Is the visa for India obtained only at the embassy?

Until recently, it was necessary to apply for a visa for India at the embassy. But nowadays, while this procedure is still valid, there is an interesting alternative, the e-visa, which allows you to obtain a visa for travelling to India more quickly and easily. In this article, we will discuss these two procedures, their advantages and disadvantages, and how you should go about it.

Apply for a visa for India at the embassy:

The oldest method of applying for a visa for India is to go to the Indian embassy. If you live close to your country's embassy, this makes it easier as you can travel to the embassy, but if you live far away, you will have to apply remotely.

In all cases and to apply for a tourist visa through the embassy, you will have to provide essential documents and proofs such as:

  • Your passport which must be valid for at least 6 months after submission of your application to the consulate or embassy. If you are applying for a one-year tourist visa, your passport must be valid for at least 5 years.
  • The visa application form, which you can find online on the Ministry's website and which you must complete, print and sign.
  • Two recent passport photos, size 5cm x 5cm, with a white background.
  • A copy of the passport information page containing your identity details.

The required supporting documents must be sent by post to the consulate or embassy which will then process your application. You will have to send these documents by registered mail. But you can also use an intermediary to apply for a visa on your behalf, such as :

  • A travel agency: Some travel agencies offering trips to India can handle the visa application process for you for an additional fee.
  • An online intermediary: Specialised online agencies can also be commissioned by you to carry out this procedure on your behalf.

A visa application for India made at an embassy or consulate will cost you 105 euros for the regular visa. The processing time for your application will be between 7 and 10 days but we recommend that you apply in advance as this can vary depending on the tourist season in India.

 

Apply for a visa for India without going to the embassy with the e-visa:

Since 1 May 2015, it has been possible for certain travellers who reside in one of the member countries of the scheme to take advantage of the simplified procedure for obtaining a visa for India through e-visa, without going to the Indian embassy or consulate.

This procedure, which aims to relieve the embassy offices, especially during the peak tourist season in India, allows these travellers to apply directly online, from a specialised website such as the one we recommend on this site.

All you have to do is fill in a simple online application form and attach the requested documents and proofs electronically, without having to travel or send a letter. This procedure saves you a lot of time in preparing your stay.

The documents to be submitted to obtain this e-visa are the following:

  • A good quality scanned copy of the identity page of your passport. Again, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of application.
  • A good quality scanned copy of your ID photo with a white background.
  • The name of your contact in India, whether it is a hotel, a company or an Indian resident.
  • The name of the airport or port through which you will enter India.

You will then have to pay a processing fee which is much lower than the embassy or consulate fee and is payable by credit card in a secure manner.

Once your application has been registered and validated, it will be processed in a much shorter time than the usual institutions. On average, it takes 48-72 hours to get your e-visa, but it can take up to 4 days.

The visa will then be sent to you by email, which will save you even more time. You will then simply need to print it out and take it with you when you travel to India. Some websites also offer postal delivery if you prefer this method.

The India visa you will receive is a tourist visa that is only valid for certain Indian airports and ports. If you arrive at any other point of entry than these legal points, you should apply for a regular visa at the consulate.

Once issued, your visa for India will be valid for all stays of less than 90 consecutive days. If you wish to stay in the country for more than 90 days, you will need to provide proof of air travel, which will indicate the exact date of return and therefore the duration of your stay. The visa is valid for one year from the date of issue.

While the timeframe for obtaining an e-visa for India is particularly short, it is still advisable to apply in advance to ensure that you get your residence permit in time. Note also that you can apply for other types of India visas online depending on the purpose or duration of your stay, but fees may vary.