Indian Visa FAQ

Indian Visa FAQ

Do I need a visa to go to India?

Yes, all foreigners need a visa to enter India.

Can I get a visa on arrival to enter India? 

No, you must obtain a visa before taking a flight to India. You cannot obtain a visa on arrival in India.

I want to visit India for tourism/to attend a friend’s marriage/ to meet my friends. Which visa should I apply for?

You apply for a tourist visa.

Can I study in India?

Yes. With a valid student visa for a recognized university/educational institution.

Can I work in India?

Yes. With a valid employment visa.

I travel to India frequently for business meetings/to explore opportunities for partnerships with Indian companies. Which visa should I apply for?

You may apply for a business visa valid for multiple entries along with the requisite documents as per the checklist. Kindly note that a Business Visa does not permit you to work in India. In case you wish to work in India, you should apply for an Employment Visa.

I am a Canadian national and I go for one or two months every year for tourism. Which visa should I apply for?

You can apply for a Tourist visa. This visa is not extendable in India.

I will be changing flights/airports in India to travel to my final destination (say Nepal, Thailand etc.) Do I need a visa to change flights/airport terminals?

You need to apply for a transit visa if you are going to change from an international terminal to a domestic terminal of any Indian airport or if you are going to stay in an airport hotel even for a few hours. You don’t need a transit visa if you stay in the waiting area reserved for international transit passengers in an Indian airport. Note that you can stay for a maximum period of 72 hours in India on a transit visa. You should have a confirmed air ticket for the onward journey.

I have to participate in a Conference/Seminar/Workshop in India. Which visa should I apply for?

You should apply for a Conference Visa to enable you to participate in the Conference/Seminar/ Workshop along with invitation letter, details of the Conference etc. Clearance from the competent authority in India is required.

I will travel at a much later date. Can my visa be issued to coincide with the date of travel?

No. Post – dated visas are not issued. The validity of the visa begins from the date of issue.

I have to go for internship/training in a university/institute/company in India for a short period. Which visa should I apply for

You should apply for an Intern/Student  visa along with a copy of the offer letter stating the terms of internship. You may also be required to submit a copy of the inter-university student exchange agreement if the proposed internship is a component of such an agreement. You would be required to submit proof of financial standing to support your stay in India. If you receive any monetary compensation/salary from the Indian organization, you will have to apply for a business visa.

I will be going to India for work/employment along with my family. Which visa should I apply for? Would my children be able to study in India?

You must apply for an employment visa along with the requisite documents. Once your visa application is approved, your spouse and children may apply for dependent employment Indian Tourist Visa Online Form in case they are accompanying you on your stay in India. Your children will be able to secure admission in schools/colleges in India once they have been granted appropriate visas. Kindly note that you have to undergo mandatory registration formalities at the nearest office of the FRRO/FRO within 14 days of your arrival in India if you are planning to stay in the country for a period longer than 180 days

I will be studying in India for one semester/trimester in an IIT/IIM/IISc/Indian university. Which visa should I apply for?

You should apply for a student visa along with a copy of the letter from the institute/university confirming your acceptance as a student. You would also be required to submit proof of financial standing to support your stay in India.

I have to travel to India on an emergency. Is there any extra charge for the same?

Emergency Visa is granted ONLY for genuine medical and humanitarian emergencies which is subject to verification and at the discretion of the Consulate.  Emergency visa is a single entry visa normally valid for 1 year. This Limited validity visa is issued at a cost of C$212. Applicants may be requested to appear for an interview.

I had applied for a visa for India but I have changed my mind about visiting the country. Can I claim a refund of the visa fee?

Visa fees are non-refundable. Once the visa application is accepted and cannot be refunded even if the visa is refused/not granted.

Do I need a visa for my pet who is accompanying me on my visit to India?

Visa is not required for taking a pet to India but certain customs and vaccination-related regulations have to be complied with. Kindly consult your airline/travel agent for details of these regulations and necessary documentation to facilitate the visit.

My application and passport have been submitted and it has been a while, how can I enquire about the status of my application?

Please track your passport by logging on BLS Services website or by calling their Helpline at 647-846-8141 (between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday except closed Holidays).

How do I know when my passport is ready for collection from the Indian Consular Services in Canada?

Please track your passport by logging on You can also call the BLS International Services Canada Inc. Helpline number at 416-307-2237 to check the status of your passport.

Can I collect my passport from the Consulate General in Toronto?

No. You have to collect your passport from the Indian Visa & Consular Services Centres in Canada where you made the application.

Do I have to submit my passport and visa application with the India Consular Services only?

Yes, However, Diplomats and officials of foreign diplomatic Mission, UN and other international organization personnel, Canadian government official holding diplomatic / official passport must submit their visa application directly to the Consulate General of India.

Will I be allowed to carry liquor to India?

Yes. But if you are traveling to Gujarat, you will have to apply for a liquor permit on arrival in Gujarat. Please check with your airline for other restrictions on alcohol.

Do all the applicants need to be present at the time of submitting an application?

No. An application can be sent either by mail or in person by an immediate family member. Applications are NOT received through agents or representatives

Will the visa and service fee courier service fees be refunded?

No refunds. Fees once received would not be refunded, even if the application is withdrawn or service denied.

I wish to visit certain areas in India like Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland etc. Can I obtain a visa to visit these areas?

A tourist visa is not sufficient to visit these areas because all of these regions in India are restricted/protected areas for which it is necessary to obtain a Restricted/Protected Area Permit (RAP/PAP). This permit can be obtained in India either from the Ministry of Home Affairs or FRRO concerned after entering India with a tourist visa. You can visit certain open areas in Sikkim for a maximum period of 15 days in case you request a ‘special endorsement for Sikkim’ at the time of applying for your tourist visa.

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