For centuries, India has exerted a fascination on travelers who seek above all a change of scenery and adventure. Multicultural land with a rich history, the country is a kaleidoscope of traditions on which it has relied to develop tourism unique in the world. Quest for spirituality, taste for exoticism or business trips, the reasons which push Westerners to explore India are as numerous and varied as the landscapes it offers.
However, if the country is often described as a place conducive to wonder and the loss of landmarks, it is nonetheless a very modern and dynamic region. Thereby, entry formalities in India have recently evolved, particularly in terms of obtaining visas. thus a small guide for the use of those who wish to travel India in all administrative serenity.
The different types of visas available to French nationals
The e-tourist visa
This type of visa is valid for one year for a maximum stay of 90 days in the country and which begins upon entry into the territory. It is accessible to the French but also to the Swiss, Belgians and Canadians and allows multiple entries into the country. It is recommended to apply online at least 10 days before departure: it can be done through the official website of the Government of India or its affiliates. The form to fill out is quite a tedious task. This complex procedure, which regularly results in boarding denials when the form is not completed correctly, requires a certain know-how. This is why we strongly advise you to apply for the India visa through a specialized agency which will take charge of establishing the request. Following acceptance of the file, the applicant will receive, theoretically within 4 days, the confirmation from the authorities. He will then have to print the document to present it to the authorities when entering the territory.
E-business and e-medical visas
For business travelers, or medical travelers, it may be necessary to apply for specific visas such as the e-business visa or the e-medical visa. The conditions for obtaining it are the same as for the e-tourist, provided that the planned stay does not exceed more than 180 days for business travelers, 60 for medical visas. Thus, it is compulsory to enter the territory only through predefined airports and ports. To leave the country, it will be necessary to go through an immigration checkpoint, present in all the places previously mentioned but also at the land border with Nepal in several localities. Also note that in the far northeast of the country, it is mandatory to have special permits to visit certain regions, such as Sikkim for example.
Cases where an e-visa is not sufficient
Tourists who wish to travel for more than 90 days, medical visitors whose treatment exceeds 60 days or business travelers who plan to stay more than 180 days on site will have to go through a physical visa application to enter the territory. Likewise, people who wish to volunteer, those who want to study in India or those who are looking for a job in the country will also have to go through this procedure, which is longer and more expensive. Certain trades, such as diplomats, journalists or researchers also see their obtaining of visas and the formalities of entry into the territory subject to specificities. Contact your embassy for more information.
The documents to be provided to obtain an e-visa for India
For French citizens, it is essential to havea passport valid for six months after the return date. Also note that it must have three consecutive blank pages. If you are traveling with your children, provide them with an individual passport, whatever their age. To obtain the e-visa online, it will be necessary to scan in color and in high definition the pages relating to the holder's identity, which include date of birth, passport number, etc. Do not hesitate to contact your embassy if you need additional information on the establishment of the passport or if you lose it during your trip.
Also be aware that obtaining an e-visa is determined by providing precise information about your travel plan. Thus, it will be essential to inform your arrival and departure dates, your first destination and the places you plan to visit, but also to provide the identity of a contact on the spot (tour operator, hotel or personal contact). For business people, a photocopy of the professional card will also be requested while medical travelers will have to provide a letterhead written by the hospital which will welcome them on site. If you are traveling to attend a conference, you must provide the invitation letter from the organizer as well as its “political clearance” which certifies the authorization of the event by the authorities.
As with the passport, you will also need to provide a color and high definition scan of your passport photo. The photo must be clear, without folds or traces and must ideally meet the standards of usual passport photos. The presentation rules are strict. The photo must first of all be recent and similar to the one on your passport. It can be square or rectangular but should not be too contrasting or too exposed. In addition, it is forbidden to wear a hat, scarf or headband in the photo and the face must retain a neutral expression. Finally, the posture must be straight, the gaze turned towards the objective and the mouth closed.
It's your turn !
India is a mystical country, which attracts travelers from all walks of life with very different goals. But with the modernization of the country, obtaining visas and entry formalities have evolved. Whether you are an explorer, beatnik or prospector, take care to fill out the forms correctly, this is now the first step to take to achieve nirvana!
With this information in hand, all you have to do is tackle these formalities in order to be able to go to India with peace of mind.