After googling about for an accurate, and up to date post on getting an Indian visa in Pakistan, I couldn’t find one. So I went and figured it all out on the way through, and this is how to get your Indian TOURIST visa in Islamabad.
Paperwork (and lots of it!) for your Indian Visa
Here’s the paperwork you need
– 2 x printed copy of your Indian visa application completed online
– 2 x passport photos 50mm×50mm (any other size is not accepted)
– 2 x copies passport front page
– 1 x passport
– 1 x copy pakistan visa with entry stamps (including any pakistani extensions if you have obtained them)
– 1 x copy booked accomodation in India
– 1 x letter to high comission explaining why you are going to India, where you are going in India, how long you are staying in India and amount of re-entries you will need. I have created a template in the below section, copy and paste it.
– 1 x copy of travel insurance for India
– 1 x copy of bank statement (whether this is for address purposes or monetary purposes I don’t know)
– Visa application fee in PKR. I paid 11637 PKR, for a dual entry 3 month visa, prices vary per country
– Indian reference (name, phone number and address of friend or relative)
– If you don’t have an Indian reference, then read this “If you are travelling for tourism and do not have Indian referees kindly attach a self-undertaking that you will book your accommodation/ hotels on arrival in India.“. In short, write a letter saying you will book accomodation.
However, Gerry’s Visa Drop Box in Islamabad, won’t accept a submission without booked accomodation anyway. What I did was book for free with no cancellation fees on booking.com. Print out the booking and take that with you to Gerry’s office.
IMPORTANT – Please don’t forget that if your visa is successful, it will begin from when the visa is issued. This isn’t the same as most other visas… your time in India is already counting down from when you recieve the visa, so plan accordingly.
Indian High Commission request letter
Copy and paste this letter, filling in the blanks.
The Visa Officer
India High Commission
Subject: Request for a Tourist Visa
To whom it may concern,
I, NAME of COUNTRY , holding passport number PASSPORT NUMBER, would like to travel to India for tourism purposes, for a total duration of DURATION.
I will be travelling ALONE OR WITH FRIENDS and will be entering via PORT OF ENTRY from Pakistan and exiting through PORT OF EXIT to COUNTRY. I will also be entering and exiting from COUNTRY (eg Nepal) and as such, will require a SINGLE, DOUBLE OR MULTIPLE entry visa.
During my visit to India, I plan to visit places such as NAME OBVIOUS TOURIST PLACES THAT DON’T REQUIRE PERMITS NO NEED TO STATE YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORT
Please find the visa application form duly filled and signed along with the valid passport, photographs and the relevant documents for your perusal.
All Expenses will be borne by me on this trip.
Kindly consider the application and grant me the necessary tourism visa for India.
Indian Visa Submission
With all your paperwork in hand, head to the Gerrys Visa Drop Box in Islamabad, located here.
Upon arrival to the office, you will need to drop your phone into security lockboxes while you are inside the building. You will recieve a numbered code card to pick your phone back up on the way out. You then need to be swiped with a metal detector in the holding room before you enter the first floor.
Go to the desk and tell the nice lady that you need to apply for your Indian visa. She will give you a number and direct you to your floor. (LEVEL 4 for Indian Visas). Enter the first door when out of the elevator and submit your application and pay the fee. (If you need cash, there are two currency exchanges on the back side of the building, as well as three ATMs.)
After paying the fee, you will receive a receipt which you then use to pick up your visa. All you need to do is wait for a phone call now.
Indian Visa in Pakistan processing times
Visa processing for foreigners is supposed to take 3 business days – my application took 7 business days, so allow some extra time for processing. Keep in mind that your passport will be with the the Indian High Commision for the entirety of the application process.
The Indian High Commision will call you, or email you and ask you to come in for an interview. The entry point is on Street 3, not the main Street 4 in the Diplomatic Enclave, located here. Tell the guards you have a visa appointment and they will instruct you from there.
Once arriving, leave your phone with the guard and they will point you in the direction of the guest lounge. You will have a short 10 minute interview, just answer honestly and they will then tell you what visa they can issue you with. I ended up with a 3 month dual dntry Visa, which is enough to enter and exit Nepal.
Passport and Indian visa collection
The Gerry’s office will call you once your visa and passport has arrived, and let you know the pickup time (currently Mon-Fri between 1-3pm). Take a copy of your passport picture page and your receipt which was issued to you when you first submitted the visa.
Get there early – I arrived at 2.45pm and was behind a queue of 100 people all with tickets ahead of me. Luckily the cricket was on.
That’s the lot, very simple, just alot of paperwork.
Useful Websites for Indian visa in Pakistan
Indian visa online – https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html
High Commission of India, Islamabad – https://www.india.org.pk/index.php
Gerry’s Visa Drop Box, Islamabad – http://visadropbox.com/islamabad/