Latest Guide on How to Get Indian Visa for Malaysians
India is one of the countries that Malaysians need a visa for, in order to enter. If you have never had to apply for one before, a visa is an official document given by a country to permit foreign visitors to enter and travel in their territory. Different countries may have different entry requirements for different nationalities.
These visas are usually given in the form of stickers that are attached on the pages of your passport. To get them, you may have to go to the respective embassies or travel agents. However, these days, many countries have switched to electronic visas (e-visas) instead, which means everything can be done online — from the application and payment processes to the issuance of the visa.
So, what kind of Indian visa do you need and how do you apply for it?
Table of Contents
Types of Indian Visa
There are several types of Indian visas available, depending on your travel purpose, duration of stay, and mode of transportation:
- Transit visa
- Tourist visa
- Medical visa
- Medical attendant visa
- Business visa
- Employment visa
- Project visa
- Intern visa
- Film visa
- Student visa
- Research visa
- Conference visa
- Mountaineering visa
- Missionary visa
- Journalist visa
- Entry visa
- Diplomat visa
- Official / miscellaneous visas
In this article, I will write about how to apply for the India tourist e-visa. This type of visa is suitable for international travelers whose sole objective for visiting India is any one of the following:
- Casual visits to friends and/or relatives
- Attending a short-term yoga program
- Applicant’s passport should have at least six months’ validity period from the date of expected arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping the the Immigration Officer.
- International travelers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during their stay in India (I wasn’t asked to show a proof of this, but it’s good to have it prepared, to be safe).
- Applicants must apply online at least 4 days in advance of the date of arrival.
- Applicants must upload a recent front-facing photograph with white background and the photo page of passport containing personal details like name, date of birth, nationality, expiry date, etc. The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded documents and photograph are not clear as per specification.
- Travelers arriving from countries affected by yellow fever must carry Yellow Fever Vaccination Card at the time of arrival in India, otherwise they may be quarantined for 6 days upon arrival.
- Applicants MUST carry a copy of the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) along with them at the time of travel. Please confirm that your ETA status is shown as ‘GRANTED’ prior to the commencement of your journey.
- Biometric details of the applicant will be captured at the Immigration upon arrival in India.
Visa Validity and Restrictions
- There are two different validity periods for the tourist e-visa: 1 month (double entries) or 1 year (multiple entries).
- The tourist e-visa is only for entry through 28 designated airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Portblair, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Varanasi, and Vishakhapatnam,
- and 5 designated seaports: Chennai, Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai.
- The tourist e-visa is valid for exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICP’s).
- An applicant can apply for an e-visa for a maximum of three times in a calendar year, i.e. between January and December.
- The e-visa is non-extendable, non-convertible, and not valid for visiting Protected / Restricted / Cantonment areas. If you wish to visit said areas, you will require prior permission form the Civil Authority.
- The e-visa is not available to Diplomatic / Official Passport Holders or Laissez-passer travel document holders.
- The e-visa is not available to individuals endorsed on Parent’s / Spouse’s Passport; each individual must have a separate passport.
- The e-visa is not available to International Travel Document Holders.
- International travelers with Pakistani passports or of Pakistani origin may only apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission, as they are NOT ELIGIBLE for an e-visa.
How Much is the Indian Tourist Visa?
Please note that the price for the conventional (sticker) tourist visa is not the same as the tourist e-visa. While the sticker visa costs RM470 for a 1-year validity, an e-visa costs only RM260 for one year (multiple entries) and RM180 for one month (double entries).
So, if you’re just a regular tourist who intends to visit India by plane and not go to any of the protected / restricted areas, this is excellent news and a real game-changer, because the India tourist visa is notorious for being one of the most expensive in the region.
The fee must be paid at least 4 days before the expected date of travel, otherwise the application will not be processed.
The e-visa fee is non-refundable as the fee is for the processing of the application and not dependent on whether the application is granted or rejected.
Filling Up the Visa Application Form
The first step to apply for the visa is to fill up the online application form. You will need to enter your personal particulars as well as the details of your trip. Please have your passport and a passport-size photo ready because you will need to upload those onto the system. Click here for the photo specification and a detailed guideline on how to fill up the form.
For Muslim applicants, if your passport name has the word ‘BIN’ or ‘BINTI’ in it, make sure you include the word BIN/BINTI in your last name when filling up the form. For example, if your name is Ali bin Muhammad, then you must fill in ‘Ali’ as your first name and ‘Bin Muhammad’ as your last name. Omitting the word bin/binti will result in your application being rejected.
Submitting Your Indian Visa Application
After completing the online form, you still have to submit it to the visa center and pay the processing fee. You can do this either by going personally to the counter or by doing everything online (send a WhatsApp message to +6012 369 2535 and wait for further instructions).
When I applied for mine, I wasn’t aware of the second option. So, I went to the visa center. Let me walk you through it in case you’d like to do the same.
Getting to the Visa Center
The visa center is no longer at Leboh Pasar Besar near Central Market where it used to be the last time I had to apply for a visa. It has now relocated to Wisma Chase Perdana, Jalan Semantan, Bukit Damansara. But it’s still easily accessible by public transport. The nearest MRT station is Semantan.
From the station, take Exit B to Jalan Semantan, and walk for about 10 minutes.
Then, you will find Wisma Chase Perdana on the left.
The visa center is in the block on the left-hand side. There’s an ATM in the opposite block if you need to withdraw cash.
As I entered the center, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were only a few people waiting. Gone are the days when visiting the visa center felt like stepping into a chaotic fish market. I suppose most people are now opting to do everything online.
The man who attended to me was super efficient. Everything was done in a matter of minutes; I barely had to wait for anything. In fact, he was the one who had to wait for me as I withdrew cash.
Once the form was submitted, the photo taken, and the payment made, he told me that all I had to do now was go home and wait for the visa to be sent to me on WhatsApp.
Back in the day, you either had to start queueing early in the morning before the center was open or be prepared to spend half a day for your turn. How time has changed!
Application Form Submission Hours: Queue numbers are issued to visa applicants between 9.00 a.m. and 14.00 p.m or till the queue numbers of the day have reached the maximum, whichever is earlier. The center is open Monday to Friday, except holidays.
They also have branches in Penang, Johor Bahru, Melaka, and Kota Kinabalu.
What to Bring to the Visa Center
Malaysian passport holders have to bring the following:
- A passport with at least two blank pages and a validity of at least 6 months from the date of expected arrival in India.
- A printout of the duly filled online visa application form (they also have printing and form-filling services on-site).
- Two latest color photographs (or you could have your photo taken there for RM20).
- A copy of your IC (this wasn’t asked from me though).
Visa Processing Time
The conventional sticker visa takes about 5 working days to be processed. The e-visa takes only 3 working days.
Please note that the visa processing time may differ for different applicants and different visa centers, so do factor in this waiting time when making your application. In my case, it took only a couple of days before I received the e-visa through WhatsApp.
The visa MUST be printed out and carried with you at all times during your visit to India.
Important Tips & Considerations
- Don’t leave your visa application till the last minute. You should allow enough time to rectify any complication that may arise.
- Double-check all information provided in the application to ensure accuracy and prevent delays in processing.
- Adhere to the guidelines and instructions provided on the official Indian visa application portal.
To summarize, here are the steps you need to take to apply for the India tourist e-visa:
- Fill up the online application form and upload your passport and photo onto the system. Once completed, print it out.
- Submit the completed form along with supporting documents (passport and photo) and visa processing fee at the visa center OR do everything online via fund transfer and WhatsApp (+6012 369 2535).
- Wait for the e-visa to be sent to you, and print it out.
Obtaining an Indian visa as a Malaysian citizen involves a systematic process that is much faster and more efficient than it used to be. By ensuring that you have all the necessary documents and following the steps diligently, you can smoothly acquire your visa and look forward to exploring the vibrant culture and diverse landscapes of India.
IVS VMS Sdn. Bhd..
G-03 Wisma Chase Perdana,
Jalan Semantan Bukit Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan
Phone: +6012-369 2535
Have you applied for an Indian visa in Kuala Lumpur? How did it go? Share your experience in the comment section below.