Numerous types of visas are introduced by the government of India to fit foreign visitors to India traveling for different purposes in different categories. Foreign nationals seeking medical solutions apply for a medical visa, students seeking education in India opt for a student visa, or anyone intending to enter India with business applies for a business visa. Likewise, foreign nationals willing to explore Indian culture, history, tradition, and natural beauty, are required to apply for a tourist visa. A tourist visa is granted for recreation, sight-seeing, and meetings with friends and relative.
There are two types of tourist visa as introduced by the government of India- regular tourist visa and e-tourist visa. Both types differ in their validity and eligibility. Regular Indian tourist visa can be applied through the online visa portal by selecting the ‘Regular Visa Application’ option. The regular tourist visa is valid for six months to five or ten years with multiple entries, unlike Indian tourist evisa which is valid for not more than sixty days with a double entry in a year. The holders of Indian tourist visa are not privileged with extension facility nor can it be converted into other visas.
The process to apply for Indian tourist visa begins by filling the application form and submitting the necessary documents. The documents required are the original passport, one passport size photo, copies of flight ticket, and proof of residential options. The passport must be valid for at least six months and have two blank pages to be stamped by the immigration officer. As proof of residential options, the applicant can submit proof of ownership or relative’s residence or hotel booking details. All these documents are thereafter submitted to the visa processing agencies. It must be noted that copies of the documents need to be submitted except the passport which is required to be submitted in the original form to get visa stamp on it. The stamped passport is sent back to the applicant on the address mentioned in the passport.
The duration of visa processing differs from country to country extending from a minimum of fifteen working days to two months. It must be noted that while calculating the working days weekends and government holidays are not included. The validity of an Indian tourist visa begins from the date of issuance. The government of India charges a fee for providing visa service which is the addition of the cost of visa and processing fees.
Once the Indian tourist visa is approved, the applicant is now allowed to enter into the Indian territory and explore Indian tourism. However, tourists especially foreign travelers are prohibited from entering certain areas of questionable security. These areas include Arunachal Pradesh, northern parts of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and border areas of Rajasthan, Jammu, and Kashmir. Entry to these protected areas calls for the possession of Protected Area Permit (PAP) that can be applied while on the tour but before entering the protected region.
The final words state that the regular Indian tourist visa holders applying for the tourist visa frequently like within one month of the expiry of the previous visa, captivate the attention of the Indian consulate or embassy to scrutinize the application or to refer the case to the ministry of home affairs for clearance of the request.
Author’s Bio: The author states the procedure to obtain a regular Indian tourist visa.