Travel To India From Canada – What You Need To Know
For those of you traveling to India for the first time from Canada, there are a few things you need to get done well before you board that plane. My son and I have just completed a few of the most important things to get done before we begin our exciting journey throughout India.
Passports and Tourist Visas are Priority One!
Traveling To India From Canada – Visas
Travel To India From Canada Tip #1
Every person traveling to India whether it is for just a few days or months requires a specific entry Visa. In this post, I’m going to deal with Tourist Visas only.
There are two types of tourist visas you can apply for. The first and easiest is a Visa that is good for 30 days only. The second and a little more complicated, is one that is good for up to 6 months. As my son and I are traveling from 7 weeks and more, we required the second.
30 Day India e-Tourist Visa
For those of you visiting for under 30 days, the process can be done entirely online. You can make an e-Tourist Visa Application directly on the Official Government of India (Indian Visa Online) website.
I have listed the official link to this website below for your convenience.
➡ International Travelers whose sole objective of visiting India is for; recreation, sight-seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
➡ Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India.
➡ Passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
➡ International Travelers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
Instructions For e-Tourist India Visa
Travel To India From Canada Tip #2
Applicants may apply online having met eligibility a minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. So, if you are applying on the 1st of September, then you can select an arrival date from 5th September to the 4th of October.
Be sure to read the Instructions for Applicant page thoroughly before applying. It may seem confusing at first, but really the process is quite straightforward and you can call or email their customer service personnel at any time for assistance.
In a nutshell you;
➡Complete Your Application Online – Upload A Photo & Passport Page;
➡Pay For Your Visa Using A Credit Or Debit Card;
➡Receive Your e-Tourist Visa By Email;
➡Print Your Tourist Visa & Carry With Your Passport.
This is a very simple and quick process for those who will be in India for 30 days maximum.
e-Tourist Visas are only eligible for visitors arriving in India by Air! If you are arriving in the country by Cruise Ship, you must complete a regular India Visa application.
Instructions For Regular India Visa
Travel To India From Canada Tip #3
This is the tourist visa we applied for, as we will be traveling in the country for more than 30 days. A little more involved, but if you follow the instructions, the process is quite simple as well.
It’s important to remember that this Visa is valid from the time it is processed, not the time you actually arrive in the India. So if you’re planning on staying in India for several months, you do not want to apply too early, allowing it to expire while you are in the country!
The link above to the website will also let you check on the status of your application at the Consulate once it is received from BLS International and download courier shipping labels if you wish.
If you call any one of the BLS Call Centers, they will take payment and email you the required shipping labels.
What You Need To Complete A Tourist Visa
Travel To India From Canada Tip #4
➡ Online visa application form duly filled and signed by the applicant. (This can be done at the same website address as the e-tourist visa application)
➡ One recent passport size (51 mm x 51mm) photographs in color, showing full frontal view of face against a white background to be pasted on the application form. (I also downloaded a photo and added it onto the application page.)
➡ A current valid passport with minimum of 190 days validity and two blank visa pages
➡ All documentation mentioned in Tourist Visa Checklist (Note: duly filled and signed by applicant for each application).
If you are having your documents couriered to the Center, you must provide a Money Order or Bank Draft for the applicable fee as indicated paid to:
BLS International Services Canada
BLS International is a service center used by the Indian Consulate for Visa and other applications. Check the website or call the center for the appropriate fee for processing your Tourist Visa.
You can complete and print out your application and either take it to an Indian Visa Center, or if you don’t live in the area, can pre-pay for their Courier service.
It appears to be much faster to obtain your visa for those people traveling over 30 days, by attending to one of the BLS Visa Centers in person.
Apparently it can be processed in much less time than the mail service.
We did ours by Courier service and it took 12 full business days from after the courier delivered our documents to the center. Then one day to courier the visa back to us. So if you are going to use the courier service, I highly recommend applying at least 3 weeks prior to your departure.
That’s it for us Canadians wanting to applying for a Tourist Visa for Travel to India. Now let’s have a quick look at some other important travel precautions and steps you should take for a safe and memorable trip!
Be sure to check the expiry date on your passport! So many people overlook this and as a matter of fact, close friends of ours failed to do this and when they arrived at the airport to head away on vacation, they completely overlooked this and discovered their passports were expired.
What a way to ruin a long awaited vacation! L
Travel To India From Canada Tip #5
There are no special vaccination requirements for travel to India for Canadians.
However, one would be very wise to have Hepatitis A & B shots well in advance for any type of foreign travel. It is also advised to take extra special care where mosquitoes are present, to prevent contracting Dengue fever and also the latest Zika virus.
Try to wear long-sleeved clothes and /or use repellents that contain DEET to help prevent mosquito bites.
Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂
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