New India Visa Requirements For Tourists and Business Travelers

India visa requirements, like visas from most countries, change from time to time. Recent changes by the Indian government affect both tourist and business visas. This article will briefly describe the new requirements so that you can better prepare for your next trip to India.

New India Tourist Visa Requirements

The first change to note is that the 1-year tourist visa is no longer available. Applicants have to choose between a 5-year multiple-entry visa and a 10-year multiple-entry visa. In addition, the gap between visits must be at least 2 months. Travelers who want to re-enter India in less time must seek special permission to do so.

When apply for a tourist visa to India, you must state the purpose of your trip very clearly. This visa is issued to travelers who plan to visit India for recreation, sightseeing and visiting family or friends. If you enter India on a tourist visa, you cannot participate in business activities, look for employment or pursue research or academic studies.

Your current passport should have two blank visa pages in it, preferably these pages will be back to back.

New India Business Visas Requirements

As with the tourist visa, one of the business visas has been discontinued. However, it is not the 1-year but the 10-year business visa that is no longer available. Business travelers can only choose between a 1-year multiple-entry visa and a 5-year multiple-entry visa.

Additional requirements for the 5-year visa make it more difficult to obtain. Not only do applicants have to inform the Indian consulate of their upcoming travel date, they also have to list future travel dates and planned business activities to justify the request for the 5-year visa. These dates must be listed on both the Business Cover Letter and the Letter of Invitation.

The Indian Consulate is becoming stricter in its requirements and making it more difficult for applications to obtain an India business visa. An important change that business travelers need to be aware of is that both the Business Cover Letter and the Letter of Invitation for a 5-year visa must list future travel dates and describe the activities in which you plan to participate. Because these changes are recent, it is still not clear how exactly you have to be when listing your future travel plans.