India Tourist Travel Visa – Requirements and Costs

The other day I had a client call me up, and boy was he upset. Apparently, he filed for an India tourist visa, and they had requested references prior to approval. So who does he call? His trusty travel agent. We were able to submit the paperwork and get him across the border in time to attend his sister’s wedding.

Here are several important things to consider when you apply for an India tourist visa:

Purchase ahead of time. Try to allot yourself at least one week for any red tape. My client was not anticipating filing references, and this added six days to the waiting period. When you do apply, be prepared to fill out an application, proof of onward travel, and two additional photos. As with any government institution, the rules change quickly, so confirm the details with you embassy beforehand.

Same day service is possible, provided there aren’t any snags to slow the process any. If you have been to India before and everything went smoothly, you can usually get same day service for an additional fee. However, I recommend book ahead of time just in case.

US citizens must pay $73 for an India tourist travel visa; other nationalities can pay as little as $53. It’s important to factor visa expenses into your budget; if you are border hopping a lot on your trip, the costs can get quite high in a short amount of time. Keep in mind that you must pay the consular fee, and a service fee. Think of Ticketmaster, but more bureaucratic. On second thought, don’t…

Speaking of bureaucracy, there is no country in the world more embedded in red tape than India. I cannot stress this point enough: to avoid a never ending onslaught of delays, file all your paperwork for an India tourist travel visa prior to arriving in India. This alone will save you countless headaches.

Travel Visa For China – A Few Things Your Should Know

A Visa is considered among the many requirements that are needed for international travel. Only if an application is made followed by the issuing of a Visa to a said country will a person be allowed to enter the target country. A Visa has different categories meant for the many different purposes of entry. This can be as or even more perplexing compared to that of a passport. As with all other international Visas, a Travel Visa for China has many guidelines that have to be followed when application is made before it can be issued.

Different countries of the world have their own different organizations for the issuance of Visas. In general, the organizations for issuing passport and Visas are the same one in a country. Some of the known different organizations that issue Visas are Ministries of Foreign Affairs, embassies/consulates, Immigration Departments and even police stations in certain countries. These organizations are responsible in the issuance of Visas. Subsequently, these same bodies also have the power to refuse Visa applications or cancel the validity of an issued Visa.

There are many different kinds of Travel Visa for China. These visas include D (Residence Visa), F (Business/Visit Visa), G (Transit Visa), L (Tourist Visa), X (Study/Student Visa), and Z (Work Visa). We will try to provide some brief information about these different types of Visa.

D (Residence Visa) – Among the required documents is the Certificate of residence approval, an actual passport with blank visa pages, and at least a 6-month validity period. Visa Application Form (Q1) is to be filled and attached with 2-inch color/black and white passport photo. A Physical Examination Certificate is also required.

F (Business/Visit Visa) – Similar to the residence visa but differs in the sense that it requires either an invitation letterform China or an original company visa application letter. For those born in China and joined the foreign nationality later on, the Chinese passport is required (original or copy are both accepted). These conditions are for single-entry applications. Multiple-entry visas for business are also available but come under a different set of requirements.

G (Transit Visa) – this is self-explained with a few subjections regarding the nature of transits, which do not require this Visa.

L (Tourist Visa) – Also self-explained. Its requirements (documents) are similar to that of the Residence Visa.

X (Study/Student Visa) – Again self -explained and requiring the same documents as the Residence Visa with the additional JW201 and JW202 forms – The Entrance Notice of Schools in China and Foreign Student Visa Application respectively.

Z (Work Visa) – Visa for those seeking employment. Same as D Class Visa with the additional Work Permit for Aliens or Foreign Expert’s License which is issued by Chinese authorities. Family members of laborers who can prove the relationship with some form of legal papers need not require employment documents.

India Tour And Travel – Visa Requirement

Visa is a mandatory requirement for anyone to enter India, including children. One should ensure its possession before planning to enter India. Tourists from other countries are advised to check current applicable visa fee/visa extension fees with Government of India Tourist Offices or Indian Consular Offices located in their respective countries. The visa must be obtained abroad from an Indian Mission. If planning to visit a neighboring country such as Nepal and then re-entering India, a double/multiple entry visa should be obtained. Tourist visas are issued for one month, six months or five years. Tourist visas can be extended by three months at the foreigner’s registration office in New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, or, with the Superintendent of Police at any District Headquarters. If your stay in the country exceeds 180 days, then tourists are required to get a tax clearance certificate, available at the foreigner’s section of the income tax department in every major city. It is also advisable to keep bank receipts to show that the money has been changed legally. However, the general requirements for visas are:

1. Original passport valid for at least six months

2. Correct visa fee

3. Two recent passport-size photographs (five photographs in case of Pakistani nationals)

4. Supporting documents, where necessary

5. Duly completed application form (Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals need to apply on special application forms)

If your visa formalities have been completed, now you must have a bird eye view of this vast subcontinent so that you should not face any problem while traveling to any parts. India forms a natural subcontinent with the Himalayas to the north. The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, which are sections of the Indian Ocean, lie to the west and east respectively. India’s neighbors are China (Tibet), Bhutan and Nepal to the north, Pakistan to the north-west, and Burma to the north-east. To the east, almost surrounded by India, is Bangladesh. Near India’s southern tip, across the Palk Strait, is Sri Lanka. India has 28 states with constitutionally defined powers of government. The 28 states are: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal. There are also seven Union Territories including the National Capital Territory of Delhi, administered by Lieutenant Governors or Administrators, all of whom are appointed by the President. The Territories of Delhi and Pondicherry also have elected chief ministers and state assemblies. The Territories are: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Pondicherry.

Special permits may be required additionally with the visa to visit certain areas of the country. Certain parts of the country need special permits before they can be visited. Such areas where special permission is required are as under:

Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland

These States/Union Territories have been designated as protected areas and foreigners cannot enter these areas without special permits. These permits are issued by the Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi 110 003 at least 4 weeks before the date of the expected visit.

Sikkim

Certain areas of Sikkim like Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang and Zongri in West Sikkim and Pemayangtse have been excluded from the inner line and declared as restricted areas. After getting permission, individual tourists can visit Gangtok, Rumtek and Phodang, Zongri and Pemayangtse. The duration of stay has been raised from 7 to 15 days. Permits can be issued by all Indian Missions abroad, all Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) and the Foreigners Regional Registration office (FRROS), Immigration Officers at Airports at Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and New Delhi. Manipur has also been opened to foreign tourists; permits can be issued by all Missions abroad, all FRROs, Home Commissioner, Manipur, Imphal. The duration of stay has been raised from 3 to 5 days. Permits are no longer required for Darjeeling, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Individual foreign tourists are required to get the prior permission to Port Blair Municipal Area, Havelock Island, Long Island, Neil Island, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Rangat, where a night halt is allowed and Jolly Buoy, South Cinque, Red Skin, Mount Harriet, Madhuban where only day visits are allowed.

Lakshadweep Islands

Only Bangaram and Subeli Islands are open to foreign tourists. Permits are required, obtainable from the Lakshadweep Administration, Wellington Island, Harbor Road, Kochi – 3.

Collective Visas

The facilities exist for issuing collective visas to group tours of not less than 4 members and sponsored by a government recognized travel agency. Such groups may split into smaller groups to visit different places in India after obtaining a collective “license to travel” from Indian immigration authorities. They must reassemble and depart as the original group.

Visa Relaxations

Visa relaxations have been given to the nationals of the countries like Nepal and Bhutan. One can obtain the details from the respective Indian Embassy.

Visa for Trekking and Mountaineering Expeditions

When the proposed tour itinerary includes taking people to the height of more than 6000 metres, visa is granted after ‘No Objection’ of the Indian Mountaineering Federation. When the itinerary proposes visit to the areas below 6000 metres, it is mandatory to forward with the visa application an itinerary which indicates days and places to be visited along with their height.

Points to Remember

1. Granting of visa does not mean that one is armed with the right to enter India. One’s entry is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Authorities.

2. The documents can be verified whenever the need arises.

3. Some cases might need clearance from the government level.

4. Time taken for issuing visa differs for every application.

5. Persons who desire to visit restricted/protected areas need special permits.

6. If one plans to visit a neighboring country and then re-enter India, a double/multiple entry visa should be obtained.

Types of Visa

Indian Government issues various types of visa, suitable for different purposes of travel. Given below are some of the different types of Indian visas.

Tourist Visa: This visa is issued when you are coming to India on a holiday to explore the country.

Business Visa: For a business related trip, you need to apply for the business visa.

Student Visa: This visa is issued exclusively for study purpose in India.

Transit Visa: It is meant for transit passengers only, to enable them to travel through India to reach the ultimate destination.

Missionaries Visa: This visa is for people coming to India to act as missionaries.

Employment Visa: This visa is meant for skilled professionals or those people who have been appointed by Indian companies, organizations, firms, etc.

Journalist Visa: Professional journalists and photographers visiting India should apply for the Journalist visa.

Conference Visa: This visa is issued for attending conferences/seminars/meetings in India.

Research Visa: This visa is issued by the Government of India for research purposes.

Entry Visa: It is given only to persons of Indian origin or the family members of a person employed in India.

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