Applying for a visa to India: how to do it?

Applying for a visa to India and checking what visa requirements apply is one of the most important parts while planning your trip to India. Uberhaupt for every trip! It would be a shame if you arrive at the border or at an airport and have to make a right turn. Back home, with all the (financial) consequences. That wasn’t really in the planning I can imagine when you organized your trip.

What is a visa

A visa gives you official access (for a certain time) to a country. There are several reasons for this. For example, you can do a cool master or minor in another country, visit family, travel for your dream job, for a gap year working holiday or for a nice vacation.

All countries apply different conditions for each visa type. For example, you need to meet other meet conditions for a work visa than for a tourist visa. And for the tourist visa, there are also different requirements for each country. What does often occurrence is that a tourist visa is usually valid for 90 days.

visa application for India

Requirements by country

Curious about the requirements for each country? Check out the central government website with travel advisories. With each country, you will find information about the type of visa. Before I tell you what the different options are for visa applications to India, I share with you my experiences in general on the subject of visas. By the way, there are also many countries where you can enter visa-free without paying! So always check it out!

Visa On Arrival

A familiar one among backpackers who want to get everything out as much as possible without a plan or as cheaply as possible. Visa On Arrival. There are still countries where you can get a tourist visa On Arrival, although this is becoming fewer and fewer. Note that this often really only applies to a tourist. If you want to apply for another type of visa, it is always a good idea to get external help for that. Ok, where have I been with a visa on arrival?

Past February just before the lock down I went to Uganda. Here you can do just fine to without applying for the visa in advance. You stand even then even shorter in line than if you request it online first!

That was very funny to see, all the tourists who had applied online, you saw Standing in a long line one behind the other. Waiting in the heat. The reason that I’m the did not, was because I went to see a friend who was in Uganda. She assured me that a visa on arrival was possible; in fact, she just had it 3 weeks before as well. And so it was! So always check this from in advance.

Apply for visa in advance

And actually stops my recent experience with visa on arrival herewith. When I went to Nepal went it could also be on arrival, but that’s been so long now ago I can’t say anything about this. Had a brief look at the Nepal Embassy website and I believe they are still issuing On Arrival. In that case, be sure to carry the money in cash on hand.

In all other cases: usually you have to arrange a visa in advance anyway. Nowadays, a lot of embassies do this online. When I went to Kazakhstan in 2016 I still had to go to an Embassy in The Hague whereas now you can do it online. For Kenya, I arranged the visa online through the Embassy itself. Very easy. If you are going alone with a larger group, then perhaps you should consider applying through an expert such as Visa Abroad. Then you can be sure it will all work out.

For Iran at the time, I still had to go to the Consulate in The Hague. But now you can also apply for it online. You see: they move with the times:

Again, see for yourself what you like how you like it want to request. Can imagine that through a professional agency it would be more gives peace of mind, especially if you have a busy life.

Visa applications india

To be or not to be through an agency

Because well, my experience with arranging a visa is that it always takes a lot of time and you really have to chase it sometimes. Have had several times I got stuck online or found myself in front of a closed door at a consulate when they said they were open.

If you work full-time and can’t manage your time flexibly or haven’t done it very often, or the embassy’s website is SO unclear (for Iran this is the case) then using a visa service is really a godsend.

That one little word is not right.”

Applying for a visa to India

There is one country where I really recommend doing this through an agency and that is India. My experience of applying for the visa for India itself was not very successful and stress-free I can tell you.

It was a cold winter morning in December when I arrived at the consulate in Amsterdam. The stress started beforehand with filling out the documents, how much information they need to know! My eyes almost fell out of my eye sockets, but well you want to go to India so you do it.

Consulate Amsterdam

So then we boarded the train to Amsterdam where it was snowing. You guessed it, it wasn’t really a good day to wait outside until the consulate opened. Once arrived at the Indian consulate there was already a line while I was there well before opening time was.

Stuck on the road

Meanwhile, it began to snow harder and As the opening time continued to pass we called the people in line to the embassy in The Hague. Turned out that the employees who were on worked the consulate in Amsterdam, stuck in traffic jams on the way to Amsterdam. Well….snow, huh?

“That one little word is not right.”

An hour later, thankfully, they arrived, it opened and we had to wait again, this time in warmer surroundings. When it was finally my turn, it turned out that I didn’t have the right papers after all. Consequence: I had to return home. My employer had not written down the correct job title of himself on the employer statement. “That one little word there before his name isn’t right ma’am.” Yes you need this when you go to India as a tourist, at least at the time.

Looking for printer in Amsterdam

Fortunately, I had an employer at the time who immediately could modify the paper and forward it to me. For half an hour looking for a place to print, because well, it has to be delivered printed, and two hours later be able to return all documents. In the end, I was able to get two or three weeks later to pick up my visa.

In total this did take me almost 1 working day And I think some gray hairs extra. In addition, you also have your costs for the travel to the Amsterdam consulate.

Advice for India

My advice: if you want a visa for India, just go to a visa service like VisumBuitenland. Really, then you have everything taken care of and you can be sure that everything will work out. Convenience serves man. Even if it’s an e-visa, at least you can be sure you’re providing the right paperwork. And then read the visa requirements for a trip to India in advance so you know well when to start applying for your visa to India. Of course, you can apply for the visa yourself, but make sure you have enough time! And are stress resistant ;-).

By the way: even for a country like Mongolia, I also recommend it, since the embassy is in Brussels. I did at the time! Delivered everything and they did the rest. For China, it also seems easier to me. Especially given the status of the world we live in today.

What are your experiences with arranging visas?

– Part of this blog is in collaboration with VisumBuitenland –