Any foreign tourists except Nepalese citizens must travel with a valid visa attached on his or her passport to enter and exit India. Tourists must apply for visas at an Indian Embassy or Consulate abroad before entering the country. Indian visas are not issued at the port of entry unlike in other countries.

Indian visa rules change frequently, sometimes with little advance notice, and changes may be poorly advertised and inconsistently enforced. So, travelers are advised to check the Indian Government's Ministry of Home Affairs' Website before traveling to India to review the most updated information. If you travel on a tourist visa, you are generally granted six months visa for legal stay in India; extensions are rarely granted.

Tourist Visas can be issued for six months, one year and 10 years. Students, journalists, businessmen, journalists and others who want to visit India for professional purposes should obtain visas of the appropriate type. All visitors should enter India only through immigration authorized check post or airport only.

A foreigner coming to India on a tourist visa valid for 6 months need not register his name. However, this depends on the condition noted on the visa.

Validity of visas
All types of visas are valid for the indicated period from the date of issue (and not from the date of first entry into India). Post-dated visas are not issued.

Application form and picture requirements
All applicants for tourist visas are required to fill out an application form and provide one latest passport size photograph. Applicants for Business, Research, Journalist and some other types of visas are required to submit two forms duly filled in with two pictures.