Goa Visa Requirements
Goa & Indian Visa Requirements
A valid visa is required by British passport holders prior to travelling to Goa. For the full and most up to date information regarding visa requirements, please visit the Web pages of the Indian High Commission. Please also note that the Indian authorities will not permit Indian passport holders to travel on Charter Flights.
The information below will give you an idea of the time scales involved in applying for a Goan visa, how to apply and where to apply. If you would like to speak to one of our expert travel advisers about booking a holiday to Goa, call us on 020 8239 8000. For inspiration on places to see in Goa take a look at our Best of the best... beaches in Goa blog post.
It is important to make sure that you have sufficient time to obtain a visa before travelling and it is recommended to apply as soon as you can. If you are 90% sure that you will be going to India but have not yet booked, you should still consider getting your visa now, rather than waiting until you book (Visa's are valid for 6 months from date of issue). This will also give you the flexibility of booking late, if you are looking for a late booking bargain. There are three ways in which you can apply for an Indian visa; by post, in person or via an agency. If you are applying online or by post, please visit the website of the Indian High Commission.
To apply in person you must make an appointment to visit the India Visa Application Centre and submit your application over the counter. If you decide to apply in person during peak periods you should expect delays, which is why we strongly advise the use of an authorised agent. However, if you are travelling to one of the below offices we can recommend that you arrive as early as possible, preferably by 06:00 to ensure same day service. If you arrive before 08:30 you should receive a 'queue ticket' for a time slot around a week later, but this involves two visits. Once again, we strongly advise you visit the Indian High Commission to ensure you have the most up to date information.
• High Commission of India
India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA
Queue numbers are issued between 8.30 a.m. and 12.00 noon Mondays to Fridays
Tel: 0207 6323149 / 0207 632 3152.
• Consulate General of India, Birmingham
20 Augusta Street, Jewellery Quarter, Hockley, Birmingham, B18 6JL.
Tel: 0121 212 2782
• Consulate General of India, Edinburgh
17 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BB.
Tel: 0131 229 2144
We can recommend the following guidelines depending on when you are departing:
• Departing at least a month away
Use the postal application route, or a visa agency if you don't mind the additional expense.
• Departing 2-4 weeks away
Use a visa agency, or apply in person.
• Departing in the next 2 weeks
Use a visa agency if they can guarantee the timescale, or apply in person.
When completing your application form you will be required to provide details of two referees. One in the UK and one in India. The High Commission of India suggests the following:
1. UK referee – Can be anyone you know in the UK (friends/family).
2. Indian referee – Preferably a contact name, address & phone number for the hotel you are staying in. Failing this, you can just put the 'UK High Commission' (without need for a contact name or address).
Things to do in GoaWith its 130km stretch of coastline, Goa is a beach-lovers paradise. WIth endless expanses of palm-fringed sands, the beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, reading and relaxing, whilst soaking up the tropical atmosphere and enjoying the passing sights.
SportsFor those looking for more active pursuits, Goas' beaches offer a choice of water sports. Sailing, wind surfing, water skiing, parasailing, canoeing, banana rides and scuba diving can all be enjoyed from various beach resorts. Some of the luxury hotels have their own 9-hole golf courses, and cycling and horse-riding are readily available.
WildlifeVisit one of the many wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, in the extensive forests, swamps and wetlands of the region. Here, nature lovers will find plenty of opportunity to spot crocodiles, monkeys, bison and snakes, and enjoy the chance to ride on an elephant. Goa is also known as an extensive birdwatchers paradise.
SightseeingExplore Goas' diverse historical past by taking a trip to some to see some of the grand architecture and numerous forts along the coast. There are many impressive churches to tour, which date back to the Portuguese rule, and Goa is home to a handful of museums, which show an insight into the regions' heritage and culture.ShoppingVisit one of Goas' main attractions, the weekly flea market at Anjuna, where you can browse for local handicrafts and souvenirs, whilst enjoying the brightly coloured spectacle that is as much a source of lively entertainment as a place to shop. Mapusa market is more traditional and less touristy, and throughout Goa there are shops and stalls selling everything from local crafts and art to spices and foodstuff.
Food and drinkNo visit to Goa is complete without savouring some of the delicious specialities of the region, whether in a luxury hotel or a simple beach hut. The spicy cuisine includes plenty of chillies, coconut, cashew nuts, pickles and chutneys, and fresh fish and seafood always feature on the menu, at excellent prices.
Ayurveda therapyRelax your mind, body and soul at one of the many Ayurvedic centres in Goa. Explore this unique and increasingly popular approach to health and well-being at one of the many therapy centres in the region, which focus on meditation, diet, yoga, as well as corrective and preventative treatments.