Demystifying the Indian Visa On Arrival: What You Need to Know

Demystifying the Indian Visa On Arrival: What You Need to Know
10 min read
21 November 2023

Are you dreaming of exploring the vibrant streets of India but feeling overwhelmed by the visa process? Look no further! We're here to demystify the Indian Visa On Arrival, unraveling all the essential information you need to know. Whether it's your first time or tenth in this incredible country, get ready for an engaging journey as we break down everything from eligibility criteria and application procedures to handy tips that will make your visa experience a breeze. Buckle up, wanderlust seekers – your Indian adventure awaits! Indian Visa On Arrival

Introduction to Indian Visa On Arrival                                                 

Traveling to India has never been easier with the introduction of the Indian Visa On Arrival (VOA) program. This visa facility was first introduced in 2010 and has since then made it convenient for tourists from eligible countries to obtain a visa upon their arrival in India.

The VOA program is an electronic travel authorization system that allows travelers to apply for and receive their visas online before traveling to India. This process eliminates the need for physically visiting an embassy or consulate, making it a hassle-free option for many travelers.

Eligibility for Indian Visa On Arrival

Not all countries are eligible for the Indian VOA program. Currently, citizens of 171 countries can apply for a visa on arrival. These include major tourist-generating countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and most European nations. You can check the full list of eligible countries on the official website of the Government of India.

It's important to note that not all nationalities within an eligible country may be able to avail this service. For example, citizens of Japan and South Korea are only allowed to apply if they are part of a group tour organized by a registered tour operator in India. Indian Visa Application Process

How to Apply for Indian Visa On Arrival?

Applying for an Indian Visa On Arrival (VOA) can seem like a daunting task, but with the right information and preparation, it can be a smooth and hassle-free process. In this section, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of applying for an Indian VOA.

Step 1: Check if you are eligible for an Indian VOA

The first step in applying for an Indian VOA is to check if you are eligible for it. The Indian government has made this facility available to citizens of over 160 countries. However, there are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to be eligible for an Indian VOA:

  1. You must have a valid passport with at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India.
  2. Your passport must have at least two blank pages for stamping.
  3. You must have a return or onward journey ticket.
  4. You must have sufficient funds to support your stay in India.
  5. Your purpose of visit should be tourism, business, medical treatment or attending conferences/exhibitions.
  6. You should not belong to any restricted categories such as journalists or diplomats.

Documents Required for Indian Visa On Arrival

Obtaining a visa can often be a tedious and time-consuming process, especially when traveling to a foreign country. However, the Indian government has introduced an easier option for travelers - the Indian Visa on Arrival (VoA). This allows eligible foreign nationals to obtain their visa upon arrival at one of 28 designated airports in India.

But before you pack your bags and head to India, it’s important to understand the documents required for obtaining a VoA. Here is a detailed list of all the necessary documents that you need to have in order to successfully apply for an Indian VoA:

  1. Passport: The most important document you need is a valid passport with at least six months’ validity from the date of entry into India. Additionally, your passport must have at least two blank pages for stamping purposes.
  2. Return or onward ticket: You will also need to provide proof of your return or onward travel arrangements from India. This could be in the form of a confirmed flight ticket or any other mode of transportation such as train or bus tickets.
  3. Recent photograph: You will be required to submit one recent color photograph (2x2 inches) along with your visa application form. The photo should have a white background and should not be more than 6 months old.

Processing Time and Fees

When it comes to obtaining a visa on arrival for India, there are two important factors to consider: processing time and fees. These two aspects can greatly impact your travel plans and budget, so it's important to have a clear understanding of what to expect.

Processing Time:

The processing time for an Indian visa on arrival can vary depending on several factors such as the type of visa, nationality, and current workload at the designated airport. In general, the processing time can range from a few minutes to a few hours. However, during peak travel seasons or if there is a high volume of applicants, the processing time may be longer.

It is recommended to apply for your Indian visa on arrival at least 4-7 days before your planned trip to allow ample time for any potential delays in the processing process. This will also give you enough time to make alternate arrangements in case your application is not approved.


The fee structure for an Indian visa on arrival includes both government fees and service charges. The government fees are set by the Indian government and vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. On top of these fees, there will also be service charges that are collected by the designated airport authorities.

For example, if you are applying for an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) which allows single-entry into India for tourism purposes, the government fee would be $25 USD while the service charge would be $2 USD per passenger.

Benefits of Indian Visa On Arrival

The Indian Visa On Arrival (VOA) has become a popular option for travelers looking to explore the diverse and vibrant country of India. This convenient visa option allows eligible foreign nationals to obtain a visa upon their arrival at one of the designated airports in India. In this section, we will discuss the various benefits of opting for an Indian Visa On Arrival.

  1. Saves Time and Effort: One of the biggest advantages of choosing an Indian VOA is that it saves both time and effort. Unlike traditional visas where you have to go through a lengthy application process, wait for your visa to be approved, and then travel to the nearest consulate or embassy to get your visa stamped, with VOA you can simply apply online and receive your e-visa within 4 business days. This eliminates the need for multiple visits to embassies or consulates, making the entire process hassle-free.
  2. Cost-effective: Another significant benefit of obtaining an Indian Visa On Arrival is its affordability. The cost of a VOA is significantly lower than that of a traditional visa, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers. Additionally, there are no hidden fees or charges associated with the VOA, making it a transparent and cost-effective option.
  3. Multiple Entry Option: With an Indian VOA, you can enter and exit India multiple times within its validity period without having to go through any additional paperwork or formalities.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Indian Visa On Arrival

When planning a trip to India, one of the most important things to consider is obtaining a visa. While there are several types of Indian visas available, the Visa On Arrival (VOA) option has become increasingly popular among travelers due to its convenience and simplicity. However, as with any visa application process, it is essential to carefully follow the guidelines and avoid making common mistakes that could result in delays or even rejection. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes to avoid when applying for an Indian Visa On Arrival.

  1. Not checking eligibility criteria: The first and foremost step before applying for an Indian VOA is to ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria. This visa is only available for citizens of certain countries who are traveling for tourism, business or medical purposes. Additionally, your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in India.
  2. Applying at the wrong time: It is crucial to note that applications for Indian VOAs can only be made between 4 and 120 days before your expected arrival date in India. Applying too early or too close to your travel dates can result in your application being rejected.
  3. Providing incorrect information: One of the most common reasons for visa rejections is providing incorrect or incomplete information on the application form. It is vital to double-check all details entered on the form before submitting it online.


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Ali Raza 2
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