Has visa been your major concern before you start planning your travel? Does applying for a visa give you nightmares due to the fear of getting turned back/ rejected or loosing both money and time? Have you done enough search on it already that you are confused what documents you actually need?
Well worry not, in this blog we will tell you all you need to know about the basic visa requirements, E visa countries, Visa Free and Visa on arrival countries for Indian passport holders and visa rules and regulations for various destinations.
Section A : Basic documents required for a Tourist Visa :
You can't just travel anywhere only with your passport. There are some basic set requirements which you have to carry to apply for a Tourist Visa for every destination:
- Passport : Passport in original, minimum six months validity from the date of entering the travel destination with at least 2 blank pages.
- Photograph : Recent colored passport size photograph (the dimensions differ from country to country) depicting full face.
- Application form : Completely filled visa application form, self attested and photograph attached. (every destination has different form)
- Cover Letter : This letter explains your purpose of travel that should be self attested.
- Proof of residence : You can attach a copy of National ID Card or Utility Bill such as electricity, telephone or water bill.
- Proof of profession : If you are employed then Certificate from the employer stating your current designation, attested through the authorized signatory. In case of students, copy of Identity card from the educational institution is to be attached.
- Proof of Accommodation : Reservation from Hotel or letter of invitation (If staying with a relative/friend).
- Financial proof : Updated and attested bank statement (from the bank) showing sufficient funds to finance travel & a copy of International credit card.
- Travel itinerary : Your travel itinerary with the clearly stating the places of visit.
Some of the Visa Free/ Visa on Arrival countries for Indian Passport Holders:
How relief it is when you see a lot of countries where you can visit hassle free. Here is a list of few:
- Bhutan : Easy Visa on arrival for up to 14 days. You should carry Voter's Id card or Passport valid for at least six months.
- Indonesia : Easy visa on arrival for with validity for up to 30 days.
- Maldives: Visa on arrival for 30 days, just show your return ticket and accommodation details at the immigration.
- Mauritius : No visa needed for 30 days, only proof of accommodation and return flight ticket is required.
- Jordan : In 2018, the Tourism board has announced easy visa on arrival for 30 days for Indian passport holders.
- Seychelles : Visa on Arrival for Seychelles can be obtained for a maximum stay of 30 days. To obtain the visa you must hold an onward or return ticket , along with proof of accommodation.
- Thailand : You can apply Visa on Arrival for a stay period not exceeding 15 days.
- Zimbabwe : Visa on arrival can be obtained for your travel within this country with providing proof of accommodation at immigration.
Did you know? According to the new guidelines, the Immigration Department announced that nationals of India will be required to successfully complete online pre-arrival registration before visiting Hong Kong. This can be done on the given link.
List of E- Visa countries for Indian citizens:
Many countries have nowadays started providing online E visa which is an easy process. Without standing in long queue's all you have to do is just fill the online details and you will get your visa in few days. Some of the countries providing E visa are :
- Bahrain : Easy E visa can be obtained for 14 days. Link to apply for this visa.
- Georgia : Recently started by the Tourism Ministry, scanned copy of passport and a photograph is required to submit E visa. Refer this Link to apply for this visa.
- Uzbekistan : E visa for 30 days, ensure that you upload passport and photograph with right dimensions. Link to apply for this visa.
- Myanmar : The process is simple and efficient to obtain E visa for 28 days. You can receive your E visa within 12 hours after submission. Link to apply for this visa.
- Kenya : E visa can be obtained for 90 days. Link to apply for this visa.
- Sri Lanka : visa for Indian passport holders is super easy! E visa will be issued for 30 days. Link to apply for this visa.
- Iran : E-visa is available for Indians, go through the rules and regulations thoroughly. Link to apply for this visa.
Wow pro tip : Before applying any visa or any International travel ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.
Major Tourists destination & their Visa Rules:
United States of America (U.S) :
The United States of America has a strict visa process. It involves many steps but you follow the instructions carefully, you are good to go. Before starting the application process you need to know which visa category you are applying for.
The most common visa category for tourists and general visitors to USA is B1/B2 or Business or Tourist Visa.
Supporting documents for US Tourist Visa :
Other than the documents mentioned in Section A, here's all you need to submit while applying for this visa.
- DS 160 US Visa application confirmation page, you can fill this form on the given Link
- Proof of fee payment, which is a valid receipt
- Printout of US interview appointment letter
- Copy of ITR's acknowledgement page for last three years
- If you are a government employee, you must get a NOC
- If you are self-employed, you must get proof of business ownership and financial history.
Did you know that with a multiple entry valid US visa (B1/B2 category), Indian citizens can visit several destinations without any problem?
Visa- Free countries for Indians with a valid US visa:
- Montenegro : The destination allows a visa free entry.
- Albania : If you have a multiple-entry US visa and have visited US previously, you visit Albania visa-free.
- Turkey : You can apply for an E- visa for Turkey that has a validity of 30 days if you have a valid US visa.
- Qatar : Your US visa will enable you to avail the visa on arrival facility in Qatar with a 30-day validity.
- Oman : Oman provides the E-visa facility for Indian citizens.
- Sharjah : The destination facilitates visa on arrival
- Abu Dhabi : Visa on arrival facility with valid US visa.
- Dubai : Visa on arrival facility for Indians with a valid US visa.
- South Korea : You do not need a visa for your stay in transit in South Korea if you are in transit to the US.
- Philippines : A valid US visa will allow you to stay in Philippines for a duration of 14 days.
- Singapore : A valid US visa will allow you to stay in Singapore for a duration for 4 days if you are in transit.
- Chile : US visa valid for at least 6 months will allow entry for up to 90 days.
- Colombia : With a US visa one gets entry for up to 90 days.
- Serbia : You are allowed entry up to 90 days with a valid US visa.
- Panama City : If you have a multiple-entry US visa and have visited US previously, you visit visa-free.
For traveling to European countries, you are required to get a Schengen visa before travelling to the destination. Here is all you need to know about Schengen:
What is Schengen Visa?
Before starting about Schengen visa, let me make you aware about Schengen; Schengen is an agreement between 26 countries of Europe which allows you to travel among these 26 countries without restriction and with free movement.
Countries under the Schengen agreement are:
Indian Passport Holders need a Schengen visa in order to travel across these 26 European countries. They need to attend Biometrics interviews as well which is one time requirement for five years.
Supporting documents for Schengen Tourist Visa:
Other than the documents listed in Section A here are the mandatory requirements. However, there might be some more additions to the list of documents depending upon the Schengen country you are traveling to:
- Travel Insurance
- Flight tickets
- Bank statement of last six months (signed and stamped)
- Income Tax Returns for last 3 years
Once the documents are ready it is suggested to schedule an online appointment on this Link. The earliest you can apply is up to 12 weeks before the date of departure.
List of Non-EU countries where you can GO with a Valid Multiple Entry Schengen Visa
- Albania : foreigners can enter, transit and stay in the territories of Albania without an Albanian visa if they have a valid, multiple-entry short-say Schengen visa, previously used in one of the Schengen states.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina : With a multiple-entry Schengen Visa, you can enter and stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 15 DAYS upon every entry per period of 180 DAYS, if visa previously used in one of the Schengen Area
- Bulgaria : Since the 31st of the January 2012 the Republic of Bulgaria has entered into force the decision for a visa-free system to enter, transit and stay, for the holders of valid Schengen Visas.
- Colombia : Indian citizens, if they hold visas or residence permits issued by a Schengen Area country can enter Colombia without a Colombian visa. However, they must ensure their visa is valid for at least 180 days from their arrival date in Colombia.
- Croatia : Since the 22nd of the July 2014, the Republic of Croatia has entered into force the decision to allow all foreigners holding valid Schengen Visa to enter, transit and stay in its territory without needing to provide an additional Croatian visa.
- Cyprus : Foreigners are excused of having a Cypriot Visa if they possess a valid Schengen Visa (type C, double or multiple-entry) if they want to enter, transit and stay in the territory of Cyprus.
- Montenegro : Foreigners holding a valid Schengen Visa can enter, transit and stay in the territory of the Republic of Montenegro without needing to show a Montenegrian visa.
- Turkey : You can apply for an E- visa for Turkey that has a validity of 30 days if you have a valid multiple entry Schengen visa whose validity should covers your travel within Turkey.
- Mexico : Valid multiple entry Schengen visa to stay in Mexico for a period of 180 days, that should have been used before your travel to Mexico.
United Kingdom (UK):
Like the US, visa for United Kingdom is applied online on this link. Once you complete filling this form, you have to schedule an appointment with VFS global to submit your documents. You can follow this link to know in length How to Apply and scheduling your appointment.
Supporting documents for UK Tourist Visa:
Other than documents listed in Section A, you need only 2 more documents :
- A copy of all your previous visas stamped in your current passport
- Proof of funds like fixed deposits, copy of property papers & rentals (if any).
Visa- Free countries for Indians with a valid UK visa:
- Dominican Republic : One can visit the country for 60 days with a UK visa.
- Bermuda : A multiple-entry UK visa valid for a minimum period of 45 days beyond the visitor’s stay.
- Cayman Islands : A valid UK visa.
- Turks and Caicos Islands : A valid multiple entry UK visa.
- Serbia : Stay in Serbia for 90 days during a six-month period with a valid UK visa.
- Montenegro : A holder of a valid UK visa can visit Montenegro for 30 days.
- Georgia : Valid UK visa for a visit of not more than 90 days.
- Ireland : With a valid UK short-stay visa, one can enter Ireland for less than 90 days.
- Turkey : Indian passport holders may get their single entry e-Visas valid for one month via the website www.evisa.gov.tr with a valid UK visa, provided they meet certain conditions.
- Albania : Multiple-entry UK valid visa which has been used previously in the country of issuance or a valid permit of stay in the UK.
- Philippines : Indian nationals can enter with valid UK visa. However, this visa-free entry is only valid for 14 days and can be extended by seven days with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.
- Qatar : Indian nationals with a valid UK visa are not exempted from acquiring a visa. However, they are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and then avail of the visa on arrival.
- Oman : Valid UK visa for a maximum stay of 30 days.
- Bahamas : A valid UK visa for a maximum stay of 90 days.
- British Virgin Islands : Holders of a valid UK visa can enter BVI provided the visa has a remaining validity of six months or has been used to travel to the UK.
- Aruba : Valid multiple-entry UK visa to stay for 30 days.
- Antigua and Barbuda : Visa will be granted on arrival to valid UK visa holders. This visa is valid only for 30 days.
- Anguilla : Valid multiple-entry UK visa to stay for 30 days.
- Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory) : A holder of a multiple-entry UK visa that is valid for six months or more can enter Gibraltar for a period of 21 days.
- Peru : A UK visa with a validity of 6 months. One can stay in the country for not more than 180 days.
- Panama : A valid UK visa valid for a year. The visa should have been used to enter the UK before.
Visa to Turkey is applied under different jurisdictions, this is easy for you to apply at your nearest Visa Facilitation Center.
Here's the list of Jurisdiction and states covered under them :
- Turkish Embassy in New Delhi : Delhi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kathmandu.
- Consulate General in Mumbai : Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Trivandrum, Pondicherry and Goa
- Consulate General of Turkey in Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.
You must apply your visa almost a month before with any of the above as during peek season the Embassy/Consulate are highly rushed, the approval or visa may take longer than usual.
A detailed guide to documents required for your travel within Turkey is provided at this link. Once your documents are ready you can submit them with a prior appointment at your nearest Visa Facilitation Center.
Note : You must submit an original Authorization Letter from the applicant in case application is submitted by a Representative or Travel Agent.
Tourist visa to this country can only be applied through an authorized travel agent with the Embassy.
Supporting documents for Morocco Tourist Visa:
Here's a list of documents other than Section A required for visa to this country :
- Online visa application form
- Order form (comes post you fill the application form)
- Authorization letter in favor of travel agent
Tourist visa to this country must be obtained prior to your travel with the Embassy of Egypt in New Delhi or Consulate General of Egypt in Mumbai.
Here's a list of documents other than Section A required for visa to this country :
- If you are Employed : Original Leave Letter from the company stating your designation, attested by the authorized signatory, with salary slips of last 3 months
- If you are Self Employed : A copy of your company's registration paper
- If you are Financially dependent : A letter for your trip being sponsored with their financial documents as listed in Section A
This is far most the easiest country to approve your visa, the only documents required for applying this visa are :
- Online filled visa application form
- Reference/Confirmation number from your travel operator in Russia
- A copy of your current valid passport's bio data pages.
Japan also follows jurisdiction for travelers applying from all over India, here's the list of jurisdiction and states covered under the same.
- Embassy of Japan in New Delhi : Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh
- Consulate General of Japan in Mumbai : Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
- Consulate General of Japan in Kolkata : West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.
- Consulate General of Japan in Chennai : Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Pondicherry
- Consulate General of Japan in Bangalore : Karnataka
Wow pro tip : Your supporting letters for visa should be addressed to these individual Embassy or Consulate depending on which state you reside.
If you're travelling on a package booked through a travel operator in Japan then you will need an original letter from the travel operator signed and stamped. The letter must mention your name as per your passport and the Hotel confirmations.
If you have booked Hotel's online or through Hotel's directly then you need to provide with paid Hotel confirmations through the Hotel.
You can find more information on this country at the give link.
Visa to Australia is a paper visa which can be applied online on this link or you can also visit the nearest visa facilitation center to submit your documents.
You must apply for an Australian visa before a month and half of your travel. You will also need to know the documents that you have to submit along with your visa application, how long the application might take and the fees you will have to pay.
Once you determine the type of visa you need to apply for you need to create an account on this link and submit your documents online (the list of documents are provided on the same platform where you have applied for the visa). Please ensure the scan/pdf copy for all the supporting documents should be very clear, otherwise your application will be considered incomplete and you may have to pay the fees again as it is non refundable.
New Zealand :
Just like Australia, New Zealand also offers both Online and Paper visa submission.
Here's the link that will help you through the same guidelines as the process mention above for Australia.
Wow pro tip : If you are planning to visit Tibet from China, please ensure that you apply the visa for Tibet at least a month and half before your travel. The visa approval takes longer than usual.
Why Visa get Rejected/ Denied?
A visa rejection or refusal can be one of your worse nightmare. After spending countless efforts and hours trying to get a visa and seeing that it is denied is something which gets hard to believe. Whatever reasons are for the visa rejection, it not only crashes your hopes to travel but also affects your future travel to quiet an extent.
Well, the question is what can be done to avoid this?? Below are few major reasons why visa gets rejected and you should be careful while applying any visa:
1) Incomplete Travel itinerary : A detailed travel itinerary is very important to show your exact plan and visit. The itinerary should state the countries/ state you are planning to visit along with your flight tickets and accommodation bookings.
2) Travel document discrepancies : Sometimes the passport goes unnoticed while arranging the documents. Submitting an expired or damaged passport or a passport with no blank pages is also a reason for visa rejection. Important : For Schengen Visa your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry to the destination. It should also have two blank pages while you are submitting your application.
3) Insufficient funds : This is one of the most common reason for visa rejection. You are required to show that you have enough funds to support your travel throughout the stay duration while traveling to any country. This is basically required so that you do not have a tough time in the country or you do not become a liability for the country.
4) Incomplete Visa Application form : Every question in the application form plays an important role. Even if a question is not applicable to you, you should write N/A. Thus, an application form with blank columns may reject your visa.
5) Mismatch of Information : In case any details mentioned in the application form does not match the travel documents, there are chances that the visa will be rejected. Also you should be very careful while filling your passport details in the application form to avoid inconvenience.
6) Criminal record : If you are or have been convicted to a criminal offence, you are considered threat to the destination and thus your visa will always be rejected.
7) Not so good Visa Interview : Visa interview plays a very important role to know the outcome of your visa application. Providing a poor visa interview may lead to visa rejection. This can include being nervous during the interview, provide unnecessary details, not being able to communicate effectively with the interviewer, etc. It is suggested that you are well prepared for the interview to answer any question without ant hesitation.
8) Fake Documents : Submitting fake or forged documents will lead an automatic visa rejection. Once you submit the application, the visa authorities perform a thorough check and if they found that any document is fake, your visa application will be rejected and you will be banned for a certain period of time.
9) Invalid Travel Insurance : There are a lot of countries which do not mandate travel insurance but most nations including Schengen require you to possess travel insurance. They also have requirement regarding the coverage. If your travel insurance does not meet these conditions, your application will be rejected.
10) Bad previous Travel History : Your application may be rejected if you have been denied a visa into a country previously or if you have performed activities that are not allowed under a particular visa category in the past.
Hope the above information can help you before applying any visa.
Do write to us if you need any further information...