As much as we would like to travel freely across the globe without the need for governments authorizing our visits, it’s not the case. Most of us still require permission to enter another country, and this seems as it will be around for a while. This “permission” granted by the host country is what we call a visa.
It is issued for a specified duration of time, and there are different types of visas for various purposes. They determine your ability to travel and everything related to it. Visas are the first thought in a traveler’s mind, and you must know how to get them made. So let’s dive into the various ways to apply for visa.
Various Ways To Apply For Visa
Identify Visa Type
The first action towards proceeding with your visa application should be determining which visa is the perfect fit for your needs. There are visas for every need and so, picking out the right one is a decision that should get your attention. There are broadly the following kinds of visas that India grants:
- Single Entry Visa
- Multiple Entry Visa
- Visa on Arrival
- Residence Visa
- Work Visa
- Tourist Visa
- Business Visa
- Short Stay Visa
- Long Stay Visa, etc.
These standard categories of visas have subtypes too, which are more purpose-specific, like a Medical Visa, Working Holiday Visa, Transit Visa, etc.
Types of Visas by Application Process
Visas can now be applied in offline and online mode after the Indian government launched the e-visa in 2014. This makes your life a lot more straightforward as the hassle of a regular visa and visits to the embassy or visa application center are not your point of concern. The only drawback to an e-visa is that they are valid for a shorter duration than traditional visas.
The electronic or e-visa online system was introduced in 2014 by the Government of India. This was done to eliminate the excessive paperwork and multiple embassy visits usually associated with visas. The application process is entirely online. An electronic copy of your visa is issued via email in advance. This means you will have access to the digital copy of your e-visa before you arrive in India. It has five subcategories:
- e-Tourist Visa
- e-Business Visa
- e-Medical Visa
- e-Medical Attendant Visa
- e-Conference Visa
The payment operation is also carried out online.
- Regular/Paper Visa
This way to apply for a visa mandates a trip to the embassy/consulate/visa application center in their jurisdiction. Permission is granted in person, and a physical copy of your visa is issued. This also means that the required documents have to be couriered or dropped off at the embassy in their jurisdiction. This is the most conventionally popular among the various ways to apply for visa.
The following details will have to be correctly identified for you to obtain your visa:
- Applicant’s Name
- Date of Birth
- A Scan of Your Passport
- Passport Number
- Dates of Travel/Itinerary in India
- Your Point of Contact in India
- Any Other Documents Specified by Your Visa Category
Points To Consider
Although the various ways to apply for visa differ depending on the type of visa you are applying for, the essential checklist remains more or less the same. There are some points you must consider before applying for a visa. Before embarking on your travel, make sure you need a visa. You can figure this out based on the visa requirements of the country you are coming from.
At the time of applying for your visa, your passport must have a minimum validity of six months. Ensure your application is correctly filled; take help from professional visa experts if needed. Another thing that would be a wise thing to do is keep copies of all documents you submit to the embassy/online.
Tracking Your Application
Owing to the digital age, tracking your visa application has become easier than ever! You just have to visit the official government visa website and punch in the following information:
- Application ID
- Passport Number
Third-party websites also have portals where you can check and track the status of your visa application.
When To Apply?
To be safe, always do your research a month ahead of your scheduled date of travel. This will give you ample margin time to plan, apply and rectify errors, if any, before your journey. If you’re new to traveling, check the specifics like visa requirements, immigration, passport validity, etc., well in advance. With access to the internet, this wouldn’t take much of your time.
Now that we have discussed the rules of thumb concerning various ways to apply for visa, it is time for you to start planning! Keep all your documents ready, plan in advance, book your tickets, arrange for the stay, and most importantly, enjoy the entire process! Best of luck!