Entry Visa VS Tourist Visa for India

The key difference between an Indian tourist visa and an India entry visa is that an entry visa is not a visa but rather a permission document allowing entry to India. An Indian tourist visa enables foreign travelers to enter or exit India for 180 days. This article will give you more information about the difference between an Entry visa and a Tourist visa. If you plan to travel to India, Visas for Future offers a hassle-free and convenient India ETourist visa application process service; click the button below to start the application.

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It’s common to hear the terms “entry visa” and “tourist visa” being used interchangeably or in overlapping contexts, causing confusion among individuals. However, it’s essential to understand that these two terms have different meanings and requirements. An entry visa is a document that allows a foreign national to enter a country for various purposes, such as work, study, or permanent residency. On the other hand, a tourist visa is a type of entry visa that allows a foreign national to visit a country for tourism purposes only. Knowing the difference between these visa types can help avoid confusion and ensure that the correct visa is obtained for travel.

Entry Permit vs. Tourist Visa

  • Entry Visa: This is not a true visa but a temporary permission to enter India upon arrival. Usually obtained 1-2 days before arrival.
  • Tourist Visa: An Indian visa can be obtained in advance from an embassy or consulate, or online through our service. Valid for longer durations (15 to 180 days), allowing multiple entries (depending on the type).


  • Entry Visa: Limited purpose, often used for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances requiring immediate entry. Not intended for leisure activities.
  • Tourist Visa: Specifically designed for tourism, sightseeing, casual visits to friends/family, short-term yoga programs, and medical treatment. Other activities are prohibited.


  • Entry Visa: Valid only until you enter India. Expires upon arrival.
  • Tourist Visa: Valid for the specified duration mentioned on the visa (e.g., 30 days, six months).

Application Process

  • Entry Visa: There’s no dedicated online application for an entry visa. You need to apply for the relevant visa type (business, medical, etc.) and then request an entry permit separately, usually 1-2 days before you arrive in India. This often involves contacting the Indian Mission or IVAC in your country.
  • Tourist Visa: You can apply for a Tourist Visa here at Visas for Future.


  • Entry Visa: Not available to all nationalities and may have specific restrictions.
  • Tourist Visa: More widely available to diverse nationalities with standard application procedures.

In summary

  • Use an Entry Visa only for urgent/unforeseen situations where you need immediate entry to India for non-leisure activities.
  • Choose a Tourist Visa for planned leisure trips, sightseeing, and permitted activities within the validity period.

To enter India, an entry permit and a tourist visa are typically issued by the Indian government. Travelers must usually apply for the entry permit a day or two before arrival. India tourist visas can also be obtained by submitting an online application. Visas for Future offers Evisa application process services, which include the Indian ETourist visa.

We provide end-to-end assistance in filling out and submitting your application form, ensuring it complies with Indian immigration rules and regulations. By availing our services, you can avoid unnecessary delays and legal issues. Our team of experts is committed to providing you with a seamless experience, ensuring that your application is handled with utmost care and accuracy.

What We’re Offering

If you plan to travel to India from a non-visa exempt country, you will need an Indian visa.Our India ETourist Visa processing service will give you your India ETourist Visa in your mailbox within four (4) days.

  • Single entry1
    • 30-day duration.2
    • It costs $68.14.
  • Multiple entries1
    • One (1) year duration.2
    • It costs $96.54.
  • Multiple entries1
    • Five (5) years duration.3
    • It costs $144.64.

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What is An Indian Entry Visa and Tourist Visa

Indian Entry Visa is a category of visa issued by the Indian government. The Entry Visa is granted to foreign nationals intending to enter India for a specific purpose.

Here are some key points about the India Entry Visa:

  1. Purpose is typically granted for a specific purpose, such as employment, business, or joining a spouse or family member already in India.
  2. The validity period of an Entry Visa depends on the purpose for which it is issued. It could be a short-term visa or a long-term visa.
  3. Entry visas may fall into various categories, including but not limited to Employment Visas, Business Visas, Research Visas, or Entry Visas for Family Reunions.
  4. Conditions entry visas come with specific conditions, and visa holders are expected to adhere to them during their stay in India. For example, an Employment Visa holder may be required to work with a specific employer, and a Business Visa holder may be restricted from employment.
  5. Application Process typically involves submitting the required documents, completing the application form, and paying the applicable visa fees.
  6. Extension in certain cases, it may be possible to extend an Entry Visa
  7. Conversion individuals holding other types of visas may be eligible to convert their visa to an Entry Visa category based on changed circumstances or requirements.

Indian Tourist Visa is a type of visa that allows foreign nationals to visit India for tourism and recreational purposes. It is designed for individuals who wish to explore India’s cultural, historical, and natural attractions. The Tourist Visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning it is not intended for individuals who plan to reside permanently in India.4

Here are the key features of the India Tourist Visa:

  1. The purpose is for tourism-related activities, including sightseeing, visiting historical sites, participating in cultural events, and enjoying recreational activities.
  2. Duration typically issued for varying durations, ranging from a short stay of 30 days to a longer duration, such as 90 days or 180 days.
  3. Single or Multiple-entry visas allow one entry into India, while multiple-entry visas permit multiple entries within the visa validity period.
  4. The online Application process for an India Tourist Visa often involves filling out an online application form, submitting required documents electronically, and paying the applicable visa fees.
  5. Proof of Travel Plans Applicants must provide proof of their travel plans, including a detailed itinerary, hotel reservations, and a return ticket.
  6. Financial Means some countries may require applicants to demonstrate their financial means to cover expenses during their stay in India. This may involve providing bank statements, travel insurance, or other financial documentation.
  7. Visa Extensions in certain cases, it may be possible to extend an India Tourist Visa. However, extensions are subject to approval, and travelers must apply for an extension before the expiration of their current visa.
  8. Electronic Visa India offers an EVisa facility for citizens of eligible countries, allowing them to apply for a Tourist Visa online. The EVisa streamlines the application process, making it more convenient for travelers.

Differences and Similarities of Indian Entry Visa and Tourist Visa

While both terms might be used in travel conversations, there are crucial differences between an Indian Entry Visa and a Tourist Visa.

DifferencesIndian Entry VisaIndian Tourist Visa
NatureValidity ranges from 30 days to 5 years, depending on the chosen type.A formal immigration document granting you entry and legal stay in India for tourism purposes for a specific period (from 30 days to 5 years). It’s your main entrance ticket for tourism activities.
Application ProcessOften issued directly at airports or border crossings upon arrival.Requires a formal online application process in advance through the e-Visa website.
ValidityTypically valid for 1-2 days only.Validity ranges from 30 days to 5 years depending on the chosen type.
PurposePrimarily for transit or reaching your final destination within its validity period. For leisure activities, sightseeing, visiting friends and family, short-term courses, and limited volunteer work. Not for work or business.

Even if the Indian entry visa and Indian tourist visa have differences, they also have in common. Here is the list of similarities between the two.

  • Both are documents allowing you to enter India.
  • Both can be obtained electronically.
  • Both require documents like a passport, photos, and proof of address.
  • Both have specific validity periods and visa extension procedures.

Benefits and Limitations of Indian Entry Visa and Tourist Visa

Both Indian Entry Visas and Tourist Visas have different purposes and distinct benefits and limitations. Below are some general benefits and limitations associated with these visa types.

Indian Entry Visa


  1. Specific Purpose: Entry Visas are issued for specific purposes, such as employment, business, family reunion, or other designated reasons.
  2. Longer Durations: Depending on the purpose, Entry Visas may have longer durations compared to tourist visas, allowing individuals to stay in India for an extended period.
  3. Employment Opportunities: Holders of certain Entry Visas, such as Employment Visas, can legally work in India for the specified employer and job role.
  4. Family Reunion: Family members of individuals residing in India under certain visa categories can apply for Entry Visas for family reunion purposes.


  1. Specific Activities Only: Entry Visas come with restrictions on the activities individuals can engage in. For example, Business Visa holders are not permitted to take up employment.
  2. Stringent Application Process: The application process for Entry Visas may be more rigorous, requiring detailed documentation and verification.
  3. Limited to Designated Purpose: Holders are expected to use the visa for the intended purpose specified during the application.

Indian Tourist Visa


  1. Tourism and Recreation: Tourist Visas are specifically designed for tourism and recreational activities, allowing individuals to explore India’s cultural and natural attractions.
  2. Short to Medium-Term Stays: Tourist Visas are suitable for short to medium-term stays, making them ideal for vacation purposes.
  3. Ease of Application: The application process for Tourist Visas is often straightforward, and some countries may offer online application options.
  4. Flexibility: Tourist Visas may offer flexibility regarding single or multiple entries, allowing tourists to explore neighboring countries and return to India.


  1. No Employment Allowed: Holders of Tourist Visas are generally not allowed to work or engage in business activities in India.
  2. Limited Duration: Tourist Visas often come with a limited duration, and individuals intending to stay for an extended period may need to explore other visa options.
  3. Strict Adherence to Purpose: Individuals must strictly adhere to the purpose of tourism and recreation during their stay.
  4. No Family Reunion: Tourist Visas are not designed for family reunion purposes. Family members are expected to apply for the relevant visa category.

Indian Entry Visa and Tourist Visa Requirements

Below are the general documents needed for an Indian Entry Visa and Indian Tourist Visa.5

Indian Entry Visa Requirements

  1. Application Form
    • Complete the visa application form, which may be available online or provided by the embassy/consulate.
  2. Passport
    • Original passport with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended departure date from India.
  3. Passport Photos:
    • Recent passport-sized photographs adhere to the specifications outlined by the embassy or consulate.
  4. Proof of Purpose
    • Documentation supporting the purpose of the visit, such as an employment contract, business invitation, or family reunion details.
  5. Proof of Financial Means
    • Evidence of financial capability to support oneself during the stay includes bank statements, salary slips, or a sponsorship letter.
  6. Travel Itinerary
    • Details of travel plans, including confirmed flight reservations and accommodation arrangements.
  7. Employment Authorization (if applicable)
    • A letter of authorization from the employer in India and other relevant employment-related documents are required for employment visas.
  8. No Objection Certificate (NOC)
    • A No Objection Certificate from the employer or relevant authorities in the home country (for certain visa types).

Indian Tourist Visa Requirements

  1. Application Form
    • Complete the tourist visa application form, which may be available here at Visas for Future.
  2. Passport
    • Original passport with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended departure date from India.
  3. Passport Photos
    • Recent passport-sized photographs adhere to the specifications outlined by the embassy or consulate.
  4. Proof of Travel Plans
    • Confirmed round-trip flight reservations and details of accommodation, such as hotel bookings.
  5. Financial Means
    • Evidence of financial capability to cover expenses during the stay, such as bank statements, traveler’s checks, or a sponsorship letter.
  6. Travel Itinerary
    • A detailed itinerary of the planned activities and places to visit during the stay.
  7. Proof of Ties to Home Country:
    • Documentation demonstrating ties to the home country, such as employment verification, property ownership, or family connections.
  8. No Employment Intent
    • A declaration or evidence demonstrating that the purpose of the visit is solely for tourism, and there is no intention to engage in employment or business activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I stay in India with an entry visa?

Just one (1) to two (2) days.

How can I convert a tourist visa to an entry visa in India?

Unfortunately, converting a tourist visa to an entry visa in India is impossible. This is because the two serve different purposes and have distinct features.

Can an entry visa be extended in India?

No, an entry visa cannot be extended in India. Entry visas typically have very short validity periods, often just one or two days.

What is a multiple entry visa in India?

The Tourist Visa is a multiple entry visa for India that allows the visa holder to enter the country multiple times within the visa validity period.

  1. General policy guidelines relating to Indian visa.(2018). 1 Possession of travel documents. Retrieved January 22, 2024 <https://www.mha.gov.in/PDF_Other/AnnexI_01022018.pdf> [] [] []
  2. Visa Types & Process. (2023, November 30). www.startupindia.gov.in. Retrieved January 22, 2024, <https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/international/go-to-market-guide/indian-visa.html> [] []
  3. Visa Types & Process. (2023, November 30).www.startupindia.gov.in. Retrieved January 22, 2024, <https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/international/go-to-market-guide/indian-visa.html> []
  4. Details of visas granted by India. (2018). Retrieved January 22, 2024 <https://www.mha.gov.in/PDF_Other/AnnexIII_01022018.pdf> []
  5. List of documents required for an entry visa. (n.d.).1 Original passport valid for a minimum of 6 months and having at least 3 blank visa pages, Retrieved January 22, 2024, <https://www.eoiparis.gov.in/docs/entry%20visa.pdf> []

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Apple Gajes
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Apple is a skilled content writer of Visas For Future who had a bachelor's degree in Education. She does well at producing high-quality visa articles and continuously upgrading her skills by actively engaging herself to various courses and training opportunities. She also contributes to travel forms and visa fulfillment in Turkey and India. Committed to writing exceptional visa articles, she performs real visa orders and provides customer support quarterly to stay abreast of the visa processing process.

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Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

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Cite this article

MLA Style

Gajes, Apple. "Entry Visa VS Tourist Visa for India." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/entry-visa-vs-tourist-visa-india/. Accessed on 13 June 2023.

Chicago Style

Gajes, Apple. "Entry Visa VS Tourist Visa for India." Visas For Future. June 13, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/entry-visa-vs-tourist-visa-india/.

Published: 13 Jun 2023 6:07 UTC

Last modified: 23 Mar 2024 20:55 UTC

Reading time: 12 minutes

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