Thinking of heading to India on holidays? Looks like you’re going to need an Indian Visa for the journey.
Below is my experience of applying for one here in Ireland. To date, I’ve found visa applications ridiculously tedious and I long await the day when they’re straightforward!
But I digress. To apply for an Indian Tourist Visa, you must first visit the Indian Embassy website here. Tourist visas are valid for a period of six months from the day that they’re issued.
Unfortunately, the website for the Embassy isn’t exactly user-friendly. All the important information IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS FOR NO REAL REASON. It’s worth a read-through anyway to get an idea of what to expect though if you can handle the text…
Before you fill out the application:
- Make sure to have your passport details at hand.
- Take a clear selfie of yourself against a white or light background and have it ready to upload onto the website too.
- Make sure you have access to a printer/scanner.
I personally just prefer handing over my documents in person instead of posting it, so bear in mind here’s what you need to bring to the Embassy too:
- Original passport that’s still valid for a minimum of 180 days with at least two blank pages.
- One recent 5×5 cm-size photograph taken against a plain light coloured or white background.
- Visa Application form duly filled in and signed.
- Indian Visa fees – Payment is accepted only through postal order or Bank Draft favouring “Embassy of India, Dublin”. Note: Applications for children of Indian origin, have to be signed by both parents if they are to travel alone or with only one parent.
- Recent utility bill or Bank statement with name and address of applicant printed on it for proof of residence in Ireland (only for non-Irish passport holders).
Head along to the online application here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Apply Online” circle.
Thankfully the application process isn’t timed, but it’s really long and tedious. Oh, and it gets very personal. From asking about identifiable body marks, to asking in-depth about your origins, it’s pretty slow to get through.
Be warned, you might lose concentration a bit, as I did and have to fill it in again. I accidentally said I wanted a visa for “60 months”.
With the visa application complete you’ll have the opportunity to download and print the form. Do so and sign the document.
At this point I headed out to gather the final bits I needed. You need to attach a photograph of yourself to the form. Similar to the one you uploaded. I got mine done at a pharmacy at €8 for two and glued it to the form.
I got a Postal Order through An Post. Because I had applied for a Tourist Visa I had to get two separate Postal Orders. One for €50 and €2. When you get a Postal Order through An Post, you pay there and get a slip of paper with the sum. Keep a hold of these. You then address the sum to the Embassy of India, Dublin on the slips of paper.
To be safe:
Make copies of everything and scan everything to keep everything safe on your computer/online. I made copies of my application, postal orders and passport.
The day after I filled out my application I headed along to the Indian Embassy in Ranelagh in Leeson Park. The 11 Dublin Bus can take you to it.
Visa applications can be submitted in the Consular Section of the Embassy between 9.30am – 12.00pm and collected between 4.00pm – 5.00pm on all working days.
The building itself isn’t hard to find and has the Indian flag outside it. Being completely honest, don’t expect a warm welcome. The Consular Section is more like a waiting room than an embassy. Its décor is dated and it’s quite rundown.
The bright side is, despite the cool atmosphere, it’s efficient. I was just queueing for a few minutes and then got seen to. I handed over my documents and passport and was told that my visa would be ready the following week.
Note: Keep a hold of the receipt that they give you. You need to hand it back in when you’re collecting your visa.
The following Thursday I went back to the Embassy. I handed over the receipt and without a smile or a “hello”, was handed my passport back. A bit confused because I was given no instructions I was left standing there looking a bit dumbstruck. Eventually, the man looked back at me and waved his hand saying “it’s in the passport”. And that was that.
Overall, despite the unfriendliness, it was a relatively straightforward process to get an Indian Visa. I was secretly thrilled to have the visa in my passport too because sometimes a visa is just a sheet of paper.