How to Get an Indian Visa

by Margaret Ulrich

Oct 29, 2014

Varanasi, India © Sage McHugh


The Taj Mahal, Kerala, the Himalayas. All of these sights are excellent reasons to visit India. However, prior to May 21, 2014, there was a barrier between landing in India and actually getting to see these destinations: the visa process. Not only is India one of the few countries where you must obtain a visa prior to arrival, the company responsible for granting visas was less than agreeable. Thankfully, since then, Cox and Kings Global Services has made it nearly a painless process.


As a tourist, click on Type of Visa and Fees and decide whether you’d like to obtain your visa in person or through the mail. There are locations in:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • New York
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • San Francisco
  • Atlanta

If you can make the drive, go. But otherwise choose the Postal/Courier option and mail your passport, application and passport photo to them.


Complete the online application to the best of your ability. Print a copy for your records.


When you ensure your application is correct and then submitted, the website will prompt you to make an appointment. The turnaround time to actually receiving your visa — either by returning to the location or by courier — is between five and 10 business days, so it is important to consider that based on your day of departure.


The visa begins the day it is approved not your anticipated date of departure, and while most tourist visas are for six months, be sure to consider that when applying. The cost for a six-month tourist visa plus courier fees is around $100.


As of November 27, 43 countries are now eligible for visas on arrival. For information on specific countries’ eligibility and how to obtain this new type of visa visit the official ETA website.



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