Visa categories & requirements  for Indian Citizens

Visa is an official and approved document provided by the Immigration department of the foreign country that permits the applicant to enter their country on a legal basis. Visa requirements for Indian Citizens differ based on the country of travel.

Indian Passport ranks 85th on the Henley Passport Index for travel freedom and as of 1 July 2020 Indians citizens are allowed to enter 58 countries with either visa on arrival or visa-free to enter in certain countries.

Depending on the purpose of the travel the visa category is selected. Categories for applying the visa are tourist, transit, work, employment, dependent, journalists, family, and residence permit to name few.

Visa approval or rejection, validity, stay, and the number of entries is the sole authority of the Immigration department of the respective country. To get the visa processed on time it is advisable to apply for the visa well in advance.

Based on the country of the travel visa types are stamped visa, e-visa, visa on arrival, and visa-free entry. Each of these visas has different types of processing & documentation set by the Immigration department of the respective country.

Visa types

Stamped Visa – These are for those countries who stamp the visa on the passport and to get the visa processed applicant is required to submit the passport. Since the applicant is required to submit the passport applicant can start the visa processing 90 days before the travel date.

In this visa, the passport is submitted and the documents required and processing time of the visa will be more. The normal processing time for the visa will be 15 -17 days.

E-Visa – As the name says its an electronic visa wherein the visa will be generated on paper and not on the passport and the applicant is not required to submit the passport. With this visa, documents required are less and the processing time is faster. The normal processing time for the visa is 4 – 5 working days

Despite applicants receiving e-visa, Singapore visa applicants are required to submit the Passport, and processing time of the visa for Australia and New Zealand is longer compared to other countries i.e of 18 -25 days and 35 -40 days respectively.

Visa-on-arrival –  Visa-on-arrival (VOA)means the applicant is not required to get the visa processed in their home country instead they get the visa stamped on arrival at the respective country airport. Some countries charge for VOA such as Thailand & Vietnam whereas some countries do not charge for VOA i.e Iran& Armenia.

Since there is no submission of Passport or any kind of documents you can travel hassle-free keeping aside the worries of collection & submission of the documents. You can simply pack your bags and travel. Applicants holding a valid US visa is allowed to take the VOA in UAE.

Visa-free entry –  Name itself describes that these countries don’t ask the Indian Citizens for the visa and can simply enter the respective country without any type of visa.

Like VOA for visa-free countries, you can plan the travel, pack your bags, and off to your loving destination. Bhutan, Dominica, Indonesia, Jamaica are few countries that don’t ask for a visa.

Freedom-of-Movement –  Freedom-of-movement for the Indian citizens is allowed in Bhutan & Nepal wherein the applicants can use their Passport or Voter ID to enter by air & land.

Visa Facts

  • Passport – The most important document to travel to a foreign country and while applying for the visa the applicant must hold the passport which valid covering the entire stay in the respective country. Applicants must see to it that the validity of the Passport is of 6 months when they enter the country and there must be 2 blank pages in the passport.
  • Biometrics – All the Schengen countries, US & UK require the applicant to submit their biometrics to get their visa processed. Biometrics submission takes place with the submission of the documents whereas the US visa applicant is required to schedule a separate appointment for biometrics.
  • Visa Rejection – All the applicants whose visa is rejected needs to complete the entire procedure again for reapplying the visa including biometrics. Visa fees are non-refundable for all the applicants in case of visa getting rejected.
  • Visa documentation – Make sure to submit all the documents which are true and correct to the best of your knowledge. Fake or altered documents will lead to rejection and may hamper the visa processing for any of the countries applicant travels later.
  • Criminal Records – Applicants having any kind of criminal records in the home country are denied entry in some countries that include the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Validity – Validity of the visa differs for each country as it is the authority of the Immigration department of the particular country. Visa validity and stay period is generally of minimum of 15 days. Entries offered are single & multiple entries.

Japan & Malaysia offers the visa of a minimum of 15 days and Schengen countries at times approve the visa based on the travel dates whereas UK visa is valid for 6 months & US visa if approved is generally for 10 years.

Documents required

Below is the list of the basic documents that are required for the processing of the visit visa. Documents required varies from country to country.

  • Passport
  • Photographs
  • Visa Form
  • Cover Letter
  • Bank Statement
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Air Ticket
  • Hotel Accommodation
  • Insurance
  • NOC/Leave Letter for employed applicants
  • Company Registration papers for self-employed applicants

This checklist varies based on the country of the travel and requirement of the documents by the immigration department of the respective country.

Type of Visa Required for tourism purpose

Country

Stamped

E-Visa

On Arrival

USA

×

×

UK

×

×

Canada

×

×

Schengen Countries

×

×

Australia

×

×

New Zealand

×

×

Japan

×

×

Singapore

×

×

China

×

×

Malaysia

×

Thailand

Dubai

×

Turkey

×

Sri Lanka

×

Hong Kong

×

×

Vietnam

×

×

Indonesia

×

×

 

Visa Reading

Details to be checked on the visa are:

  • Name as per passport
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport Number
  • Passport Expiry Date
  • Visa Validity
  • Date of entry & exit
  • Entry

Visa must be checked immediately once received if any discrepancies in the visa noted at the airport may lead to deportation.

Reasons for visa rejection

  • Passport invalid
  • Photographs not appropriate
  • Visa form incomplete or details are wrongly put up
  • Incomplete or inappropriate cover letter
  • Purpose of the travel not clear
  • Low finance
  • Employment not proved
  • Unable to prove the exit from the country before visa expiry.

Visa is an official and important document for the Indians to enter into the foreign land. Visa is categorized as stamped, e-visa, and on-arrival based on the country of travel. It is always advisable to apply for the visa well in advance to get the visa on time.