Indians can now travel to 60 countries Visa-free!
Long two years, lockdown, stress and whatnot. Finally, the globe has almost recovered from the pandemic and is open for travel like never before. Almost all countries have opened their borders and relaxed Covid restrictions.
So, what next? You would surely want to get back to travelling and fulfil your bucket list. Here is the great news for all travel lovers! Indian passport holders can now travel visa-free to as many as 60 countries across the globe in 2022. Henley Passport Index Report, Indian passport ranks 87th out of 112 in terms of freedom to travel. Henley Passport Index is an authorized report generator that provides a global ranking to nations according to the freedom of travel based on the respective country’s passport. Headquartered in London, it started in 2005 and has been preparing this report for the past 17 years.
Now, Indian passport holders do not need to pre-apply and have visa documents beforehand for travelling to these 60 countries.
What is a Visa?
Visa is the document issued by the immigration department of the country you wish to visit, permitting you to enter their land. The way a passport shows the origin of your country, a visa acts as the pass or entry permit to the destination country. Along with the permission, it has a time limit on your stay in the respective country.
Every country has their own terms, rules and policies for granting a visa. Hence, there is a process that needs to be followed to obtain a visa.
Let us first see types of visas:
Visa Free: The term “Visa Free” itself explains, that a visa is not required. So these countries allow Indian passport holders to visit them without any visa. But the mandatory documents are checked at the port of entry by the immigration officers. If all is in place, the traveller is allowed to enter or else deported back.**
Visa on Arrival: In this case, the visa is provided to the traveller at the airport on arrival at the destination country. Also known as an on-arrival visa.
Electronic Visa/ E-visa/ Online Visa: An online visa issued/ permission granted by the host country’s immigration department allowing the traveller to visit. There is a certain procedure to be followed which is easy and hassle-free.
Visa stamping/ entry permit: These are the documents issued by the host country allowing a foreigner to enter and stay legally with some rules to be strictly followed regarding/during the stay.
** P.N. There are a few terms and conditions that need to be strictly followed irrespective of the type of visa the host country is offering:
Travellers must have a return ticket or an onward journey confirmation to show at the port of entry.
Must have travel insurance from the authorized service provider for the entire duration of the stay with at least basic coverage.
Must have confirm hotel booking or legal stay confirmation for the entire duration of the travel.
Some countries may ask for proof of funds to see if the traveller has enough funds for his/her entire stay.
Post-Covid, please check if the host nation needs you to show any medical/ vaccination certification or may need medical history.
The most important point, travellers' passport should be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of their return back to their homeland.
Eg: A person is travelling from 01st – 10th October 2022 and he/she is arriving homeland on 11th Oct, So the passport needs to be valid for a minimum of six months from 11th Oct 2022.
List of countries with the type of visa they offer to Indian passport holders:
Saint Kitts & Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago
Visa on Arrival
1) Does visa-free mean enter the host nation from any port?
A. Always check beforehand as there can be restrictions on the way / via entry point. Entering the nation via airways might be allowed but not via roadway.
2) Can On-arrival visa be obtained from any port of the respective country?
A. On-arrival visas are available at specific ports/airports, so please check before making a flight booking.
3) Are Visa validity and stay duration the same?
A. Not necessary, visa validity and stay duration may differ depending upon the country and visa type granted.
Eg: A person may get a UK tourist visa with validity for 1 year but at a stretch maximum stay limit is of 180 days (6 months).
4) Are on-arrival visas available for single entry?
A. The whole purpose of the on-arrival visa facility is to boost tourism hence mostly single entry.
5) How can I obtain a multiple entry visa?
A. While processing visa application/applying for a visa you can mention/request or select multiple entries. Granting multiple entry visas is the sole discretion of the visa/immigration officer. Depending upon your application and supporting document, it is decided to grant a single entry or multiple entries or to reject the application without granting a visa.
6) Is the visa fee refundable upon visa application rejection?
A. No, visa fees are non-refundable.
7) Is the visa fee applicable for on-arrival visas?
A. It depends upon the host country to charge or let it be free of cost. So please check beforehand.
8) Why choose a travel agent to apply for or get your visa?
A. Being an expert in the field, they understand all the terminology mentioned in the form. Travel agents are fully aware of the latest updates. Applying for a visa via agents makes all your burdens zero right from checking required documents to taking online appointments. So it is highly advisable to go via a travel agent for processing your visa.
Visa fees are non-refundable, travel agents know in and out regarding the required documents. Before applying they will go through with all the documents Which reduce the chances of visa rejection.
9) Is travel insurance mandatory and how does it help?
A. Travel insurance covers you for various things like:
Ø Delayed luggage
Ø Baggage lost
Ø Medical emergency
Ø Passport/visa damaged/lost while travelling
The most important is a medical emergency, the cost and procedure abroad are way different and costlier. Insurance will help here big time.
10) Why is a return confirm ticket or onward journey confirm ticket mandatory?
A. If you are travelling as a tourist this is mandatory, this guarantees that you are travelling to the respective country for a short period and have no intention to stay back.
11) If on arrival is rejected who pays for the return ticket?
A. There is a reason for rejection and that reason lies within the traveller. The traveller fails to provide sufficient documents/proof showing his intention to travel as a tourist. Hence the return ticket has to be paid for by the traveller.
12) What can be the reason for the rejection of an on-arrival visa?
A. Below are some reasons which are most likely seen for rejection. There can be some other specific reasons as well. Hence it is advisable to check thoroughly all the requirements of the host nation.
Ø Most of the time on-arrival visa has a stay duration limit, if your return flight ticket exceeds the duration visa can be rejected. If you managed to get the date change while at the port of arrival, the immigration officer may grant you a visa.
Ø Not having enough funds to support your entire stay duration
Ø No travel insurance covering your entire stay
Ø Traveller not carrying stay confirmation or fails to show where is he/she staying, even if it means staying with family – friends.
Ø Suspicious behaviour at the port of arrival.
Ø Not carrying required vaccination certificate
Ø If in case, any of the above-mentioned documents turns out to be fake.