New India Visa Rules Update

Written By: The Planet D

People traveling to India on a tourist or e-Business Visa can stay for up to one year with 1 year with multiple entries.

Continuous stays cannot last for more than 90 days with the exception of US, UK, Japan and Canada who can stay for up to 180 days.

New Visa Rules for India

Note: we are in the process of updating this article as the rules have changed drastically since we were in India. 

A few years ago, India changed its Visa rules after learning that the American terror suspect freely exited and entered India several times without arousing suspicion.

Headley, who was on regular 6 month multiple entry visas, took part in the 2008 26/11 terror attacks killing 173 people.

But things are now back to normal and people can stay longer with multiple entries.

What does this mean for travelers?

This poses a problem for the normal 6 month multiple entry Visa holders.  With the new rules, a person cannot re enter India within two months of leaving.

If you stay for the entire 180 days of your Visa, you will also need give two months before being allowed back in unless you have obtained special permission.

Travelers (like us) who wish to visit neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal and then return to India could face a problem.

Canadians traveling to India

It is easy for Canadians to get an Electronic tourist E-Visa without having to go to an embassy.

Canadians can stay in India for 180 consecutive days. And up to 1 year with multiple entries.

To apply for an India visa you will need:

  • A passport, (that must be valid for 6 months after the date of arrival in India.
  • Digital Passport photo
  • Scan of your passport.

It only takes 4 days to get an Indian Visa, but you can put a rush to receive it withint 24 hours.

Old Information

How this will affect you the traveler?

The government has stated that even though they have passed the new legislation, the 2-month gap rule will be flexible for tourists traveling on a 6 month visa.  If the person keeps all documents and a detailed itinerary of their travels, they will be able to re enter India after visiting another country like Sri Lanka or Thailand.

It looks like the multiple entry Visa will fall by the wayside as the government plans to issue travelers with only two or three entries.

What you should do

If you are trying to re-enter India within two months time of departure, seek approval from the consulate in the country that you will be traveling from.  For example, if you left India for Nepal for a two week trek and want to come back to India afterward find the Indian Consulate and obtain permission to re-enter India.

That way you will save yourself a trip and wasted ticket if you are turned away at the border.

Once you do re-enter from another country, you must report to a Foreigners Regional Registration office within 14 days of arrival.

In the past, we had heard that it was easy to extend your Visa, however now with the new regulations, you do not want to take the chance of over staying your time.  Rules will be enforced more strictly and you may face deportation.

Things Won’t Change too Much

While the new rules sound harsh, for the average traveler it shouldn’t be a problem.  If you need to reenter more than 2 or 3 times in a 6 month period during your travels, you should probably reevaluate your itinerary.

That is a lot of backtracking and hopping about. If you are only reentering India one or two times, you should be O.K. If you keep all of your documents and papers showing that you have been legitimately traveling through a neighboring country, you should have no problem entering India.

It never hurts to register with a government office during your travels so a visit to the Foreigners Regional Registration isn’t such a bad idea.

Just follow the rules, check with the Indian consulate from your country and visit their website to keep up to date on further information and your trip to India should be painless and hassle free.

Note: Visa Rules are constantly changing in India.

Read More

Post New India Visa Rules, An Update

New Visa Rules, Our Re-Entry

India Train Travel : Tips for Navigating the Indian Railway System

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

18 thoughts on “New India Visa Rules Update”

  1. With regards to issuing visas and their visa policies, India may be one of the most inconsistent. Sometimes those visas that are already issued are invalidated just because of a change in policy. Not to mention the fact that visa issuance privatized so you are actually dealing with a private company.

    Reply
  2. This is rediculas……why are they making inicent people suffer, terist will get in to India if they are going to keep there door open via sea. specilly there are making like difficult for normal indian people. its gone effect me in big way because i have family in Porbandar, India so offten traveling and im hindu so its last thing will on mind to harm India in any way.

    These rules should only apply to Pakistani………….and for Indians.

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  3. So why the he’ll travel to india where the officers act as if the are your destiny maker and breakers they are so rude and act as if you a for granted a terrorist.
    Reminds me of the movie where the gov officials act on normall people is the cause of new born terrorist.
    If india is so afraid why don’t they just shut the doors to foreign travelers
    I guess some mp should go through the agony of being refused entry and sent back and have to wait for the next flight for 10 hours at the airport with ought being even offered a lounge to sleep in then the law makers would learn some humanity.

    Reply
  4. We just received this email from Jan, the Canadians that we met. Looks like we will be making other plans. Check it out for yourself…

    “Well, it did not turn out for us. We are in the Taj airport hotel in Sri Lanka chilling and anticipating a large gin and tonic.
    Kingfisher airlines denied us bording after seeing the stamp in our passports. I asked for the duty manager and produced the information from the Indian Consulate saying they weren’t inconveniencing bone fide tourists and there was discretion at Indian immigration upon landing. I showed 3 airline tickets, 6 hotel vouchers and railway tickets as well as a flight out of Delhi. No use..he said ALL airlines were told NOT to allow anyone on board who had not met the 2 month requirement. (we were with Kingfisher but I asked about getting on a different flight) India is shipping people back to their departure point and the Sri Lankan people may not allow re-entry. He said the Indians are impossible to talk to and refuse to make any firm policy.”

    Reply
  5. I wish i could say that i’m surprised, but i’m really not. It’s so typical of India. Like you say, everything is totally random and either really complicated and confusing or suspiciously easy and confusing.

    Reply
    • Haha Sofia. It is the suspiciously easy and confusing that is the scary thing eh:) But yes, you are right. Everything is so random you never know what one person is going to say to the next. We will see how it goes and keep you posted. Watch for news around the 23rd or 24th of February. We fly back the night of the 22nd.

      Reply
  6. This whole nonsense affects us, too, and it is even more irritating to me because we have 10-year multiple entry visas — so clearly, we come back and forth to India and dump a lot of money into the country. The whole thing is preposterous. It might be a long shot . . . but you might want to try heading back to the consulate again and see if you can talk to a different person.
    .-= Akila´s last blog ..elephant beauty at patara elephant farm =-.

    Reply
    • Hi Akila, Thanks for the advice. That is terrible for you having a 10 year visa. We never went to the consolate, it was some other Canadians that we met. Luckily we are very flexible so worse case scenario (we hope) is that we will be sent out of the country or back to Sri Lanka. Ideally, we are hoping for a transit Visa to get to Delhi from Chennai so that we can get a cheaper flight to Nepal. Flights from Sri Lanka are quite expensive, so we are going to take a chance and see what happens. Besides, it will be good reading for everyone to see how it goes:)

      Reply
  7. It’s a shame that the word ‘bureaucracy’ has become synonymous with ‘confusion and frustration’, especially since so much of the time the very people responsible for enforcing rules are the ones confused, which leads to inconsistent interpretations. And both the tourists and those who rely on tourism are the ones who suffer.
    .-= Trisha Miller´s last blog ..How To Manage Your Blog While Traveling =-.

    Reply
  8. Wow – that really is India! I love that you are taking the situation with aplomb though and will head where ever the travel gods take you 🙂
    .-= Shannon OD´s last blog ..A Little Cozy…Peat Fireplaces, Rugged Ireland, & Something Special =-.

    Reply
  9. Joys of traveling! BTW – the movie Terminal is said to be based on the true story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who lived in Terminal One of the Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris from 1988 when his refugee papers were stolen until 2006 when he was hospitalized for unspecified ailments…
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..A Windy Day in Cape Town =-.

    Reply
    • Yikes! He lived in Charles de Gaulle for almost 20 years! I never did see the movie, maybe I shouldn’t have made a crack about it. That is terrifying and sad.

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  10. Good Information, it sounds like the south of india would be better to camp out.

    Anyway, I really don’t understand why people book ahead? But I do understand that it is kind of a tourist industry thing.

    Thanks for the visa update.
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..It’s Official, Winter Arrived In Bulgaria. =-.

    Reply
    • Hey Shawn. A lot of people book ahead because they are on a limited time and it is more economical for the most part. For us lucky few, we have the freedom to book as we go. We need to get back to India ourselves to finish our route and move onto Nepal. Flights are really expensive from Sri Lanka, so ideally we would like to move on from Delhi. We will see how it goes.

      Reply
  11. Wow that sounds so frustrating for you, and for the others who’ve been affected by the new visa rules. Hope everything goes smoothly when you try to get back to India, I’ll have my fingers crossed.
    .-= Alouise´s last blog ..No Day But Today =-.

    Reply
    • Thanks Alouise, we will see how it goes. If nothing else, at least others can learn from our experience. We knew about the rules before leaving, but as we have seen and even read since, it is not supposed to be a problem for tourists using it as a home base, however, things can change in an Instant in India.

      Reply