The increased availability of visas upon arrival has significantly enhanced international travel opportunities for Indian passport holders in 2023. The latest Henley Passport Index for 2023 reveals a notable improvement, with the Indian passport securing the 80th rank, compared to its 87th position in 2022.
This advancement grants Indian passport holders the privilege of visa-free access to 57 countries, simplifying global travel. Moreover, several nations now allow travellers to skip the complexities of visa applications and complete necessary paperwork upon arrival.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the list of countries offering visa-on-arrival for Indian citizens, elucidate the application process, and distinguish between visa-on-arrival and visa-free travel.
List of countries providing visa-on-arrival for Indians in 2023
As per the Passport Index, the following countries extend visa-on-arrival facilities to Indian travellers:
1. Bolivia: 90 days (South America)
2. Burundi: 30 days (Africa)
3. Cambodia: 30 days (Asia)
4. Cape Verde: 90 days (Africa)
5. Comoros: 45 days (Africa)
6. Guinea-Bissau: 90 days (Africa)
7. Indonesia: 30 days (Asia)
8. Jordan: 30 days (Asia)
9. Laos: 30 days (Asia)
10. Madagascar: 90 days (Africa)
11. Maldives: 30 days (Asia)
12. Marshall Islands: 90 days (Oceania)
Visa on arrival process for Indians: Obtaining a visa on arrival is a relatively straightforward process, though it may vary slightly from one country to another. Here’s a simplified, step-by-step guide for acquiring a visa on arrival:
1. Complete Arrival Card: Most countries require travellers to fill out an arrival card, typically provided during your flight or at the airport. This card includes essential details like your name, passport number, purpose of visit, and duration of stay.
2. Prepare Documentation: Ensure you have all necessary documents ready, including a valid passport (with at least six months of validity from your intended departure date), proof of sufficient funds, a return or onward flight ticket, and sometimes, a passport-sized photograph.
3. Arrival at Destination: Upon reaching your destination airport, proceed to the visa-on-arrival counter, typically located in the airport’s immigration section.
4. Visa Application: Fill out the visa application form available at the counter. You might also be required to provide supporting documents like hotel reservations or proof of funds.
5. Payment of Visa Fees: Pay the applicable visa fees, which can vary based on the country and the duration of your stay. Fees are generally payable in the local currency or, in some cases, in US Dollars.
6. Visa Issuance: Once your application and payment are processed, immigration authorities will issue your visa on the spot. Before leaving the counter, double-check that all details on your visa sticker are accurate.
7. Duration of Stay: It’s important to adhere to the maximum stay duration permitted on your visa. Overstaying your visa could lead to fines or other legal consequences.
With your visa on arrival in hand, you’re all set to explore your destination hassle-free. Make the most of your journey while keeping in mind the importance of following local laws and regulations.
Distinguishing between Visa on Arrival and Visa-Free Travel:
While both visas on arrival and visa-free travel offer the convenience of travelling without a pre-approved visa, they differ in significant ways:
Visa on Arrival:
– Requires application and documentation.
– Stay duration is limited and varies by country.
– Overstaying may lead to fines or penalties.
– A valid passport and entry requirements must be met.
– No prior application, fee payment, or paperwork is needed.
– Stay duration often varies and is determined by bilateral agreements.
– Overstaying can result in fines or deportation.
– A valid passport and entry requirements are still essential.
In essence, both options facilitate travel, but visa-free entry is often simpler, as it entails no additional paperwork or fees. However, the specific requirements can differ from one country to another, underscoring the importance of researching and confirming prerequisites before your trip.
1. Is a visa on arrival the same as a tourist visa?
No, a visa on arrival differs from a tourist visa in several ways. While a tourist visa necessitates advance application through embassies, a visa on arrival is acquired directly at your destination’s airport or border upon arrival. The application process for a tourist visa can be complex and time-consuming, whereas obtaining a visa on arrival is generally more straightforward. Tourist visas typically have predetermined validity and duration, while visa on arrival grants shorter stays, usually ranging from days to months. Lastly, tourist visas are typically for tourism purposes, whereas visas on arrival may serve other purposes, such as business or transit, depending on the destination’s policies.
2. Are visa-on-arrival policies subject to change?
Yes, visa-on-arrival policies can change over time due to international agreements or changes in a country’s immigration regulations. It is advisable to check the latest requirements before travelling.
3. Can I extend my stay on a visa on arrival?
In some cases, it may be possible to extend your stay by visiting the local immigration office of the country you are in. However, this is subject to the specific rules of each country.