When you have decided to do that long pending travel trip to India, you must start the process of applying for a tourist visa at the earliest, so that you can make your travel and accommodation bookings once the visa is in your hands.
Tourist Visa application procedure for US citizens:
Ensure your passport is valid. The government of India has now outsourced visa application processing for US citizens to Travisa, a company with 5 offices in the US, and you can apply safely online. However, make sure your passport is valid at least for the remaining 6 months and its consecutively two pages are blank as your Indian visa will be stamped on these pages.
Completely online process makes it easy on http://india.travisa.com
In the online form, fill in all the information present in your passport and your phone number along with additional information such as your employment details, itinerary of intended places of visit and an ‘objective statement’ of your trip in a maximum of 80 words. You will also need to provide an estimated date of departure, verification reference of a resident Indian, the city from where you will enter India and the contact details of the airline office in India.
Your passport with visa will arrive in a week
Once you have filled in the form, the website will issue an application ID and generate the application PDF, which you need to courier to Travisa, along with two passport-sized photos, your visa fee money order or online payment, photocopy of any ID which confirms your passport address, and your actual passport. Your visa-stamped passport will reach you within a week’s time.
Tourist Visa application procedure for UK citizens:
The Indian government has outsourced the visa application process to VFS Global, and the entire application process is now online.
Hassle free online application on http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk
You will need to fill in the following details in the online visa application form: your personal particulars as shown in your passport, details of your passport, which should be valid at least for the next six months, your contact details, details of your family members, the purpose of your visit, details of any previous visits, your employment details, the hotel or place where you will stay India and lastly, details of references in the UK and India.
Time taken for your visa approval will vary
Print out the filled application form and along with two passport sized photographs clicked as per the specification outlined on the website and the visa fees postal order or bank draft (you can even pay online), and courier it to the Indian Visa Application Centre. Your visa will be processed as per the procedure of the Indian High Commission or its Consulates in the UK, and some applications may take more time.
Your tourist visa is valid only for the purpose of tourism and does not entitle you to extend your stay beyond 6 months, even though it may have 12 month validity. The visa issue date will determine the beginning of the validity period.
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Tauseef Hussain is a media blogger and writes for Essen Travels, the rent a car company that hire companies in Mumbai. You can interact with Tauseef on Twitter @usef4u