.. hope you can throw some light my way! thanks a bunch!

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thank you so much for the help! I have completed my application form and paid for it but i cant seem to work out where to print the application form off! Can you help?

Thanks so much

never mind! it was a fault on my computer!

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Hi Anna, I’ll be calling the helpline tomorrow to clarify a few points of uncertainty on the 6-month tourist visa application form; however, in case you can answer me before they can: In the section asking about “visible identification marks,” what are they referring to? To physical marks of identification on my body/face, or what? I have a protuberant nose and quite sharp features generally, with medium-length blonde hair and a mole just below the left side of my collarbone – but do I say any of this, or just enter “none,” which is what I have temporarily entered? Thank you in advance for potentially answering my question.

And one other thing that I forgot to ask: When it comes to the passport photos, do I have to upload them onto the application in digital format, or can I send in two loose paper pictures taking at a photo-booth – if I can do it the latter way, can they be loose or do I need to glue them to the application? Thank you again, and great post.

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Hi Anna, I’ve just received approval of my Indian evisa but I was surprised to see that the ETC has a place to fix a physical photo, just across the page from where it shows the electronic version of the photo. Do I need to put a physical picture there or can I get away without it? Thanks, Ben.

Hi Ben – I would always carry several passport photos with you when travelling in India. When you arrive at the airport they can confirm what they want you to do

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Hey, so it looks like I have cut it too fine to send off my passport for a visa longer than 60 days! If I want to spend more time in India could I leave to say Sri Lanka, apply for another e-visa and then return in a couple of weeks? Thanks!

You cant extend the visa and you can only get 2 in one year but you could also apply for another regular visa in Sri Lanka or Nepal

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The article is really captivating to me especially the information you providing in applying for visa to UK citizen. I do have a lot of UK friend that wants to travel in India.

Glad its helpful

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Hi Anna I see on the visa application form for. 6 month visa they ask have you ever visited India before and if so when and what was your visa number I was there 9 years ago but now have a new passport and no record of the number Is it important or not and will it affect my being granted a new visa

If you have it I think it’s best but I’m not sure what happens if you don’t. Maybe you can comment back and let me know? It may help other travellers with the same question

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Hey, Really helpful article thanks! Was just wondering, with the 6/12 month visas, after the date of issue, is there a date you have to be in India by? Like do you have to get into the country say, a month after it is issued or anything like that? I will probably get a 12 month visa as I will be travelling in SE Asia for about 4 months before I get to India and then be in India for about 6/7 months. Would it still be sensible to get the visa before I go? Because I do have enough time with my plan but is it still easier doing it in England than somewhere else while I’m away already? Thanks

Hi Ciara – the visa starts from the date of issue not the date you enter India. You can go anytime after its been issued but you need this into account when you apply so that you get enough time on your visa for your India trip. It’s always better to apply from your home country but you can get a 60 day e visa online if you are already traveling.

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Site is so useful!

I’m flying on Jan 4th and I’m hoping to finish my application by tomorrow.

With this Xmas holidays coming up I’m getting slightly worried that I’ve not left myself enough time :/

Is dropping the application form off at a centre quicker than posting it?

And if I do this what do I select when I select my mode of submission?

It’s quicker to make an appointment to submit the visa than posting it. You select this after you’ve done the form

Site is so useful! But when I’ve tried to post a question it’s saying it’s a duplicate and won’t let me post!

Sorry – its because I have to moderate the comments before they show

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Hi Anna, I completed the online visa application and then went on to ‘visa fee and pay details’ section. I unticked the ‘photo upload service’ and went to payment. It was £135.24. When I looked at the breakdown of the payment though it says £12.33 is for “courier charges” I was planning to send a SAE as you suggest in the blog but am I right to say I’ll be wasting my money now as it will be sent by courier on their part?

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Thank you for writing this blog. We followed your advice and our 6 month Indian tourist visas came back in under a week. My Mum has recently passed away so we are coming to Goa, as a family, in January to heal, relax and reconnect. We are going to try and rent somewhere and will take your advice (again) and wait until we arrive. Thank you, the Astall family

Hi Kate, sorry to hear about your Mum passing but glad to hear that you found my blog useful. Hope you have a good trip! 🙂

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Thanks for writing this, it made using the websites heaps easier. Got my 6 month visa back in like a week. Thanks again! Jess

Great! Glad to help Jess. Hope you have a great trip 🙂

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Hi there, can you tell me if we can use the E-visa service please? we have 2 sons and in the past we have had to send in marriage cert and birth cert before getting their visa’s…I want to use the E-visa service but it does not say anything about this on the website

Hi I’m sure children can get the e Visa but I’m not an immigration professional. If you need professional assistance contact iVisa for the E Visa or Visa HQ for 6 month visa. You can also contact VFS Global with any queries by emailing [email protected] or call +44 203 793 8629 or +44 203 788 4666 (Monday – Friday 8:30 – 15:30 (except for Consular Holiday) You can also call 09057570045 from Monday – Friday 8:30 – 17:30 (except for Consular Holidays) but this number charges 95p per minute from a BT landline and more from a mobile.

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Hi Anna Thankyou for this, so helpful! I’m probrably going to come across stupid but I am worried that my visa will get rejected most likely like everyone esle! I’m applying for a 12 month multiple entry visa mainly so I have the option to leave and come back maybe go elsewhere in Asia and back but I have no itinerary let’s just say I never think ahead or organise anything and I don’t like making set plans. I have seen on other forums that when applying for multiple entry they want full details of your itinerary, flights to and from and back to India, train tickets and the places you are staying!! I dont know any of that, is that something I would have to make up? Will they really want proof of all those plain tickets that all sounds like it would cost so much for an itinerary you don’t want to stick to! I’m probrably over reacting but would love to know your thoughts on this. Thankyou Lids xx

Hi, a few years ago they were asking for itineraries but I haven’t heard of them asking recently so you should be OK. Have a great trip 🙂

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Hello Anna. My wife and I are on a cruise in April and we are moored in Cochin for just 6 hours. I understand that if we wish to go ashore we will require a visa each; the process you outline seems very long-winded for such a short visit. Do you know if there are any concessions for very short visits by cruise passengers? We have also been told that Cochin is not geared up to process the volume of eVisas that a cruise might deliver all at one time and that we should apply for a passport visa / stamp. Do you know if this is correct (sorry, I know you are not an immigration official). Many thanks.

I haven’t personally been on a cruise so can’t really comment but you def do need a visa to enter India and its a little different when entering from sea. I would advise you to check with VFS Global or iVisa – the details are in the post. Sorry I can’t help more but hope you have a great trip

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Hi Anna Hope you can advise me please. We are visiting Goa on 10th Nov 2018 for two weeks and then going on a cruise in March 2019 which visits Goa, Kerala, Mangalore and Mumbai returning on April q0th 2019. If I apply for a multiple entry visa in October 1018 will I be able to apply for a 12 month visa. Is there an option to put details of our second cruise holiday itinerary on the application form? I don’t really want to pay for two visas. Thanks Susan.

Hi susan. Yes a 12 month visa is the same price as a 6 month one so if I was you I would apply for a 12 month visa but I don’t think there is anywhere on the application form where you could write it but you could include a note with your application.

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such a helpful blogpost thanks so much, you’ve made the application process way easier for me! i have realised i have missed out a few bits of info on my printed application 1) i visited morocco a few years a go and have a stamp in my passport 2) in the box where you should fill out all the places in india you expect to visit i just put delhi and goa, although my reference is in Kasauli. Should I begin the process again? Is it possible to edit and print again? Thanks for your help!

Glad its useful. Yes it should be possible to start again if you made a mistake. Good luck 🙂

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ihave client who allready has got 6 month multiple visa but he wants to stay on india for 2 more years what should i do plz help

Tourist visas cannot be extended

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Hi so if I get thiis online evisa for 2 months (60 days)…. Could I leve the country for a few weeks, and apply again, then come back into India again for another 2 months afterwards…. Is this possible…. Or its only 60 days and there’s nothing you can do about it?

Hi Tom, you can extend the visa and you can only have 2 e visas in 1 year. I’m not sure if you can apply for a new visa while you old visa is valid and by leaving the country the time on your visa would still be running and you would not be able to get it back. Probably better to spend the 60 days in India before moving onto a different country.

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i also struggle from that situation Glad you share it. Good luck everyone.

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Hi, I am a little concerned about my Indian visa application. I think I have filled everything out correctly on the forms, but when it came to ‘Expected date of Arrival’, the calender opens up but would only allow me to select dates up to January 2019. I am cruising to India on March 20th 2019, so I tried to enter the date manually, the site allowed this and I carried on, finished and paid £270 for two applications. From what I have read on this page, I fear that the 3 month visa I requested will start and finish before I even get to India next March! Shall I try to cancel, or will they just keep the money anyway?

Yes, the visa is valid from the date of issue so if they only give you a 3 month visa it may expire. I don’t think you can get your money back after you’ve submitted sadly. Maybe try contacting the embassy? Good luck!

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I found your blog really useful, thank you! However, I have a few questions as below:

– if I apply for a regular visa, ie by post, do I still have to visit one of their offices for an interview? – is an interview not required for an e-visa? – is there an additional bank charge, as it states (2.5%) in the instructions for e-visa? – from your own experience, is one method better than the other?

Many thanks, Lynn

Hi Lynn. The e Visa is the easiest but only for 60 days. I normally just get my visa by post as I find that easiest and no you don’t need an interview for e visa or regular tourist visa.

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Hi Anna. I am planning a trip to Bhutan via India in October. I visited India last year and managed to obtain an e-visa on that occasion. This time I am travelling via Mumbai and Delhi. I have a stop over of some 4hours in Mumbai and then an onward flight to Delhi. Both incoming and outgoing from the same terminal (2). When I land at Delhi I arrive at terminal 3 and the ongoing flight to Bhutan (with a different Airline) leaves from that same terminal. However, I need to transfer my luggage from one airline to another. Do I need an Indian Visa to do so? Presumably I need to go through immigration to claim my baggage and transfer it to another flight even though I am in transit. I would really appreciate your guidance on this. Thank you. Chris.

Hi Chris – It’s a difficult one. if you are staying in the same terminal then you don’t need to leave so you don’t need an Indian visa but if you need to clear immigration in order to collect your luggage then maybe you will need one. You should ask the airline what the procedure will be – maybe they can help you so you collect it before immigration. Sometimes in Mumbai you have to change airport – in which case you would need one a visa. Have a great time in Bhutan! I’ve also been fascinated by the country!

Thanks very much, Anna. All things considered, I think the best way of avoiding a whole load of grief is to get a visitor’s Visa. We are really looking forward to visiting Bhutan, which looks to be an amazing civilised Country. Thanks again and best wishes, Chris.

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Hi Hopefully you can help we are cruising from dubai and visiting 4 ports in india (first port Mumbai) so we will arrive 4 times in india in 6 days by sea will an e visa suffice regards john

Hi John, I’m not an immigration professional so I can’t give you a definitive answer You will need a MULTIPLE ENTRY visa and you need to check which seaports you are entering. Unless they have changed it again I think you can only enter by e visa at 3 Indian seaports – Cochin, Goa and Mangalore – not Mumbai. So maybe you need to send your passport away and apply for the normal visa. You should check with your cruise line for the information or an immigration/ visa professional

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Hi Anna this blog is amazing. I’m just a bit worried though as I am a British citizen living and working in Malaysia. Will I be eligible for an e visa? I read somewhere you can’t have one if you are British citizen working oveseas. im only going there for one week in November. Do you think I will be ok to apply?

Thanks, glad you like the blog! 🙂 I haven’t heard of not being able to apply for an Indian visa if your working overseas. I wouldn’t think you should have any problems applying for an e visa for India.

Good luck and hope you have a good time in India 🙂

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Hi there Great blog! Thank you. I can’t remember or find a previous visa number from 2004. Do you think I can just put unknown and write a note to say I no longer have the passport? Many thanks

I’m not sure as I’ve never tried applying without a previous visa number.

I guess if you can’t find it you’ll just have to do that but I can’t give you a definitive answer of what they will do as I’m not an immigration professional.

Good luck and hope you get your visa ok and have a good time in India 🙂

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Thanks for all of this useful info! Going to be a great help when we head over to Anjuna next year. Our worry is, we want to do a full 9/12 month stint over there, so the worry of leaving after 180 days has me concerned, as we won’t be planning on going back to the UK. Any ideas? Can we go airside at the airport and sit there for 24 hours? or do we have to leave the country entirely and then come back? Also, do we have to go to London? or can we do it all by post? As we live in the ever cold Newcastle and it will be a pain in the butt to have to travel to the big smoke (I HATE IT)

TBH Your gonna get a lot of messages from us over the next 9 months before we go, as you’ve done exactly what we want to do, and your blog has been our main source of inspiration and information thus far. Thanks so much in advance.

Ted & Sarah x

Hi Ted and Sarah.

Exciting that you are moving to Anjuna and glad that my blog has helped.

You can apply for your visa by post – info is in this article. Everyone has to leave every 180 days but you can just go to Sri Lanka or Nepal and Dubai for 1 day and come straight back as long as your visa is still valid – you don’t need to go to UK. You can’t just sit in the airport – they won’t even let you into the airport without a flight ticket.

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A lot of questions you get. Thanks a lot for giving feedback and support. I did wrote to you before regarding a visa.

Normally I do only book a one way ticket to visit a country.

India wants a return – or onwards ticket to issue the visa.

Now I am looking for a short flight ticket to get out of India. From where to where is not important. Just a good price is needed. And with this ticket I can apply the visa. I am not going to use this ticket anyway.

I will leave India before my Visa will expire anyway. But I do not know yet where I will go too. So I do have more time to think about my ongoing travel plans.

Any recommendations or ideas ?

Muchas gracias Silvio Hostal Capurgana, Capurgana, Kolumbien

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Hello Anna.

I’m planning on visiting India around October 2019. I’ve been reading through all the useful information and links about applying for a 6 month tourist visa.

What confuses me is the point you make about validity. I quote, “Also, the validity of the visa begins from the date of issue by the High Commission of India and not from the date of travel on your application form.”

I take this to mean that on receipt of my visa it will display the “date of issue”. If I travel 3 months after the “date of issue” does it mean that I’m only able to visit India for 3 months?

I would be most grateful if you could clarify this point for me.

Thank you very much.

Hi Daniel, yes the visa starts on the day it’s issued. So if you get a 6 month visa but don’t enter India until 3 months after you got it then it will only have 3 months left on it. You can’t extend visas while in India either and overstaying results in a fine and ban on visiting India again so don’t risk it.

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very helpful…

I am going to Mumbai for 8 days, then goa for 4 days, then back to mumbai for 3…then returning back to the UK.

Do i need to get a multiple entry or a single?

If you are only entering India once (in Mumbai I guess) and not leaving India then you only need a single entry visa

I’ve just been through the whole arduous process of applying for an Indian visa. For your purposes simple apply for an e-visa. It will suffice. It last for 60 days. Good luck with the visa and I hope you have a great time. Daniel

Yes, its quite an undertaking isn’t it just getting the visa. Glad you got your ok and hope you have a good trip to India! 🙂

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Hi Anna, My partner (Uk resident), will be travelling to Australia and then wanted to join me in India for 10 days. Should he get an E-visa for india? He was told by the quantas air that he would have to come back to Uk and travel to india from Uk to go to india. Is that correct? A bit silly I feel

Hi Kay, Yes you can now get an e visa for India from anywhere in the world – no need to go back to your home country to apply. He should be fine applying for an e visa for India from Australia. Hope you have a good trip together 🙂

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Thank you so much for this! I have been scouting the internet for so long for this information

Great! Hope it helps! I know how confusing applying for an Indian visa can be!

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Hi Anna, Thank you for this blog post – I think this should be linked directly from the Indian Govt website! My girlfriend and I are coming to India for a 2 week adventure and I think I understand everything on the eVisa application form – except the bit where it asks for my National ID number. Do you know if that would be my National Insurance number? Or is that an “NA” answer? If you have any advice on that, I’d be really grateful. And thanks again for your great blog!

Hi Tom – thanks, glad it’s useful. No its your national identification number for example your passport number not national insurance. 🙂

[…] for a 6 or 12 month Indian Tourist Visa (here’s my step by step guide to help you) , make that decision, take the leap of faith and book a flight to India – and that’s the […]

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vfs global india tourist visa from uk

  • Visas and immigration
  • What you need to do

How to apply for a visa to come to the UK

Choose a visa.

You may need a visa to come to the UK to study, work, visit or join family.

There are different visas depending on:

  • where you come from
  • why you want to come to the UK
  • how long you want to stay for
  • your personal circumstances and skills

Before you apply, you must check if you need a visa and what type you need. Depending on your nationality, you might not need a visa to visit or transit through the UK.

Your application must be approved before you travel.

You do not need to apply for a visa if you’re an Irish citizen.

If you want to visit the UK

Apply for a Standard Visitor visa to visit the UK for up to 6 months. For example:

  • for a holiday or to see family and friends
  • for a business trip or meeting
  • to do a short course of study

You must apply for a Marriage Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK to get married or register a civil partnership.

If you have a visitor visa you cannot take a job in the UK.

If you’re travelling through the UK

You might need a visa if you’re travelling through the UK on your way to another country, for example if you have a layover between flights.

Apply for a visa to travel through the UK .

If you want to study in the UK

Your course length, type and place of study affect which visa to apply for.

A Standard Visitor visa lets you do a short course of study that lasts no longer than 6 months.

A Short-term study visa lets you come to the UK to study an English language course that is over 6 months and up to 11 months.

A Student visa is usually for a longer course. You must be sponsored by a licensed college or university and have a confirmed place. On this visa, you may be able to do some work.

A Child Student visa is for 4 to 17 year olds who want to study at an independent school. If you’re 16 or over, this visa lets you do some work.

If you want to work in the UK

You can work in the UK on a short or long-term basis with a work visa. There are many types of work visa .

The visa you need depends upon:

  • your skills and qualifications
  • if you have a job offer and sponsorship
  • if you want to bring your family with you
  • what you’ll be doing - for example sporting, charitable or religious work

You can set up a business with an Innovator Founder visa .

If you want to join family in the UK

If you’re a spouse, partner or family member of someone who has British citizenship or settlement in the UK, you can apply for a family visa to join them. They may need to show that they can support you financially.

You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain ( ILR ) after a set amount of time living in the UK.

If your family member is in the UK on a visa

You may be able to apply for a visa to join a family member who’s in the UK on a visa. They must be either:

  • your spouse or partner
  • your parent if you’re 18 or under

Check what visa you’ll need to join them.

Family reunion visas for refugees

If you were separated from your partner or child when you were forced to leave your country, they can apply to join you in the UK.

Your family members can apply if you have been given asylum or 5 years’ humanitarian protection, and not have British citizenship.

If your family member is from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

You can apply for a free EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK if you have a close family member who:

  • was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • has pre-settled or settled status
  • you had a relationship with by 31 December 2020 (unless you’re applying for a child who was born or adopted after this date)

Close family members include your spouse or civil partner, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent.

A family permit lets you live, work and study in the UK for up to 6 months. You can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK after your family permit expires. You usually need to apply within 3 months of arriving in the UK.

Other ways to get permission to live in the UK

If you’re from the eu, switzerland, norway, iceland or liechtenstein.

If you started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme instead of applying for a visa. The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021, but you can still apply if you can show reasonable grounds for the delay in applying.

Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme .

You can only apply from outside the UK if you have a valid passport or national identity card with a biometric chip.

Commonwealth citizens

You can apply for an Ancestry visa to work in the UK if you have a British grandparent and meet other eligibility criteria.

You may have right of abode to live in the UK.

If you’re a Commonwealth citizen and cannot prove your right to be in the UK, read about the Windrush scheme .

Returning residents

You’ll need to apply for a returning resident visa to come back to the UK if one of the following is true:

you had indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme (‘settled status’) and left the UK for more than 5 continuous years (or 4 continuous years if you’re a Swiss citizen or their family member)

you had permanent permission to stay in the UK (‘indefinite leave to remain’) but it was not under the EU Settlement Scheme and you left the UK for more than 2 years

Other visas

There may be another visa that’s right for you based on your circumstances. Check if you need a visa and what other visas you’re eligible for.

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VFS Global simplifies UK visa service in India

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In a new and modernised online visa application journey, Indian customers for UK visas can experience a more modern, digital visa service as a result of improvements developed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), and VFS Global. The intuitive and simplified online visa application system, developed by VFS Global for UKVI, is part of UKVI’s continuing initiatives to transform the visa application journey for customers around the world.

Previously, Indian visa applicants applied for a visa via two separate websites – Gov.UK and VFS Global. As part of the new customer journey, customers can access information about, or opt for, all visa services at the outset of their visa application journey. The new system can be accessed via

Customers now have the option to digitally upload documentation prior to visiting the Visa Application Centre using their smartphone, tablet or other camera/computing device. Customers who opt for the self-upload option can visit the centre with just their passport – meaning less need to carry original documents with them.

A scanning service will still be offered by VFS Global, for a fee of 500 INR, however this will be free to customers for a short period.

  “UKVI and VFS Global’s shared goal is simple – to deliver an efficient, secure visa service that places the customer experience at the heart of our operation.   These latest announcements do just that. By making better use of digital technology we can make the visa application process easier for the customer, giving them the opportunity to upload documents with their smartphone or tablet from the comfort of their home or office. In addition, this move will make us much more efficient and resilient as we prepare for another busy year – so, as Indians travel to the UK for the Cricket World Cup, they can be confident that they won’t get caught out by the visa service,” David Ratcliffe, Regional Director South and South East Asia, UK Visas and Immigration, said.

Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – Middle East, South Asia and China, VFS Global, said, “Customer comfort has always been at the forefront of our efforts, and the new UK visa online application system is a big step in that direction, as it essentially integrates access to convenient visa services in one seamless interface. The United Kingdom is an esteemed   client government that VFS Global has served since 2003 in India, and with their support, we have continuously developed flexible solutions aimed at easing the application journey for customers. We are confident this latest innovation will become a benchmark for visa application systems the world over.”

Over 630,000 people applied for a UK visa from India in the last year. That included over 475,000 visit visas – an increase of 43,000, the largest absolute increase for any country. In addition, almost 19,000 Tier 4 student visas were granted to Indian nationals – a 32 per cent increase on the previous year – along with over 55,000 skilled work visas – more than the rest of the world combined.

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Planning your next international holiday vfs global addresses your biggest visa worries.

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When planning travels, consider visa timeline. Most countries accept applications 90 days before travel. Revised Schengen Visa Code allows applying 6 months before with VFS Global assistance during peak tourist season.

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