Enjoying a vacation in India, travelling through the length and breadth of the great country is a privilege in itself. But by reading the opening line of this blog post if you think it is about holidaying in India then you’re mistaken.
Rather we’ll discuss about how to get an Indian visa in this space. A large number of UK citizens visit India every year. They go there for an array of purposes including business, study, research, sight-seeing and tourism. If you too are one of them, then you should better go through this blog post to improve your insight about how to get your Indian visas granted from the UK.
First thing first
UK citizens must possess valid visas to travel to India. Citizens of only Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives do not need visas to travel to India. India grants visas based on certain factors including the purpose of your visit. Here’s a word of caution! You must choose your visa carefully; an inappropriate visa is likely to deny your entry to India.
Can UK citizens get visa on arrival in India
Since 2015 India has scrapped the “visa on arrival” facility. Now it is must for British citizens to have valid visas before entering the country. We expect you to emphasise on this point to ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience during your days in the country.
Choosing the visa to India
India visas can broadly be categorised into two groups, namely:
Regular visa or sticker visa: It is stuck on your passport. In order to get this visa, you have to visit the nearest Indian embassy with an appointment scheduled in advance. Once you attend the visa interview and complete the rest of the formalities, the sticker visa will be stuck in your passport. This visa is valid for 10 years. A regular visa suits diplomats, professionals seeking employment in India, journalists, missionaries, tourists, students, researchers, interns and patients looking forward to treatment in India.
e-Visa: This is an online visa granted to tourists, patients seeking short duration treatment and people, who want to conduct business in India.
Documents to accompany your visa application
When UK citizens apply for e-tourist visas to India, they need to submit only two documents:
- A scanned copy of the first and last pages of your passport (in PDF format)
- A softcopy of passport size photograph with white background (in JPEG format)
- Here are some more specifications on photograph, which you must follow:
- Image size: Minimum 10 KB and maximum 300 KB
- Minimum height and width of the photo must be 350 pixels × 350 pixels
- Maximum height and width of the photo must be 1,000 pixels × 1,000 pixels
When you select Visa genie as your visa agent, you don’t need to worry about the picture guidelines. You just send them a suitable photograph and they will carefully edit it to meet specified criteria.
As a UK citizen, if your purpose for visiting India is only tourism and stay duration is up to 60 days, then it’s best to apply for an e-tourist visa. It is better to apply for e-tourist visas at least 4 days before the scheduled date of journey from home.
Cost for visa to India
A e-Tourist visa to India costs £54 for UK citizens. Your bank will charge you an addition 2.5% of that amount as its service charge. When you hire renowned visa agents in London like Visa genie, they’ll charge you a nominal amount in addition to the charges already mentioned as their service fee.
Windows to apply for your e-tourist visa to India
There are two different windows to apply for your India e-tourist visa:
You apply through a reliable agency that processes India visas
Apply through the Indian government website – But it is recommended to scrap this option as the procedure proves to be pretty tedious and time-consuming. Moreover, there are lots of issues with the official government website and the payment portal.
While applying for India e-tourist visa, you must keep the following information handy:
Passport information of both your parents
Passport information of your spouse
Your selected port of entry to India
In case you don’t hire a visa agent, you have to be very careful while uploading your picture. Even a negligible deviation from the specifications mentioned above may get your visa application rejected. The Indian authorities are very particular and strict about it.
You’re not entitled to get your visa fees to India refunded in case your application is rejected. Even the visa processing fee you submitted will not be given back. Keep all these facts in mind while applying for your India visa yourself.