Applying For An Indian Visa
I found my India visa application fairly onerous. I found the information on the internet slightly outdated and difficult to follow, so I thought I would write a guide.
Types of Visa
The Uk government website has links to the relevant websites that at first glance don't look all that official. It's worth being cautious as there are loads of other visa sites that are out sharking for business and I'm skeptical about how many are legitimate.
It's also worth looking at the India High Commission website in London to find the correct links and latest information.
Applications can be made by post, but it's easier to make them in Person at London or in the UK one of these consulates that handle visa applications: Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Leicester.
There are two main types of visa that UK tourists will be interested in:
- E-visa - Designed for short term travel up to 2 months, cost £39. application can be done all online and will be the best option for most.
- Tourist Visa - Designed for long term travel up to six months, cost £110.
I went for the tourist visa, so I had more time and flexibility. It doesn't cost more for multiple entries, so that is what I opted for with the intention of staying for 4 months. So the rest of this guide will concentrate on that process.
Apply for a Indian Visa
As you can see the application process involves a lot of websites. But it's also worth noting that the Visa system has been outsourced to a company called VFS, so you apply directly through their site, which also has the correct supplementary information. If you apply directly on the visa site it's ok, but you'll have to go VFS to finish the process.
All of these sites are poorly designed with tiny links and attached documents. I found that you had to read it all carefully and click in a number of tabs
Before you apply you will need:
- Passport number with 6 months left on your visa
- A passport photo that you can upload to the site.
- Various other personal information about your work, family and travels
The actual process was straight forward and functional. It's worth jotting down the temporary application number at the start in case you loose your connection and need to recover a half finished application.
You'll also need to make a note of the finished application number and download the form as you need this to access the details later.
You may need to wait a day before you can book a visa appointment and pay. I also found out that the payment and appointment tabs that you need to click on when you login don't work that well in chrome. So you may need to use Internet explorer like they recommend.
Paying and Printing
It's worth paying online before you go, as the consulate only accept cash.
I'm not keen on printing, but even though everything is online you need to print the following before you attend the visa appointment.
- Your application and sign it.
- A declaration found on the VFS site.
- Your confirmed payment.
- Your appointment details.
You will also need to take with you:
- passport photos
Some applications may need further doccumentation.