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Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials: Visa and Passport

Summary of Requirements


  • Required for all travelers


  • Required for most travelers, including citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States
  • Not required for citizens of Nepal and Bhutan
  • Not required for citizens of Maldives for short stays
  • Not required for holders of PIO or OCI cards; see Visa-Exempt below

Return Ticket

  • Not required

Additional Restrictions

  • The visa process for citizens of some countries has been outsourced; see Visa Application Process below


Foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid national passport or any other internationally recognized travel document establishing his/her nationality and identity and bearing a photograph of the holder.

The only exception is for nationals of Nepal and Bhutan, if entering India by land or air across their country’s border. They are not required to provide a passport, but are required to possess authorized identity proof. If nationals of Nepal and Bhutan are entering India from a place other than their own country, a passport is required.


A visa is required for citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Citizens of New Zealand may obtain a visa on arrival.


Visas are not required for nationals of Nepal and Bhutan. However, citizens of Nepal must have a visa when entering India from China.

Visas are not required for nationals of Maldives if the visit is for tourism purposes and the stay is less than 90 days.

Foreigners carrying a valid PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card or OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) Card along with their valid national passport are authorized to enter India without obtaining a visa.

Tourist Visas on arrival are available for a period of 30 days for citizens of the following ten countries only:  Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Laos, Luxembourg, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Visa Required

All travelers not visa-exempt as described above in Visa-Exempt are required to obtain a visa prior to entering India. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States (who are not holders of PIO or OCI cards) must obtain a visa to enter India.

Visa Requirements

Tourist Visas for U.S. passport holders are valid for six months, one year, or five years. Non-U.S. citizens are eligible for six-month Tourist Visas only. Tourist Visas are valid for multiple entries; however, there should be a gap of at least two months between two visits to the country on a Tourist Visa.

Required documents for a Tourist Visa:

  • Completed application
  • Passport valid for at least six months from the date of application with at least two blank visa pages
  • Two recent, identical passport-size photographs (black/white or color)
  • Photocopy of proof of residence/address (photocopy of state issued ID or major utility bill) that matches the present address on the visa application exactly
  • Photocopy of birth certificate or any government-issued document that shows date of birth, nationality, and parents’ names

Please note that additional documents may be required in some cases. Additional forms/instructions apply to citizens of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as to non-U.S. Permanent Residence Card/Green Card holders. For more information, please see section Visa Application Process and More Information below.

Visa Types

India issues the following types of visas/permits:

  • Tourist
  • Missionary (M)
  • Student (S)
  • Employment/Volunteer (E)
  • Research (R)
  • Medical (M)
  • Medical Attendant (MX)
  • Transit
  • Entry Permit

Visa Application Process

The application and delivery processes for visas, passports, and other travel documents for citizens of some countries has been outsourced. If applicable, all visa applications must go through the designated company.

The Indian Embassy and Consulates in the U.S. have outsourced the visa application process for United States citizens to Travisa Visa Outsourcing. For requirements, fees, applications, and additional information, visit the website for Travisa Visa Outsourcing,

Collection and delivery of visa applications for UK citizens has been outsourced to VF Services UK Ltd. British citizens should visit the website of VFS Global for more information:

The collection and delivery processes of passport, visa, Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI), and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) applications for Australia have been outsourced to M/s India Passport and Visa Services Centre (IP&VSC). Australian citizens should visit that company’s website for more information:

Collection and delivery of visa applications for citizens of Canada has been outsourced to VFS Global. Canadian citizens should visit the company’s website, for passport, visa, Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI), and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) applications and instructions.

Citizens of Ireland may obtain Indian visa applications and instructions at the website of the Embassy of India, Ireland at

Citizens of countries not listed in this section should contact the nearest Consulate General of India or High Commission of India, or visit the website website for the Bureau of Immigration, India at

More Information

Please note that passport and visa information is subject to change. Also, requirements for specialty visas can be complex. Travelers are advised to obtain the most current information from the primary source. For more information about visas, residence, and immigration, as well as application forms and fee information, please visit the website for the Bureau of Immigration, India at or contact the nearest Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission of India.

Sources: Bureau of Immigration, India; US Department of State