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Tourist Visa


Who Can Apply?

A tourist visa can only be granted to a foreigner who does not have a residence or occupation in India and whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives, etc. No other activity is permissible on a tourist visa. A tourist visa may be issued normally for three months to six months with single, double or multiple entries and is non-extendable and non-convertible. The duration of the visa is at the sole discretion of the Issuing Authority. All visa fees once paid are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome of the visa application and duration granted Please note that the validity of the visa begins from the date of issue by the High Commission of India and not from the date of travel on your application form.

Important Notice for all Journalists/Media professional applying for India Visa for Tourism: High Commission of India and its respective Consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh have introduced mandatory biometrics enrolment programme for specific visa categories with effect from 19 August 2016.

All foreign journalists, regardless of the purpose of their visit, should apply for a “J” (Journalist) visa, for up to three months' stay in India. Journalists applying for India visa are mandatorily required to give Biometrics at the time of the applications at the designated application centres. Please click here for more details on Biometrics and visit the Journalist Visa Category section on the website.

Kindly ensure all the fields of the visa application form are completely filled before submitting including your UK and India referees. Please note if you are going for tourism purposes and do not have Indian referees kindly attach a self-undertaking that you will book your accommodation/ hotels on arrival in India.

Applicants who wish to travel to Restricted/Protected Areas (Andaman-Nicobar/Sikkim) for tourism are required to obtain the Restricted Area Permit before their travel. Please fill the Additional Information Form for the restricted area permit.

Visa Fees

Biometric enrolment is mandatory for issue of visas with duration of 5 years or above.

The fee in the table is inclusive of the £3 Consular Surcharge.

Please note the length of visa & number of entries to be granted, is at the sole discretion of the competent authorities issuing the visa.

Mode of payment could be Cash, Debit Card (we do not accept credit cards), Postal Order or Bank Draft payable to “VF Services UK Ltd”

Please Note: All visa fee once tendered are non–refundable

Documents Required

Biometric enrolment is mandatory for issue of 5 years Tourist visa.

Tourist Visa:

  • Passport valid for a minimum of 180 days with at least two blank pages.
  • Correct visa fee.
  • Two recent 50 mm * 50 mm size photographs. Please check the Photo Specification.
  • Duly filled online Application form* and Declaration with signatures.(Printed and duly signed)

*All applicants are requested to make an appointment before visiting our centers to submit their visa applications. Applicants holding dual nationality, while filling up the online application form, should select the current nationality as the nationality of origin. Same nationality details need to be filled in the section B & British or the second nationality passport details to be filled in the field ‘Any other Passport/Identity Certificate held’, in the same section.

In case you are unable to make an appointment kindly ensure:

  • you have allowed one working day before the making an appointment.
  • UK passport holder need to ensure that they have filled in the nationality correctly – as United Kingdom. Appointment system does not recognize the below nationalities

    1. UK British Dependant Territories Citizen
    2. UK British National (Overseas)
    3. UK British Overseas Citizen
    4. UK British Protected Person
    5. UK British Subject

In case if the nationality has been chosen as any of the above, kindly fill up a new application form and make an appointment using the new application form reference number(GBR..).

High Commission of India and its respective Consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh have introduced mandatory biometrics enrolment programme for specific visa categories with effect from 19 August 2016 Applicants whose applications fall under this requirement are requested to apply in person to submit their biometric details with prior appointments – Please click here for more details.

Please click here to know the additional documents required from persons holding a Non -UK Passport or Originating from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or China.

Document Checklist:

Tourist Visa (Applicable for all applicants applying for Tourist Visa)

Additional Document Checklist for Non- UK Passport Holders

For Media related Professionals, Police or Armed Forces, Commercial Pilots/Crew Members, Charity/Social Workers, Researchers, and Priest going to India for Tourism-

  • Employer’s letter addressed to the HCI, London OR its respective consulates stating the purpose of travel.
  • Media Related professionals who are Self Employed need to provide an Undertaking letter stating no Professional related activities would be undertaken during the stay in India.

The above letters should be provided on the letter head of the company and addressed to High Commission of India and its respective Consulates.

All foreign Journalists need to apply for a Journalist visa, regardless of purpose of visit.  For instance, a foreign Journalist visiting India for Tourism should also apply for a Journalist visa.   All such applicants are required to apply along with a letter from their organization describing clearly the job title of the applicant and the nature of their work and whether they are travelling on work or as tourists.  Visa application will not be accepted in absence of this supporting letter. 

All Non-UK passport holders (other than Gratis countries) working in Media field are required to pay a total of £67.20

For Person whose previous nationality was Indian before acquiring foreign nationality.

  • Copy of Surrender Certificate and Copy of the Cancelled Indian Passport (Self-Attested) OR
  • lf travelled to India before, please provide your previous Passport with Indian Visa.

For Minor Child (Under 16 Years of age):

  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate showing both the parent’s names.
  • Consent letter addressed to the HCI, London OR its respective consulates signed by both the parents
  • Photocopy of Parent’s passports along with the copy of their current Indian Visa, if already holding one. If parents are Indian citizens, copy of the resident status in the UK would be required.
  • In case of Divorce, Child Custody Letter from court in respect of the child is required.
  • In case of Single Parent, Solicitor’s Letter and Child Benefit letter will be required.
  • In case of Minor’s Application/Declaration either of the parents can sign the application form.

Important Note: Applicants are requested to submit photocopies of the supporting documents (not the originals) unless originals are requested.

Please Note: That this list is not exhaustive and does not guarantee a visa. The High Commission of India or its Consulates reserve the right to ask for additional documents if required.

Photo Specifications

It is imperative that the photograph submitted at the time of application must fall within the specifications and sizes given below. Applicants can obtain the correct specification photograph from the coin operated vending machine available at the visa application centres. Unacceptable photographs, that do not meet the specifications, may not be accepted for submission.

Sample Photograph:

  • The photograph should be in color and of the size of 2 inch x 2 inch (50 mm x 50 mm).
  • The photo-print should be clear and with a continuous-tone quality.
  • It should have full face, front view, eyes open.
  • Photo should present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.
  • Center head within frame.
  • The background should be a plain light colored background.
  • There should not be any distracting shadows on the face or on the background.
  • Head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but the facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of the face must be clearly shown.
  • The expression on the face should look natural.
Photo Specifications

Do’s and Don’ts for a Proper photograph

  • The photo should capture full face, front view, with eyes open.
  • The head should be in the centre of the frame.
  • There should be no distracting shadows on the face or background.
    Photo Specifications
  • Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin as shown above.
    Photo Specifications

Lighting on face and background

  • The light should be even and balanced to avoid shadows on the face.
  • Background behind the face should be properly illuminated to avoid shadows in the background.
    Photo Specifications

Photograph Print Properties

  • The photograph should be in size 2 inch x 2 inch (50 mm x 50 mm) and in color.
  • Print photo on thin photo paper.
  • Ensure the print is clear and has a continuous-tone quality.
  • Do not retouch or otherwise enhance or soften the photo.
    Photo Specifications

Resolution and Printing Quality/Contrast and Colour

  • High-resolution photography and printing are strongly recommended.
  • Both conventional and digital photography are acceptable, and conventional or digital printing methods may be used.
  • Resulting print should exhibit a continuous-tone quality regardless of the print method used (dye sublimation, ink jet, laser, etc.)
  • Digitally printed photos should be produced without visible pixels or dot patterns
  • Fine facial features should be discernible.
  • Brightness and contrast should be adjusted to present the subjectand background accurately.
  • Photos without proper contrast or color may obscure unique facial features.
  • Color should reproduce natural skin tones.
  • Fluorescent or other lighting with
  • Unbalanced color may cause unwanted color cast in the photo. Appropriate filters can eliminate improper color balance.
    Photo Specifications

Head & Eyes- Position and Background

  • Head should face the camera directly and should not tilt or turned (portrait style).
  • Photo must show both edges of the face clearly.
  • The eyes must be open, level and clearly visible and must not be covered by hairs or eyeglass frames.
    Photo Specifications


  • Glare on eyeglasses should be avoided with a slight upward or downward tilt of the head.
  • No tinted or dark glasses.
    Photo Specifications

Head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but the facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of the face must be clearly shown.

Exposure and Lighting

  • There should not be any over-exposure or underexposure which results in an unusable photo.
  • There should be a three-point balanced lighting. Facial features should be clearly evident in the photo.
  • Lighting should be adjusted to avoid shadows on the face or background. Diffuse sources of light, such as umbrella lights, are preferable to point sources.
    Photo Specifications

Flexibility in Children’s photographs

  • Babies under one year do not have to have their eyes open.
  • As regards the photograph of the children under ten years of age, requirements can be somewhat relaxed in respect of height of the face and the position of the eyes in the photographs; and in case of babies and infants also, the position of the face, the facial expression, the eyes and the line of sight can have some relaxation. However, a frontal photograph with clarity is required for children.
  • It should show the child alone (no chair backs, toys or other people visible) looking at the camera with a neutral expression and the mouth closed.
    Photo Specifications

Processing Time

Processing times vary from application to application at the sole discretion of the High Commission of India and its Consulates in the UK, and some applications may take longer than others to get processed. Hence, confirm your travel plans only after obtaining the visa

Applications in the following categories may take longer to be processed, when submitted in person at the centre:

  • Non-UK passport holders residing in the UK for less than two years. (Minimum 6-8 working days). Where clearance from competent authorities is mandatory
  • Nationals or origin of Pakistan (Minimum 7-8 weeks)
  • Nationals of Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan & UK Travel documents.  (Minimum 15 working days)
  • Regular Cases may take a minimum of 3 to 5 working days.

In addition, if the High Commission or the Consulate General requires an applicant to attend an interview, the India Visa Application Center will contact the applicant and inform the date and time of the interview accordingly.

Please note VFS Global 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 grant or refusal of India visas is at their sole discretion.

The processing times for visas are estimates only. These are based on information and experience of the Indian High Commission and Consulates.

The processing of your application is subject to the procedures and timescales of the Indian High Commission and Consulates, over which we have no control.

"Please note that the validity of visa starts from the date of issue and not from the date of travel"

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