This post is intended for Indian Passport holders, who require a Visa in advance to travel to 145/196 Nations in the world. Indian Passport is ranked 75th in the world for Travel Freedom, making it time and resource intensive to travel for Tourism purposes. Trips have to be planned in advance, Hotels & Flight reservations made and more over the Consulate officer should be convinced that you would be coming back to India! This page lists the set of documents you are generally asked while submitting your application to support your case, and relevant tips where and how you can get them. While it might be helpful, we recommend you trust the advice of your Travel Agent or Embassy to ensure approval of Visa. For our experience with Visas for specific countries refer this Page. Touchwood, we have never been rejected a visa so far.
Your Passport serves as the Primary travel document and is required to be submitted to the Consulate or Embassy in most cases (Except for Online Visas in certain cases). Few points to ensure smooth processing. While some are mandatory, others ensure hassle free processing.
-> Passport should not be damaged. Ensure that there is no handwritten observations.
-> At least 6 months of Validity and 2 Blank Pages remaining to process Visas/Entries
-> If married and traveling together, Spouse Name is present in each other’s passport
-> Passport Address is within jurisdiction of Consulate where you are submitting application*
*- Countries having multiple consulates/Visa Processing centres in the country accept applications for individuals residing within its designated jurisdiction (Ex : Mumbai for Maharashtra, Gujarat etc). If the address in you Passport is outside that, then you might need to produce 1 or 2 address proofs. Most commonly accepted documents where your name and current address is present – Rent Agreement, Mobile/Landline/Electricity/Gas Bill, Driving License etc
Most Visa applications require an application form to be filled. We prefer to download the latest version directly from the Consulate/Embassy Website. Mostly the same would be in PDF format, and can be filled electronically and printed. This helps reduce mistakes and ensures readability. Each Application form requires more or less same information, but the fields would be presented in different ways. You must ensure the information you fill here matches exactly with the one in your Passport and Supporting documents!
While Visa Processing centres for UK and USA have arrangements for taking photos, most applications require you to submit a recent Passport Size photograph complying to their specification. Best is to obtain the Digital Copy of the Raw image clicked from the studio and use it each time to print copies as needed.
Proof of entry & exit
Many consulates demand Proof of entry and exit from their nation. In most cases this would be a confirmed return flight ticket reservation. This is issued by your Travel Agent (Online or Offline) with Flight Details, Date/Time, Passenger Name and Reservation number. If you have not made up your mind, but you need to show this, you can request a Travel agent and they can help in issuing a temporary ticket which will serve this purpose for a small fee. If you are arriving or exiting by any other means – Land Border/Seaport – you have to submit corresponding proof. Example – International Train/Bus ticket, Car Rental, Ship Reservation etc.
Your daily schedule during you trip while in that country. A simple Excel sheet with Day, Place and Activity will do. Sample itinerary given here for reference.
Proof of accommodation
If you are staying in a Hotel, B&B or Guest House please show the document with reservation details. If booked with one of the aggregators like Booking.com or Hotels.com, you can get use the confirmation PDF, or if booked directly with the establishment – a copy of the Mail confirmation. If you are staying with Friends or Relatives, their address and contact details. (If possible a consent letter)
Proof of sufficient means of subsistence
In most cases, you have to show them that you have sufficient funds at your disposal to stay for the duration of your trip in their country. The amount varies from Country to country and for duration applied. The documents which will help you are
-> Past 6 month bank statement with sufficient balance, signed & sealed (nearest bank branch)
-> Credit Card copy – only front page
-> Past 3 month salary slip, signed & sealed by HR (from employer)
-> Letter from employer stating designation and monthly salary
-> Past 3 Year Income Tax Returns (Download from IT Portal)
Ties to your home country
This is essentially to convince the consulate that you don’t have plans to not return. Basically by proving that you have tangible ties to your resident country.
-> Leave Approval letter from Employer (Sample)
-> Deeds of Property/Business Ownership
-> Bank Statement/Fixed Deposit Receipts
Other supporting documents
A letter addressed to Consular officer requesting to issue your Visa. Helpful in cases you are filing your application via Agent and you have some specific request or need for some explanation to be conveyed to the Visa Officer
Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
Required to travel to countries with Yellow Fever risk. Once taken, valid for 10 years. You have to go to a Government Authorised Doctor or clinic to get this done.
Travel Health Insurance
Travel Insurance Policy document for the duration of your trip to cover cost of Emergency Medical requirements including Repatriation.
If you are married and traveling as a couple, and names are not mentioned in each other’s passports, a marriage certificate will come in very handy, especially when traveling to conservative nations (Ex. Turkey). If you are an unmarried couple, the Travel Agent might create some concern, but nothing you cant solve by personally visiting the Consulate!