Getting the Indian Visa in Kathmandu wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be. We had envisaged long queues, communication breakdown, answered questions, filling the form wrongly, stress, etc. But everything ran smoothly.
Perhaps it helped that we were staying in Nepal for three months, so we did go to the Embassy to enquire about the process beforehand. Once we left with all the answers, we knew that getting the Indian tourist visa in Kathmandu was going to be fairly easy.
There is no way around it, unless you are a Bhutan or Nepali national, all other nationalities MUST obtain a visa before arriving in India.
Things change – prices go up and new requirements are implemented. At the time of writing (December 2016), this was the process for obtaining the Indian Visa in Kathmandu.
Please note: Not to be confused with the eTourist Visa (eTV), which the citizen of 113 countries are entitled to apply for a visa prior their arrival, for visits not exceeding 30 days. For more information, please click here.
Directions to the India Embassy in Kathmandu
From Thamel is about fifteen minutes walk heading north just off Lazimpath.
Embassy of India ,
336 Kapurdhara Marg,
Application hours are from Monday to Friday between 9.30am-12pm.
What you need to know before applying for the Indian tourist visa in Kathmandu (VT):
- Allow 8-10 days as a minimum
- Don’t apply for the tourist visa during the festivals or holidays in India (Either the office will be closed or the waiting time can take up to 1 month)
- Bring the right amount of money to pay for the visa in Nepalese Rupees
- Apply in person at the India Embassy. Paying an agency will cost you twice as much
- Don’t waste money on getting new passport pictures if these do not match the official requirements
- Buying flights/bus tickets to India doesn’t necessary mean that you will obtain a visa nor will it speed up the process
- Your passport MUST be valid for a period of six months or more before entering India
- The visa starts from the date of issue, not from the date of arrival in India. So do not apply for the visa once you arrive in Nepal as that will be a waste of days from the visa itself
It requires 3 visits to obtain the Indian Tourist Visa. Let us tell you how we got ours:
Because we had time to spare in Kathmandu we chose to apply for the visa in person and visited the India Embassy nearly one month before applying for the visa as we wanted to know the official requirements, the waiting time and the costs. We couldn’t believe how much Thomas had to pay for his visa, a whopping Rs17,500/USD$155/GBP£125. Whereas I had to pay Rs4,850/USD$40/GBP£35 because I have a Portuguese Passport.
Paying an agency was never an option, but we did pay for some help on filling out the form. During our first and second visit four people got their application rejected due to some errors. As we didn’t want that to happen to us, we opted on getting some guidance from the shop next to the embassy.
The staff are helpful and very quick; they have been doing it for years and know exactly the correct way of filling out the form. Getting some guidance and paying a small fee for it was better than having the visa process rejected. It saved us time and stress.
Showing that you have purchased a ticket to India before getting the Visa does not help you obtaining the Visa and it can still be rejected. Actually, they suggest only booking the tickets after the Visa is issued. This can be an expensive decision as the Visa starts on the day of issue. You must buy an outward ticket from Nepal within a few days or weeks after receiving it from the embassy.
How to apply for the Indian Visa in Kathmandu:
- Knowing the hostel/guesthouse address in India is an advantage
- “No Religion” it’s not an option!
- “Unemployed” it’s also not an option! You must provide your Employer’s Address, but if like us, you don’t have a job back home, the last employer will suffice. I guess it’s a reassurance you make ends meet to travel.
Next door, at the shop, they will:
- Download and fill in the form for you – Cost: NPR500
- Take 2 passport pictures (Size 2-inch x 2-inch, 51mm x 51mm/white background) – Cost: NPR250
- Make a copy of your passport front page and the Nepali visa
At the Embassy
Simple steps for obtaining the Indian Visa and Documents needed:
- Application Form
- 1 picture, 2×2 white background
- Copy of Passport (first page)
- Copy of Nepali Visa and/or last Indian Visa
There are 3 visits: 1st day, 5th working day and 6th working day
On the 1st day, after getting everything ready next door, we waited for our turn. Once they called our number, we handed in our application forms, paid and got a receipt with a stamp date, for the second visit, on the 5th working day. (First visit from 9.30am-12.30pm only)
On the 5th day, the lady told us the Visas got approved. We left our Passports at the Embassy and received the same receipt as day 1, with a second stamp date, for the 6th working day.
(Second visit from 9.30am-12.30pm only)
On the 6th day, we collected our Passports with our Visas! (Third visit from 5.00 pm-5.30pm only)
That’s it…We both got our 3 months India Visa!
For more information, check the India Visa online website.
Further reading: Lonely Planet India (Travel Guide) is a complete and all-inclusive guide for those wanting to experience and explore India. We strongly recommend reading this guide as it helped us planning our own trip. Happy Travels!