How to Get a Visa for India

Three Methods:Applying for a Visa from outside the USApplying for a Visa from the USApplying for an e-Tourist Visa

If you plan to travel to India, then you will need to get a visa first. A visa is legal permission to enter a country for a specific purpose.[1] The precise method for getting the visa will depend on the country where you live. For example, citizens of the United States will use a different website than those in other parts of the world. However, the general way of applying for a visa will not differ substantially regardless of where you live.

Method 1
Applying for a Visa from outside the US

  1. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 1
    Identify the type of visa you need. India grants many different types of visas, depending on your reasons for visiting the country. The following are some of the visas you can get to visit India:[2]
    • Business visa. You should get a business visa if your company has business in Indiana. A business visa is not an employment visa. In fact, many people illegally use a business visa when what they want to do is work in the country. You will need a company’s letter which shows a bona fide reason for going to India.
    • Employment visa. If you have an offer for a job in India, then you can get an employment visa. You will need proof, such as an employment contract.
    • Tourist visa. You can visit India as a tourist and stay for a maximum of six months.
    • Student visa. You can get a student visa if you have been admitted to an Indian educational institution. It will last for the period of your course of study.
  2. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 2
    Make sure your passport is not too old. Your passport should be valid for at least 180 days from the date you plan to enter India. If your passport expires within the next six months, you should renew it before applying for your visa.
    • Also make sure that there are at least two blank pages in the passport book. The passport book should not have been mutilated or changed.[3]
  3. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 3
    Give yourself sufficient time. Upon submission of your application, it will take a minimum of three days to approve the visa application. It could take longer, depending on the circumstances.[4]
    • If you are of Pakistani origin, then processing time could take much longer—up to seven or eight weeks.[5]
    • Each visa is approved individually. If a group of people are applying together (such as a family), then the individual visas might not all be approved on the same day.
  4. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 4
    Visit the appropriate website. You can apply for an India visa by visiting Click on “Regular Visa Application” to apply for your visa.
    • If you intend to visit India as a tourist for fewer than 30 days, then you should apply for an e-Tourist visa, if you are eligible.
  5. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 5
    Enter your information. You will be asked for a variety of information. You should gather this information so that you can sit down and complete the visa application all in one sitting:[6]
    • your nationality
    • your date of birth
    • your expected date of arrival
    • the visa type that you are applying for
    • the name on your passport
    • your passport information (number, place of issue, dates of issue and expiration)
    • your location of birth
    • your religion
  6. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 6
    Upload a digital photo. You will need to upload a photo of yourself to complete the visa application. The photograph must meet particular requirements:[7]
    • JPEG format
    • be a minimum of 10 KB but not larger than 300 KB
    • of equal height and width
    • have no shadows on the face or the background
    • the head should be centered in the middle of the frame, with the full head shown (from top of hair to the bottom of the chin)
  7. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 7
    Select an appointment date. You will have the option of selecting an appointment date with the Indian Mission before submitting the application.[8]
    • You could also choose not to select an appointment date online but instead print off your application and schedule a meeting with the Mission nearest you. In the United Kingdom, for example, there are Missions in London, Edinburgh, and Birmingham.
    • You will select the Mission nearest you on the first screen of the application. After entering your country, a drop-down box will appear with the list of Missions.
  8. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 8
    Pay the fee. The amount you pay will vary, depending on the type of visa you are applying for and how long you intend to stay. The amount will be displayed when you finish your online application.[9]
    • The fee amount is non-refundable, even if the visa is declined or you need to withdraw your application.[10]
  9. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 9
    Print out the application. You will have the option of printing out the application. Be sure to. At a minimum, write down your application identification number.[11]

Method 2
Applying for a Visa from the US

  1. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 10
    Visit the appropriate website. You should visit the Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) website to obtain a visa.[12] The website address is
  2. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 11
    Gather relevant information. You should gather the following information before sitting down to apply for the visa:[13]
    • your passport number, date of issue, and expiration date
    • any previous India visa that you have received
    • details of all countries you have visited in the past six months
    • your current citizenship
    • information about your proposed itinerary, including all cities or places you will visit, in order of your planned visit
    • reference contacts
  3. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 12
    Fill in requested information. At the website, you will answer a series of questions. CKGS requests this information to help you understand if you are eligible for a visa. Also, the information will be auto-filled into the applicable forms.
  4. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 13
    Get your results. At the results page, you will get your results as to whether you qualify for a visa and which kind you should apply for. You should also receive the following information:[14]
    • a documents checklist
    • your fees
    • the processing time
    • a temporary number
    • a sample of how to fill out the Indian government’s form (which you should print)
  5. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 14
    Go to the Government of India’s website. You should be directed to the Indian government’s website, where you will fill out the government’s application. Use the sample provided by CKGS to help you complete the online visa application.[15]
    • Make sure to fill in the correct jurisdiction. The CKGS sample should identify this information for you.
  6. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 15
    Print out the application. Print on white, non-glossy paper using a laser printer.[16] Also note the new web reference number that you will receive. You will use this number to track your application’s status.
  7. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 16
    Affix a photograph. You must include a photograph on your visa form. Your photograph should meet the following specifications:[17]
    • cannot be the same photograph that is in your passport
    • must have been taken within the past six months
    • be two inches by two inches
    • be a color photograph
    • should be an original photograph (and not a scan)
    • should show your entire face, in frontal view, against a white background
    • do not wear hats or other headgear unless you wear them for religious reasons
    • if you wear glasses or a hearing aid, then make sure you are wearing them in the picture
  8. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 17
    Print off supplemental documents. After completing and printing the visa form, you should click on the link that says “Appointment and Payment.” This will return you from the Indian government’s website to the CKGS website.[18]
    • You will have to complete other supplementary forms. Most of the information should be auto-filled. Provide any missing information.
    • Review and print the forms. Some will have to be notarized, so check before you sign them.
    • You should also print a copy of your document checklist.
  9. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 18
    Arrange your application packet. Gather all relevant forms, making sure that they have been properly notarized. You can either hand deliver your application to CKGS or mail it.[19]
    • Make sure the documents are put in the order they are listed on the document checklist.
    • Tick off the boxes on the checklist so that you know you have included everything.
    • If you choose to mail, then print off the mailing label. This will make the mailing process easier.
  10. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 19
    Schedule an appointment. If you choose to hand-deliver your application, then you should schedule an appointment. Continue online to complete the “Appointment Process” section.[20]
    • Pick an appointment date and time slot.
    • Wait for confirmation.
    • Appear for your appointment on the given day.
  11. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 20
    Pay. If you are submitting an application by mail, then you should include a money order, banker’s check, or cashier’s check. If you are hand-delivering the application, then you can pay during your scheduled appointment.
    • Make payment to “Cox & Kings Global Services USA LLC.” Print the name.
    • Personal checks are not accepted. However, you can pay by credit or debit card on the CKGS website.
  12. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 21
    Call with questions. If at any time you need help, then you should call CKGS at 516-206-1483. Someone is available from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Method 3
Applying for an e-Tourist Visa

  1. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 22
    Check if you qualify. If you are traveling to India as a tourist and plan to stay for only 30 days or less, then you could apply for an e-Tourist visa.
  2. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 23
    Give yourself enough time. You must apply at least four days in advance of your arrival in India with a 30 day window. For example, if you apply on March 1, then you can select as your arrival date March 5 to April 4.
  3. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 24
    Get a photograph. You will need to upload of photograph of yourself for your application for an e-Tourist visa. The photographs must meet the following specifications:[21]
    • the photo must be in JPEG format
    • the photograph must be between 10 KB and 1 MB in size
    • the height and width must be equal
    • the photograph should be front view of your full face with your eyes open
    • Center your head within the frame
    • make sure the photograph captures your entire face, from the bottom of your chin up to the top of your hair
    • the photograph should have a white background without borders
    • make sure that no shadows cover the face or background
  4. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 25
    Scan the first page of your passport. Scan the page of your passport that contains your personal identification information. You must upload a scanned copy in PDF format.[22]
    • The minimum size of the file is 10KB and the maximum is 300 KB.
    • For help on scanning, see Scan Documents.
  5. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 26
    Visit the Indian government’s website. You can apply for your e-Tourist visa by visiting and completing the online application. The application will request similar information as a request for a regular visa:
    • your passport type
    • your nationality
    • your port of arrival
    • your date of birth
    • your email address
    • your name
    • your sex
    • your country of birth
    • your education level and religion
    • information about your passport (number, date and place of issue, as well as the dates it is valid)
  6. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 27
    Pay the fee. Your fee will depend on the country you are applying from. It can range from $0 to a maximum of $60.[23]
    • The fee is not refundable.
  7. Image titled Get a Visa for India Step 28
    Contact with questions. If you are confused or need help, you can email with questions. You can also call +91-11-24300666 with questions.[24]


  • You shouldn’t make your travel arrangements until you have your visas in hand.[25] Sometimes problems can arise and you don’t want the hassle of rearranging your travel plans.

Article Info

Categories: India | Official Travel Documentation