Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visa to go to India?
Yes, all foreigners except for nationals of Nepal and Bhutan need a visa to enter India.
Can I get a visa on arrival to enter India?
You can obtain "Tourist Visa-on-Arrival“ valid for 30 days for citizens of five countries viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore only. Other passport holders must obtain a visa before taking a flight to India. You cannot obtain a visa on arrival in India, and immigration authorities will not permit any foreigner to enter the country.
I want to visit India for tourism/to attend a friend's marriage/ to meet my friends. Which visa should I apply for?
You should apply for a tourist visa which is normally valid for multiple entries and a maximum stay of six months in India. Note that the tourist visa is non-extendable and cannot be converted into any other type of 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 for either six months or one year along with the requisite documents as per the Checklist. Note that a business visa does not permit you to work in India. If you want to work in India, you should apply for an employment visa.
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 along with an invitation letter, details of the conference etc. Clearance from competent authority from India is required.
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 entry 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.If you receive any monetary compensation/salary from the Indian organisation, you will have to apply for an Employment 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 wife and children may apply for entry visas . Your children will be able to get admission in schools/colleges in India once they have been granted entry visas. 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 more 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.
I have to travel to India on an emergency. Is there any extra charge for the same?
Visas are granted on holidays and after service hours in case of a genuine emergency like death or medical emergency subject to production of sufficient documentary proof. The decision of the Consular officer in this regard shall be final. Please note: Emergency visas are granted by the HCI and from the HCI with documentary proof. It is advised that you visit one of the VFS centres and get your documentation looked at before submitting.
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 visa fee cannot be refunded even if the visa is refused. Please refer to our terms and conditions.
Do I need a visa for my pet that I'm taking to India?
You do not need a visa for your pet. But you have to comply with certain customs and vaccination-related regulations. Consult your airline/travel agent for details of these regulations and the necessary documents needed to take your pet.
It's been a while since I submitted my application and passport. How can I find out the status of my application?
You can trace your application online by visiting our website or by calling our helpline Mondays to Fridays between 0830 hrs to 1730 hrs
Can I study in India?
Yes. With a valid student visa.
Can I work in India?
Yes. With a valid employment visa.
How do I know when my passport is ready for collection from the India Visa Application Centre?
Please track your passport either by logging on to" Track your Passport “ on our website or You can also call our helpline number to check the status of your passport.
Can I collect my passport from the High Commission of India, London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh and Birmingham?
No. You have to collect your passport from the India Visa Application Centre where you made the application or request for special delivery by DX courier Service to delivery at the requested address.
Do I have to submit my passport and visa application only at the India Visa Application Centre?
Yes. However, diplomatic and official passport holders can submit visa applications to the High Commission of India/Consulate directly.
How do I pay for the visa and service charges?
You can pay by cash debit or credit cards (except American Express card), postal order or bank drafts.
Will I be allowed to carry liquor to India?
Yes, But if you are travelling to Gujarat, the Liquor Permit is required to be obtained on arrival in India at the International Airports. 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, you can submit the application of your family / friend / colleague’s behalf as long as you have all the requisite documents and signed application forms.
My visa application is embassy pending, what should I do?
Please call our helpdesk or email us on for information on the next steps you need to take in order to complete your application.
How do I make an appointment to submit my visa application?
To make an appointment, you are required to complete an online visa application form, once you have completed the application form you will be prompted onto a screen where you can select an appointment date which is convenient for you (please note the time of your appointment will be computer generated).
What if I cannot make the time that I have been allocated?
While every effort should be made to submit your application at the time you have been allocated, we understand this is not always possible. Therefore if you cannot make the allocated time, then please ensure you submit your application on the date of your appointment anytime between the hours of 0830 - 1430.
I have completed an online visa application but forgot to note down my web reference number, how do I retrieve this?
If you require your web reference number to retrieve, modify or print your application, please email our information desk ( or call our helpdesk on 0905 757 0045)
I want to submit a PIO / OCI application, where do I do this?
For all PIO or OCI applications or queries, you will be required to apply directly at the India High Commission or the Consulate General in UK.
I want to submit my Liquor Permit application along with my visa application, how can I do this?
Please Note: The Liquor Permit is required to be obtained on arrival in India at the International Airports.
I have applied for a 1 year tourist visa but I have only been issued a 6 months tourist visa, has there been a mistake? How do I claim for a refund or can I have the visa extended to a year?
Please note VFS is not involved in the process of assessment of visa applications, or their grant or refusal

The assessment of visa applications is carried out by the High Commission of India or its Consulates, and the granting or refusal of India visas is at their sole discretion. If you have completed and submitted an application for an Indian Visa you have agreed to our terms and conditions.

As you will note from our terms and conditions, fees are not refundable, and in particular fees are payable whether or not a visa is ultimately granted
I have a family emergency in India, how do I apply for an emergency visa?
High Commission of India considers certain medical emergency situations like a critical illness in the family or a death of a close relative for processing visa on an emergency. Please note that relevant proof of the emergency e.g. Doctor or hospital letter explaining the critical illness or a death certificate in case of death is required by the High commission of India in order consider this visa category. The documents should be first presented at any of the India visa application centres and the staff will accordingly guide you on the procedure thereafter. Grant of an emergency visa is at sole discretion of the High commission of India, London & cannot be guaranteed
I have completed an online application and made payment but now I have to cancel my trip to India, how do I get a refund?
If you decide to cancel your visa application before submitting your application at the centre, you will be eligible for a refund of the visa fees only. (See link for Terms and Conditions). See link to the relevant section of our website where you can cancel your online application. Subsequently your refund will be initiated and processed in 5-7 working days.
I am travelling to India in 3 months time and wish to apply for a visa as soon as possible, can I apply now?
As visas are valid from the date of issue and not the date of travel, it is applicant's responsibility to ensure that the visa they have been granted is valid for the duration of their stay in India.
I would like to go to India for doing voluntary work. Which visa should I apply for? 
You must apply for an employment visa along with the requisite documents listed below. 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 more than 180 days.
Proof of his/her Employment letter/ Invitation Letter for Voluntary Work from Registered NGO indicating the duration of  the voluntary work,
Name and Place of work in India and
Duration of the Voluntary Work