Wednesday, October 09, 2013

India: Applying for an Indian visa in the Philippines

Here are some tips for applying for an Indian visa in the Philippines. Although Tourist Visa on Arrival is available for Philippine tourists (details below), it's best to get a visa here in the Philippines. The application process is very straightforward as long as you are able to submit all of the requirements. If there are missing requirements, that will create problems. It takes 4 to 5 working days for the issue of a tourist visa.

The application form is completed online and once accomplished, is printed out for submission to the application center in Makati. Here is the website for the online application.

BLS India Visa Application Center is located at 902, One Corporate Plaza, Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. Here is a location map of the application center.

Aside from the printed application form which you have to accomplish online, you will need to submit the following:
1. Two latest color photographs (size: 2x2 inches) showing full frontal view of face against a white background to be pasted on the application form. Photograph should not be stapled. To know more about photo specification:
2. Passport with a minimum validity of six months. Note also that you will not be allowed to leave the Philippines if your passport has less than 6 months validity
3. Photocopy of the passport bio page
4. Copy of the return ticket or itinerary needs to be produced at the time of submission of the application. Don't book your ticket until your visa is approved
5. Proof of financial standing / recent bank statement
6. Travel voucher or itinerary, complete with hotel bookings
7. Visa fee of Php2,210; Php148 BLS service charge; and mandatory passport delivery fee of Php190 (whether you prefer to pick it up or have it delivered, this is not refundable) for total of Php2,548.
8. Invitation letter from family, friend or sponsor in India (if applicable). You may also be asked to produce a certificate of employment and other documents.

Applications are accepted from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and are released between 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. unless you select the courier service which can be delivered anytime within the day. For inquiries, you may contact BLS at (02) 5555060 or 4789152 / Fax No. (02) 4789152 or via e-mail at It's best to apply at least 2 weeks before your flight to India.

Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA)
The average waiting time to get a TVOA at the airport is between 3 to 4 hours because of the long lines. So if you're in a tour group or need to get out of the airport quick, you have to get your visa in the Philippines. The TVOA valid for 30 days is available to Philippine passport holders entering India through the airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, whose sole objective for visiting India is tourism, casual visits or short duration medical treatment. You should present your passport with at least six months validity and your return ticket, and prove availability of sufficient funds for your stay. Visa fee is US$60 payable in its equivalent in Indian rupees. Fill out the application form when you arrive at the airport and attach one passport size photograph. Here are the complete details of the TVOA.

Hope that helps! Namaste!
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