India Visa on arrival coming soon

Humayun's Tomb in Delhi India

Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. Photo Credit: santoshnc via Compfight cc

Starting later this year, tourists can get instant Visa at several airports in India

Going through the hassle of obtaining a tourist Visa from an Indian consulate has actually prevented some travellers from visiting India. I know this for a fact, as many have told me so. So it will be good news for them, and for the travel and tourism sector, when Visa on arrival becomes a reality later this year, possibly September or October 2014. The facility will be available to tourists and visitors from 180 countries arriving in India at these airports: Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

Tourists will apply online and within a few days will be informed about their Visas on arrival at any of the international airports in India listed above. Visa reforms could also include conference attendees, as well as tourists, and more airports may be added to the list, such as Goa and Amritsar.

Last October, the Visa on arrival facility was extended to travellers from about 40 countries at the following international airports: Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

Be honest when applying

Recently, one of my readers asked about what kind of Visa to get for yoga study in India, and other travel writers and bloggers have asked me if they need a journalism Visa. So yesterday, I interviewed the Consul General of India in Toronto and his advice was to be truthful. He said that if you are honest, they will try and do everything they can to make sure you get the right Visa. This is important because I actually know of some people who were asked to leave India because they were studying yoga on a tourist Visa.

  • If you are attending a recognized educational institution in India, you need an education Visa.
  • If you are writing professional travel stories about India or taking photographs for publication, you need a journalist Visa.
  • If you are volunteering, you need a volunteer Visa.
  • Other types of Visas include business, conference, medical, transit, and research.

The most difficult part about applying for an India Visa is getting all the details right. If you make a mistake, you could be denied. Currently, you have to apply online, print the form and bring it to your local consulate. For detailed instructions, please visit this page (USA) or this one (USA, Canada, UK). To apply from Canada, you need to visit the BLS Services page.

In 2012, India received 6.58 million foreign tourists, up 4.3 per cent over the previous year.

Photo Credit: santoshnc via Compfight cc

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7 Responses to India Visa on arrival coming soon

  1. Prasad Np February 9, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    While this seems to be a step in right direction but it still seems a lot of paper work, I mean a blogger needing Journalistic Visa ? No say you are coming to India, you join yoga classes and then decide to upload pictures and post about it on your blog ? A lot of people may do volunteer work also during their yoga training at the center…

    Our government needs to make this all very simple. …. to encourage more people to come. But I appreciate and thank you for writing about it and help people to apply as per the current norms…
    Prasad Np recently posted..Eco Volunteer Training at Kulgi Nature CampMy Profile

  2. Thomas 4rm Kochi February 10, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    Thank you for sharing this very useful information. Your experience from the tourist side is an eye opener for me.

  3. Joseph Kiely February 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

    This is wonderful news, getting my first Visa to India was a headache – this will make it so much easier. I resorted to paying a firm to manage the process since the closest India consulate was not near where I was living at the the time. I created extra cost and planning. I hope this works well – things in India are notoriously late on arrival.
    Joseph Kiely recently posted..7 Sites And Only One Day In BeijingMy Profile

  4. Caroline February 16, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Excellent news … being able to fly in and just pay a fee will be better than going through reams of paperwork!
    Caroline recently posted..My Time In PatagoniaMy Profile

  5. anisha goel March 19, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    Thanks a ton for sharing such an informative post..a couple of my ex-college buddies from USA are trying to apply for tourist visa but to no avail due to official issues..I make sure I’ll forward info like these to them..choice of pic is great! keep posting!X~

  6. David @ That Gay Backpacker March 22, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    Great news! The visa system can be a headache and I am happy that my entry in the future would seem to be easier. And I can’t wait to return – I think about it all the time.
    David @ That Gay Backpacker recently posted..Photos: Market Day in Zaachila, OaxacaMy Profile

  7. Jeanette November 3, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Hello! I wonder if this process is in place now? Do you have any update on the visa process?
    Jeanette recently posted..Sun, Sea & Spa Escape in the South of Italy: La Chiusa di Chietri Hotel ReviewMy Profile

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