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How To Apply For A Visa To India From South Africa

Travelstart Indian Visa

[Updated 16 August 2018]

Ever dreamed of exploring the alluring and spiritually enriching land of India? Now you can explore vast India, with this step-by-step guide on how to apply for your Indian visa. Visa applications can be quite a stressful task resulting in overwhelming stress, so we’ve included everything you’ll need to know and do to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for the application process. Now all you’ll need to do is book your ticket and pack your bags!

South African passport holders do require a visa to travel to India. The Consulate General of India offers visas to South African passport holders in 10 categories. This article applies to the e-visa and Indian tourist visa. You can apply through Indian Visa Online or at a VFS Global Application Centre, located in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

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1. E-visa

The Indian e-visa is subdivided into three categories: e-tourist visa, e-business visa and e-medical visa. The e-visa is ideal for visitors who want to go to India for sightseeing, a casual visit to meet up with friends, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.

How long is the E-Visa valid for?

The e-visa is valid for 60 days from the date of arrival in India. The e-tourist visa and e-business permit double entry, while the e-medical visa permits triple entry. You are allowed to use the e-visa to a maximum of two times in a calendar year. When you arrive in India, you will need to present a print out of the Indian e-visa and your passport to the immigration authorities which will be stamped.

How to apply for an E-Visa?

Applicants must complete an online application on Indian Visa Online. You can apply a minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 120 days before your flight to India. No facilitation is required from any agents. Your biometrics will be captured at the airport in India.

2. Regular Visa

Tourist visa – The tourist visa is for travellers who want to go to India for holidays, visit monuments, meet friends or attend a wedding etc.

Business visa – For travellers who wish to go to India for business purposes.

How long is the Tourist Visa valid for?

Tourist visas are usually valid for up to six months. The validity of any Indian visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission of India and not on the date of departure. The High Commission of India will determine how long you are allowed to stay in India. The duration varies for each applicant. Applications for any Indian visa will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.

How to Book an Appointment?

All Indian visa appointments must be scheduled on the VFS Global website.

Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, the earliest available date will be given to you.

What’s the Difference Between an E-Visa and Regular Tourist Visa?

The e-visa is much easier to apply for than a regular tourist visa and no costs are incurred with an e-visa. However, the e-visa is valid for a much shorter period of stay (60 days) whereas the regular tourist visa will afford you stays of up to six months. Deciding which Indian visa to apply for depends on how long you would like to visit India and your travel plans.

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Cost of the Indian Visa


The e-visa is free of charge!

Regular Visa

Gratis visa: The bilateral agreement states that all types of visas should be issued free of charge to South African citizens.

The VFS Global service charge for handling your Indian visa application is R117.

Courier Service (Optional)

Same day dispatch on receipt of passport from the consulate to the farthest province – R50.

Next day dispatch on receipt of passport from the consulate to the farthest province – R36.

Payment does not guarantee an approved Indian visa application. Your application may be refused or modified by the High Commission of India. Your payment cannot be refunded, including in the event that your application has been refused or cancelled.

The only accepted payment methods are credit/debit card at the VFS Application Centre or deposit into the VFS Global bank account (keep your deposit slip as proof of payment).

VFS Bank Account Details:

Name of Bank:            Nedbank

Account Name:           VFS Visa Processing SA Pty Ltd

Account Number:       1012505804

Branch code:               198765

Use your passport number as the beneficiary reference number.

Online Indian Visa Application


When you apply for an e-visa, your application will be processed and sent to you electronically via email. If you are granted access to India you will have to print out the e-visa and present it to the immigration officer at the point of arrival in the country.

Supporting Documents for Your Indian Visa Application

Regular Indian Tourist Visa Requirements

VFS Global, the Indian Consulate’s visa handling agent in South Africa, says you should only finalise your travel arrangements to India after you have established the visa requirements.

If Applicant is a Minor

Get a free visa quote and evaluation with VisaBox – our go-to experts to assist you with your tourist visa application.

Image Courtesy of @indian_photo_insights via Instagram

Where to Apply?


E-visa applicants must apply via the official Indian Visa Online site. This simplified process allows you to complete the application as well as upload supporting documents to the site. You can check the status of your application through Indian Visa Online’s visa status enquiry. Your e-visa will be sent to your email. Print the e-visa and present it on arrival at the airport in India.

Regular Visa

All regular Indian visa applications, including the tourist visa, must be made at a VFS Application Centre. Applicants must attend in person for biometrics to be recorded.


Address: Indian Visa and Consular Application Centre

 2nd Floor
Harrow Court 1
Isle of Houghton Office Park
Boundary Road
Park Town

Contact: 012 425 3007
Submission times: Monday-Friday: 08:00-04:00
Collection times: Monday-Friday: 11:00-16:00

There are taxis, cabs and buses available to transport you to the VFS Application Centre. Parking is available in front of the building.


Address: Indian Visa and Consular Application Centre

 Office 401
4th Floor
91-123 Cowey Office Park (Problem Mkhize Road)

Telephone: 012 425 3007
Submission times: Monday-Friday: 08:00-04:00
Collection times: Monday-Friday: 11:00-16:00

Cabs, taxis and buses. There is a parking lot at the Cowey Office Park should you be travelling by car.

Cape Town

Address: Indian Visa and Consular Application Centre

1st Floor
47 Strand Street
Cape Town

Telephone: 012 425 3007
Submission times: Monday-Friday: 08:00-04:00
Collection times: Monday-Friday 11:00-16:00

Buses, cabs and taxis are available to transport you to the VFS Application Centre. There is street parking available in Long, Bree and Loop Streets.

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Where to Print Photos and Forms


PostNet Parktown

Address: Cornet St. Davids’s Place & Wellington Road
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 08:00-17:30
Saturday: 09:00-12:30


PostNet Cowey Park

Address: Shop 6
Cowey Park
Problem Mkhize Road
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 08:30 – 17:00
Saturday: 09:00-12:00

Cape Town


Address: 206 Long Street
Contact: 021 426 5965
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday: Open 24 hours

Image courtesy of @india_photo_insights via Instagram

With this incredibly helpful guide to obtaining your Indian tourist visa, by now you should feel confident about the application process. Sign up to our newsletter and get the latest insider information on amazing flight specials.

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All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated to immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

Featured image courtesy of @daiva_mikuckaite via Instagram
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