As a Sri Lankan citizen, you may want to visit India for many reasons: business, medical, student, and the list goes long. The good thing is that the process to get an Indian Visa is easy for Sri Lankan citizens! The following guide covers every aspect of how Sri Lankans get an Indian visa, including the correct method, eligibility criteria, and in-depth detail of the list of Indian visas available to Sri Lankans. We’ll also look at the step-by-step process of applying for an Indian visa as a Sri Lankan citizen and how long it takes to proceed!
How to Apply for an Indian Visa?
The Indian Visa Online offers two methods for applicants to apply for an Indian Visa:
● Regular/Paper Visa
Let’s understand the difference between both.
The applicant is required to fill out a form online, print out the application, and submit it along with other necessary documents at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center or Indian Mission. The visa is then processed, and the applicant can receive it by visiting the Indian Mission/Visa Application Center or, it can also be sent via post.
e-Visa is easier to process since it allows the applicants to do everything online. It includes filling out the application, submitting the fee, receiving and printing their Electronic Travel Authorization (received via email), and presenting it at Immigration Check Post to get the e-Visa stamped on the passport.
Are Sri Lankan Citizens Eligible to Avail e-Visa for India?
Sadly, Sri Lankan citizens are currently not eligible to avail eVisa for India. It is because the Sri Lankan nationality is still on hold to be let into India. And since eVisa isn’t available for Sri Lankans, it means the only way to get an Indian visa for Sri Lanka is by regular/paper visa method.
Also, you can go through the list of countries/nationalities eligible to avail of Indian e-Visa at the official website of Indian Visa Online at the top in the left sidebar.
Eligibility Criteria for Indian Visa for Sri Lankans
The following conditions are required for a Sri Lankan citizen to apply for an Indian visa:
● The applicant should have a Sri Lankan nationality.
● Applicant’s passport shouldn’t be near the expiry date; a minimum of 6 months passport validity from the date of arrival in India is a must.
● Two pages (at least) in the applicant’s passport should be blank for the stamp.
● The applicant should acquire both the visa and a valid return ticket.
● The applicant has enough money to bear expenses while they stay in India.
● The applicant has valid documents to attach with the visa application as per the visa category they are applying to.
List of Indian Visas available for Sri Lankans
When applying for an Indian visa, a Sri Lankan resident can select any of the following Indian visa categories:
● Business Visa: to allow the applicant to engage in business activities in India.
● Conference Visa: to allow the applicant to participate in international workshops, seminars, and international conventions in India.
● Diplomatic Visa: eligible only to government officials (foreign service officers, etc.); to allow the professionals to conduct their assigned duty in India.
● Employment Visa: to allow the applicant to come to India for a particular job; eligible only to those foreigners who are highly capable and/or highly skilled/educated/proficient; ineligible to foreigners applying for an employment visa for jobs with qualified Indians available and/or routine/ordinary secretarial/clerical jobs.
● Entry Visa: eligible only for Indian origin applicants either with an Indian nationality or those with family members (parents/grandparents) of Indian origin/nationality. The Entry Visa contrasts with the Tourist Visa, given to non-Indian origin applicants.
● Film Visa: to allow the applicant to shoot/commercial a film/reality TV show and/or commercial TV serials in India, respectively.
● Journalist Visa: to allow the applicant to conduct journalism-related activities in India; eligible only to the official representatives of foreign media (professional journalists/photographers or members of press/radio/film/print industry such as reporters/editors/film crews, etc.); the typical Indian stay given is up to three months.
● Medical Visa: to allow the applicant to travel to India for medical purposes (seeking medical treatments); the visa is permitted to an applicant a total of three times.
● Missionary Visa: to allow the applicant to travel to India for religious purposes either to participate in a religious convention/event or to join a foreign organization in India organizing/conducting/performing religious/missionary work approved by the Indian government.
● Mountaineering Visa: to allow the applicant to engage in mountaineering/climbing mountain peaks in India; requires permission from concerned authorities in India (Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), C/o Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India, New Delhi).
● Student Visa: to allow the applicant to visit India for academic purposes in recognized Indian institutions; also eligible for students in exchange programs from recognized Indian educational institutions sponsored by AIESEC.
● Tourist Visa: opposite to Entry Visa; permitted to non-Indian origin applicants for casual visits (enjoyment, sightseeing, visiting relatives/friends, recreation, etc.). Applicants are not supposed to have an Indian residence/occupation.
● Transit Visa: to allow the applicant to pass through India to reach the desired destination; the visa is permitted only for a single/double journey. Also, the transit visa is not valid for change of purpose. The applicant is supposed to enter India within 15 days of the issue date.
● UN Diplomat/Official Visa: eligible only to diplomats/officials/UN passport holders/UN workers/members of Indian-located international organizations to allow them to travel to India to do their assigned duty/missions/posts in India; applicant’s spouse/children are also given diplomatic/official visas.
How to Apply for Indian Visa for Sri Lankans?
As stated earlier, an Indian visa for Sri Lankan citizens is only available through the regular/paper visa method. The eVisa is not granted to Sri Lanka for now. You can apply for an Indian visa as a Sri Lankan resident in the following steps:
1. Fill out the online form.
2. Print out the application form.
3. Submit documents.
4. Receive your visa.
Before we move on, it is essential to learn that even in the regular/paper visa application method, you get further two options to carry out the process:
● Fill out the online form, submit the fee and schedule the appointment online. Then, print out the form and submit it and other necessary documents at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center or Indian Mission.
● Fill out the online form. Next, print it and visit the concerned Indian Visa Application Center or Indian Mission to submit the visa fee, application form, and other required documents.
Now, let’s look in detail at each step and see how Sri Lankan residents can apply for an Indian visa.
Step 1: Fill Out the Online Form
1. Go to indianvisaonline.gov.in
2. Click on “For Regular/Paper Visa by Indian Mission/Post, Apply Here”
3. Select “Regular/Paper Visa Application.”
4. The “Online Visa Application” will open.
5. Fill out the details like
● the country you’re applying for a visa from (Sri Lanka)
● Concerned Indian Mission/Office; for Sri Lanka, there are four options available:
Select as per your convenience
● visa type
● visa purpose (as per the type), etc.
6. After filling in all the details, click “Continue.”
7. You’ll need to fill in a series of further pages. Once you are done, click “Submit.”
You’ll be given an application ID; save it.
Next, you can select whether you want to pay the visa fee and schedule your visit to the concerned Indian mission/post online or not.
8. If the former, select “Yes,” and you’ll be directed to an appointment scheduling page where you can choose a convenient date and time. Next, you can pay the required visa fee.
9. However, if you do not wish to pay and schedule online, click “No,” and the process will be finished.
Step 2: Print Out the Application Form.
It’s easy; the web page will give you the option to print the application form; you can save it on your PC/laptop and later print it. Make sure the graphics are legible and not blurred.
Step 3: Submit Documents
Visit the concerned Indian Visa Application Center or Indian Mission (Colombo, Hambantota, Jaffna, Kandy) to submit the application and required documents.
Step 4: Receive Your Visa
After your visa process is done, you can collect it from the Indian Visa Application Center or Indian Mission or get it sent to you by post.
How Long Does it take for the Visa to Proceed?
At least three days are required for the visa to process; you can also check your visa status through the official website of Indian Visa Online. You’ll need two things to log in:
● Your application ID generated at the completion of filling the online visa application form
● Your password
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