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VISA to India

Frequently Asked Questions
*Please click on questions title to read the answer
Q.1 Do I need a visa to go to India?
Ans Yes, all foreigners except for nationals of Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, need a visa to enter India. With regard to Maldives' nationals, a visa is required if intended stay in India would be longer than 90 days. Nationals of Nepal would need a visa should they enter India via China.
Q.2 Can I get a visa to enter India on arrival?
Ans A Tourist Visa on arrival will only be issued to Nationals of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore. This will be a single entry visa valid for 30 days and available only at Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai Airport for a fee of USD 60.00 per passenger. This option is only in case of emergencies and when the person was unable to obtain a visa in the home country/country of Residence.

All other Nationals, except those specified, would need to obtain their Indian Visa prior to taking a flight to India. Please view the latest updates in Tourist Visa regulations on our website
Q.3 I wish to visit India for Tourism/to attend a friend's marriage/to meet my friends/family. Which visa should I apply for?
Ans You should apply for a Tourist Visa valid for a maximum stay of six months. Please note: Tourist Visa is non-extendable, non-convertible or non-transferable. All US and UK Passport holders are permitted a maximum stay of 180 days at a stretch whereas all other Long term Indian Tourist Visa holders are permitted a maximum stay of 90 days at a stretch. Any multiple entries’ requests need to taken up with the High Commission/Consulate Generals directly, after the issuance of the Visa.

Applicants also need to have gap of 1 month after the expiry of the previous Indian Tourist Visa before applying for their next Indian Tourist Visa. Any applications made before observing these time gap/s will need clearance from the Ministry in India and may not be accepted or subjected to extended processing timelines.

Please view the latest updates in Tourist Visa checklist on our website.
Q.4 I am an Australian national and I go to India for One or Two months every year for Tourism. Which visa should I apply for?
Ans You should apply for a Tourist visa. Australian Nationals/Passport Holders can only apply for a 6 month Tourist visas. This visa is non-extendable, non-convertible or non-transferable.
Q.5 I am a frequent traveller to India for Business meetings/to explore opportunities for partnerships with Indian companies. Which visa should I apply for?
Ans You may apply for a Business Visa valid for either Six months or One year, permitting multiple entries, along with requisite documentation as per the Business Visa checklist..5 year business visas can be issued to CEOs, entrepreneurs and businessmen who have Joint Venture/MOU or similar long-term business commitments in India requiring frequent visits over extended periods.

Please note that a Business Visa does not permit you to work in India. Should you wish/need to work in India, you should apply for an Employment Visa.

In accordance with the new regulations from the Government of India, you need to be an Australian Passport holder or be legally residing in Australia for 2 years prior to your date of making a Business Visa Application to be eligible to apply for a Business Visa in Australia.
Q.6 I would be changing flights/airports in India in order to travel to my final destination (say Nepal, Thailand etc.) Do I need a visa to change flights/airport terminals?
Ans You need to apply for a Transit Visa if you are going to change from the International Terminal to the Domestic Terminal of any Indian Airport or if you are going to stay in an airport hotel even for a few hours.

In case you remain within limits of the waiting area reserved for International Transit Passengers of the Indian Airport and are not going to cross Immigration Controls at any time, you do not need a transit visa. Please note: the maximum period of stay in India permitted for a Transit Visa is 72 hours for each entry and is issue only when Transit/Travel is by Air. The Transit Visa is valid for 15 days only.
Q.7 I have to participate in a Conference/Seminar/Workshop in India. Which visa should I apply for?
Ans You should apply for a Conference Visa to enable you to participate in the Conference/Seminar/ Workshop along with invitation letter, details of the Conference, etc as documents of support. In case, conference is organized by Non Government Organisation, then you are required to have a clearance letter from the Nodal or Line Ministry of Govt. Of India.
Q.8 I have to go for Internship/Training in a University/institute/Company in India for a short period. Which visa should I apply for?
Ans You may apply for an Entry Visa or Student Visa, depending on the nature of your Letter of Invitation from the Indian Organisation/Company. You may also be required to submit a copy of Inter-University Student Exchange Agreement if the proposed internship is a component of such agreement.
Q.9 I will be going to India for Work/Employment. My family will also accompany me during my stay in India. Which visa should I apply for? Would my children be able to study in India?
Ans You must apply for an Employment Visa along with requisite documentation as per the relevant Employment Visa checklist. Once your Employment Visa application is approved, your wife and children may apply for Entry Visas in case they are accompanying you during your stay in India. Employment Visas are issued for a maximum of 12 months only from Australia.

Your children would be able to secure admission in schools/college in India once they have been granted Entry Visas. Please note: it is mandatory to undergo Registration formalities at the nearest Office of the FRRO/FRO within 14 days of your arrival in India if you are going to stay in India for a period longer than 180 days.

In accordance with the newer regulations from the Government of India, you need to be an Australian Passport holder or be legally residing in Australia for 2 years prior to your date of making a Employment Visa Application to be eligible to apply for an Employment Visa in Australia.
Q.10 What is a Gratis Visa?
Ans Gratis visa is a Visa issued without any Consular Fees. Applicants qualifying for a Gratis Visa needs to have a written letter from competent Indian Authority regarding the Visa fee waiver. All the VFS charges will still be applicable in this case.
Q.11 Are there any special requirements for Czech Republic Nationals?
Ans The validity of a Czech Republic National Passport must be of a minimum of 1 year at the time of applying for the visa. The Applicant should be a PR Holders in Australia and should also need to have a Medical Cover for the duration of his/her visit in India.
Q.12 I hold a Hong Kong/Taiwan Passport; are there any special requirements for me?
Ans Nationals from Hong Kong and Taiwan are considered as a part of the People’s Republic of China. Nationals would need to complete Form D and pay A$ 15.00 as Referral charges in additional to their applicable fees. Processing Timelines will be in accordance with those applicable to Chinese Nationals.
Q.13 I will be going for studying in India for one semester/trimester in an IIT/IIM/IISc./Indian University. Which visa should I apply for?
Ans You should apply for a Student Visa along with a copy of the Letter from the Institute/University confirming your acceptance as a Student.
Q.14 I wish to visit certain areas in India like Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland etc. Can I obtain a visa to visit these areas?
Ans A Tourist visa is not sufficient to visit these areas because these regions in India are Restricted/Protected Areas for which it is necessary to obtain a Restricted/ Protected Area Permit (RAP/PAP). This permit can be obtained in India either from the Ministry of Home Affairs or FRRO concerned after entering India with a Tourist Visa. The website to visit them is http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/Address_Links.htm. You can visit certain open areas in Sikkim for a maximum period of 15 days in case you request a 'special endorsement for Sikkim' at the time of applying for your Tourist Visa.

There is an additional Form that needs to be completed for the same. This Permit is issued without any additional fees. However, you need to be a part of a group of 4 people with confirmed travel plans with a recognised Tour Operator when applying for this Permission from outside India. Please confirm the application procedure practiced at the High Commission/Consulate General that you plan to apply at before submitting your application.
Q.15 I have to travel to India immediate as my family member is unwell. How can my application be processed fast?
Ans Emergency or Urgent applications for Visas are viewed by the High Commission /Consulate Generals of India on a case to case basis. These are normally issued on the same day in cases of death of an immediate family member or for urgent medical reasons. Applicants must submit their applications with complete supporting documentation and fees (see fee list specific to visa type) to justify the urgency for the visa to be granted on the same day. You will need to request for the same at the Centre before 01: 00 pm or 02:00pm depending on where you are located in Australia.

Please view the Emergency/Urgent Section of our website for more information.
Q.16 Do I need a visa for my pet who is accompanying me on my visit to India?
Ans Visa is not required for taking a pet to India but certain customs and vaccination-related regulations have to be complied with. Please consult your Airline/Travel Agent for details of these regulations and necessary documentation to facilitate the visit.
Q.17 Will I be allowed to carry liquor to India?
Ans Please check with your Airline/Travel Agency/Ministry of Home Affairs website for restrictions on the amount of alcohol you are eligible to carry as this does not come under the purview of the Visa Issuance Authority.

A Liquor Permit may be obtained to permit Foreign Nationals to buy, posses, carry and consume liquor while touring parts of India where prohibition is in force provided the rules of the State/Union Territory allow the use of this permit. There is an additional form that needs to be completed for the same and this permit is issued without any additional fees. You can apply for the Liquor permit along with your visa application. In case, you have already obtained a visa, you may need to get in touch with High Commission and consulate concerned directly to obtain the same.
Q.18 Can I study in India?
Ans Yes. You can study in India after obtaining a Student Visa.
Q.19 Can I work in India?
Ans Yes. You can work in India after obtaining an Employment Visa.
Q.20 Do I have to submit my passport and visa application with the India Passport & Visa Services Centre only?
Yes, However Diplomats and Officials of Foreign Diplomatic Mission travelling on Official tour must submit their visa application directly to the High Commission or Consulate Generals of India.
Q.21 Can I enter my pet-name for my Online Visa Application? Do I have to enter all sections?
Ans Enter the information requested into the appropriate spaces on the form. Please answer all questions accurately as the details entered will be reflected on your visa. All answers must be in English and must use English characters. Letters like ñ, é, ü, ç are not recognized by the system. Please enter names like Muñoz and Sémonin as Munoz and Semonin.

The Online Visa Application system does not accept any special characters at all.
Please replace any “-, #, /, etc” with a space, except for telephone numbers which need to be continuously entered, when completing the online application. This is in keeping with the requirements of the Government of India. All sections which need to be completed will be marked as mandatory. The system will not save your application if these sections are left unanswered.
Q.22 How can I submit my Visa Application?
Ans You can submit your application in-person or you can post/courier the same to us at the centre within the Jurisdiction of your state. A family member/friend/travel agent may also make this submission on your behalf. You must complete your application form and sign the form as you have signed in your Passport/Travel Document before you submit/post it to us. All supporting documents, in accordance with the checklist for your chosen Visa Category, as well as your applicable fees must be available at the time of submission/enclosed in your postal package.

Please allow for an additional week or more, depending on the area you post your application from, in the processing time for application sent by Post as these applications are dependent on Postal delivery timelines and the state of completion of the application.
Q.23 Do all the applicants need to be present at the time of submitting an application?
Ans No, you can submit the application of your family member / friend / colleague if you have all the requisite documents and the form/s & checklists have been signed by the applicants. It is recommended that you Post/Courier your application as this will save travel and queuing time for you.
Q.24 How do I pay for the Fees and service charges?
Ans Fees and Services charges can be paid by Bank Cheque/ Demand Draft/ Money Order/Postal Order Favouring VFS Services Australia Pty Ltd or by Cash, Credit Card and Debit Card only if the application is submitted in person at the Application centre. Surcharge is applicable for Credit and Debit Card payments.

If you post the application to us, payments are accepted only through Bankers Cheque/ Demand Draft/ Money Order/Postal Order Favouring VFS Services Australia Pty Ltd.
Q.25 My application and passport have been submitted and it has been a while. How can I enquire about the status of my application?
Ans You can trace your application online by visiting our website www.vfs-in-au.net You can also call our helpline on 1900 969 969 on all business days between 0900 am to 03:30 pm (premium service) all working days or emailing us on visainfo.inau@vfshelpline.com
Q.26 How do I know when my application is ready for collection from the India Passport & Visa Services Centre?

You can check the status of your application online by visiting our website www.vfs-in-au.net You can also call our helpline on 1900 969 969 on all business days between 0900 am to 03:30 pm (premium service) all working days or emailing us onvisainfo.inau@vfshelpline.com

Q.27 Can I collect my application from the High Commission / Consulate General of India, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne?
Ans No. The Application has to be collected from the place where the application was made. If you are unable to come collect your processed application, you can authorize someone to collect the same on your behalf as long as they have the Invoice-cum-receipt issued by us, an authority letter signed by you and photo-id of themselves with them. We can also return the same via courier or post for you. Additional Fees for the same are applicable.
Q.28 Do all the applicants need to be present at the time of collection an application?
Ans No, you can collect the application of your family member / friend / colleague as long as you have the Invoice-cum-receipt issued by us, a letter of authority from them and carry your own personal identification proof.
Q.29 I applied for a visa for India but I have changed my mind about going to India. Can I claim a refund of my fees?
Ans Should you cancel your application after completing it online but before it is submitted to us for processing; only your Fees will be refunded. Please allow 7 working days after cancellation of your application for your refund to be processed.

Should you change your mind about travel after your application has been processed, no fees will be refunded.
Q.30 Will the Visa fees be refunded?
All Fees, once the application is received / processed, are non-refundable, even if the application is withdrawn or service denied.
Q.31 If I have opted for a Postal/Courier return but have changed my mind, can I collect my processed application in-person and have a refund of my Postal/Courier fees?
Ans No. The India Passport & Visa Services Centre cannot change postal/couriers address or hold back applications from delivery. Fees paid for the Postal/Courier return will not be refunded.
Q.32 Is there anyway in which I can fast track my visa after I have applied; I’m getting a cheaper airfare if I travel earlier?
Ans Emergencies or Urgent Visa applications are only processed after they are approved by the High Commission or Consulate Generals. Such needs to be supported with adequate documentation. Applications which are processed as normal cannot be changed to Emergency/Urgent applications unless in a Medical or Death situation.

It is strongly recommended that applicants do not make any confirmed travel arrangements until they receive their Visas. Any loss occurring due to confirmed travel plans being made prior to receiving your Visa, under any circumstances, will not be reimbursed. Please refer to the average processing timelines on our website prior to submitting your Visa Applications for processing. Our personnel in the office or at the Contact Centre cannot promise you an earlier issuance at any time.
Q.33 I am traveling in 2 months time but may not be able to apply then. Can the High Commission/Consulate General date my visa for later?
Ans The High Commission and Consulate Generals of India do not issue visas based on travel dates. Visa is valid from the day it is stamped on your passport and it’s the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that your travel arrangements are made in accordance with the Visa validity.
Q.34 I have noticed that my name is mis-spelt; what should I do?
Ans Applicants are requested to confirm their particulars on the Invoice-cum-receipt at the time of submitting their visa applications and on receipt of their Visa to ensure that there are no errors in printing.

If the particulars are incorrect, this needs to be informed to one of our team members immediately to ensure timely rectification of the same.

If you have received these by Postal/ Courier delivery at home, you can post the passport to our office for amendment/clarification along with a covering letter and we will send the same back to your provided address.
Q.35 What is this visa category: Medical Visa?
Ans Applicants wishing to visit India for medical treatment should apply for Medical Visa (MV). Medical Visa is issued on the basis preliminary medical advice from the country of origin/residence and where applicant has been advised to go for specialized treatment. Person accompanying the patient would be issued Medical Attendant Visa (MX).

Medical Visa would generally be issued up to 1 year or the period of treatment whichever is less. All applicants visiting India on medical visa are required to get registered within 14 days of arrival with concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO).

Please view the Medical Visa Checklist on our website for more information on the supporting documents required.


Step 1
Confirm the visa type based on your reason for travel; do not make any confirmed bookings. Check processing times to plan your travel accordingly.

Step 2
Complete the application form, download & print the application forms and checklist for the selected visa type. Sign form/s and checklist at all indicated places. Incomplete applications cannot be accepted and will be returned.

Step 3
Check fees payable and payment options.

Step 4
Ensure photos are strictly as per specifications. Photo Booth Services are available at Visa Application Centres.

Step 5
Submit your application based on jurisdiction by Express Post/Courier in person or through a Travel Agent (where you reside determines where you need to submit your application)

Step 6
Track your application online. Your completed application will be returned to you by the mode of delivery selected by you once processed. Allow for 1-3 days transit time for courier return . Transit times differ by location and do not take into account any public holidays.