Visa is basically a document that is issued by a foreign country to the citizen of another country (say, Indians) mentioning the permissible period of stay, restrictions, validity, and many more. Every Indian citizen who seeks visa must have an Indian passport.
There are many countries where Indian citizens either don’t need any visa for entry or can get entry access upon arrival. Till February 19, 2019, there are 61 countries/territories where Indians either have visa-free or visa on arrival access. In terms of travel freedom, Henley Passport Index has given 79th position to the Indian passport.
What are the Documents Needed by Indian Passport Holders to Enter Most Countries?
An Indian citizen having valid passport needs to furnish the following documents or details for entering most countries:
- Visa Application Form – Indian citizen, wishing to visit a foreign country, have to fill up visa application form. In addition, they have to furnish recent passport size photograph and other documents.
- Passport and other Travel Documents – For visiting other countries, Indian citizens should either provide their valid passport or any other travel document(s). As a general rule, the visa applicant must have at least 6 months of passport validity from the intended date of travel. In fact, the concerned passport should also have sufficient numbers of blank pages for the officials for immigration stamping.
- Letter of Invitation – There are a few specific countries that need Indian nationals to provide a letter of invitation at the time of visa application.
- Biometrics – There are certain countries that need visiting Indian citizens to provide their biometric details (for example fingerprints) either at the time of arrival or at the immigration check.
- Visa Interview – There are certain foreign countries which require Indian nationals (seeking visa) to appear before a Visa interview. This depends upon the category of Visa for which the Indian citizen has applied for.
- Visa Fee – A certain processing fee is charged from an Indian citizen on the basis of the applicant’s visa requirements (period of stay, entry scheme, and others).
Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens – Recent Changes
- In June 2013, India and Bangladesh agreed in their bilateral agreement to grant visa to each other’s citizens who either travel with official or diplomatic passports. This agreement holds for designated travelers traveling by air, sea, or road. However, it doesn’t hold good while traveling by train.
- Visa requirements are removed by the following countries:
- Indonesia (since July’17)
- Qatar (since August’17)
- Serbia (since September’17)
- Tunisia (since October’17)
- Since July’17, Australia has started offering Indian passport holders with an online, e600 visitor visa.
- Online visitor visas are offered to Indian citizens by many more countries including:
- Kyrgyzstan (since September’17)
- Armenia (since November’17)
- Vietnam (since 2018)
- Uzbekistan (since 2018)
- Visa on arrival has recently been granted to Indian passport holders by:
- Gabon (since October’17)
- Rwanda (since January’18)
- Zimbabwe (since February’18)
- Angola (since February’18)
- Jordan (since February’18)
- Iran (since July 22, 2018)
- Bahamas (since April 24, 2018; but only to those having valid visa from the US, Canada, UK, or Schengen)
- For expedited entry into the US, eligible Indian travelers can also participate in the Global Entry program.
- Since July 23, 2018, France has done away with the Airport Transit Visas (ATV) for Indian citizens.
- Visa application fees have been abolished by both Indian and Bangladesh for each other’s passport holders from 2018.
- Starting from December 12, 2018, Indian tourists entering Myanmar through Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay international airports will get visa-on-arrival.
- From January 1, 2019 Kazakhstan has introduced a single entry electronic visa procedure for Indian citizen.