India is a country of many adventures waiting for you to discover them. It’s a country full of vibrancy, rich in cultural heritage, and a tourist magnet if you please! And, if travel to India is on your mind, so will a visa be. The visa documentation process and various stages in visa approval are always matters of concern for travelers who just want to get over with it and get on the plane!
Acquiring an Indian visa and the procedures associated with it may seem daunting, but all you need is the proper guidance. Whether you are visiting for leisure, medical, business, study, or something else, all information regarding the type of visa you should opt for or the documents you would need is available on the official government website https://indianvisaonline.gov.in.
Stages in Visa Approval, Documentation Process
India’s application process involves multiple stages in visa approval, a comprehensive documentation process, and strict eligibility criteria. The Indian government lays down specific requirements which you must observe. Let us go through everything once to make sure you don’t have a single thing to fret over once you start your visa journey.
Steps to Apply for The Visa
The first step to begin applying for a visa is to ensure whether you actually need a visa or not. If you are a citizen of over 161 countries listed on the official Indian visa website, you can apply for a visa.
When two countries agree upon it, they will allow travel without the need for a visa or issue a visa on arrival. Nepal and Bhutan are two countries whose citizens don’t need a visa to visit India. If this is the case, you have nothing to worry about.
If you are of Pakistani origin or possess a Pakistani passport, you cannot apply for an e-visa and apply for a regular one at the Indian mission. This brings us to step two, which is finding the Indian embassy/consulate/mission or a visa application center in your jurisdiction.
Step three is ensuring you have gathered all required documents and they are latest and accurate. The passport you apply using must have remaining validity of at least six months. You are also required to possess a return or onward journey ticket along with proof of money to sustain you throughout your visit. You must also indicate the purpose of your visit.
The applicant must meet the eligibility criteria to get an Indian visa. These are non-negotiable stages in visa approval so pay careful attention to these. Firstly, you must hold a passport with a six-month validity and one blank page for the visa at the application time. You must cross-check the eligibility for the type of visa you apply for on the official website too.
Then, one recent color frontal photograph of the applicant with a white background is also necessary and must be included in the application. Proof of residence like your National ID or Utility Bill (electricity, water, telephone, etc.) comes next. Additionally, you should also be able to prove your financial soundness for the trip.
The following documents and others, if specified, have to be produced at the time of visa application:
- Applicant’s Name
- Passport Number
- Applicant’s Passport Size Photograph
- Dates of Travel/Itinerary in India
- Your Contact in India
- Any Other Documents Specified by Your Visa Category
The most crucial stage is, of course, obtaining a visa. It is all you’ve hoped for after all! If you make an application in person for a regular/traditional visa, then you’ll know if your visa has been approved when the embassy intimates you that it is available for pickup. Processing time differs from the category of visa you applied for and the fees you paid.
If you opted for an e-visa, you would receive an email on the registered mail ID. It will be a digital copy of your e-visa, and no physical signatures will be required at the airport on your arrival. You can track your visa application status on indianvisaonline.gov.in, where you will be asked to put in your application ID and passport number.
Points To Consider
Even when you think everything is for you to proceed with the stages in visa approval, there are a few things you must cross-check. Before beginning your travel, make sure whether you need a visa or not. You can check this depending on the visa category and the country you are coming from.
When applying for your visa, your passport should be valid for a minimum of six months. Check your application multiple times for any faults, ensure it is correct; take guidance from professional visa experts if needed. Another wise thing to do would be to keep a copy of the documentation process carried out with the embassy/online.