Indian citizens are in luck! Many countries around the world allow Indian travelers to visit for a limited stay; visa-free by just presenting a valid passport. While some countries insist travelers obtain a visa from their Embassy before traveling to their country, there are some destinations that meet you in the middle by offering visa on arrival, which means you can show up at their port of entry and they’ll issue a travel visa on the spot. Imagine not having to fill lengthy application forms, or provide list of documents, or wait for the Embassy to process your visa application. You can simply travel on a whim, without needing to plan days or months in advance. Yes, you read it right! The Indian passport does not require any prior visa arrangements for these countries and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival upon presentation of a valid passport and supporting documents.

What is Visa on Arrival?

Visa on arrival (VOA) is a seemingly hassle-free process wherein travelers get travel permit upon landing in the country without having to go through the paperwork or several visits to the Embassy. VOA is granted to an Indian traveler whose sole purpose of visiting the country is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, conduct commercial activity etc and no other long-term purpose/activity. There are various kinds of visas, but the most common ones are tourist, business, and in-transit visas. Some countries offer the visa on arrival free of cost, while others collect a visa fee. Depending on your citizenship, you will have the right to acquire visa on arrival to a number of nations across the world.

Countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, Australia, Canada, US, UK, Schengen, South Africa, China, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and many others require that you have a visa in advance before you are allowed to enter. For these countries, no visa means no trip. In this case, the choice is simple: you must get your visa before you go.

On the other hand, many other famous touristy countries offer their visitors a Visa on arrival. Let’s have a look at few of the popular Visa on arrival countries:

Thailand: You can get a Thailand visa on arrival which allows passport holders of 21 different countries to enter Thailand for up to 15 days for purpose of tourism only.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka does have a limited visa on arrival service for short stays for tourism, business or transit purpose.

Maldives:  A visa on arrival is available for free at the Male International Airport. This VOA entitles the visitor to a stay of up to 30 days, a period which can be extended for 60 more days through the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Indonesia: Indians get visa on arrival for a length of up to 30 days and extendable one time on discretion of the Immigration officer at the airport.

Qatar: If arriving at the Doha International Airport, you can purchase a VOA that allows a stay of up to 30 days.

Seychelles: A no-fee 30-day visa on arrival is issued at the arrival airport once the documentation is presented.

United Arab Emirates (UAE): Indians holding a valid US Visa or green card can obtain Dubai visa on arrival at a cost. The VOA allows a visitor to stay for up to 14 days.

Oman: You may obtain a 10-day VOA at any port of entry by air, land, or sea.

Madagascar: If you’re planning to stay less than 90 days, you can obtain a visa on arrival at the airport.

Jordan: Visa on arrival will be valid for a period of 30 days.

Fiji: Entry visas are granted on arrival for a stay of 4 months or less for nationals of eligible countries including Indians.

Also Read: Visa-free countries for Indians to travel

For obtaining a Visa on arrival you may need to furnish the following documents on arrival:

  • Original Passport valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry and with two blank pages
  • Confirmed return flight ticket to your home country or onward destination
  • Hotel booking confirmation for duration of the stay
  • Invitation letter (if visiting friends or relatives)
  • Sufficient funds to cover your stay in the country (cash, debit/credit cards, travelers cheques)
  • Detailed itinerary of your trip (day-wise plan)
  • Documents relating to business trip/event (invitation letter, business card)
  • Visa on arrival fee preferably in local currency (if applicable)

Why shouldn’t one rely on Visa on arrival?

Thanks to the presence of visa on arrival, travelling abroad is no more a difficult task. However, everything comes with two sides which has pros and cons and getting VOA is no exception. While visa on arrival is a viable option for last minute travel plans, banking on a visa on arrival option can be very risky.

Regardless of whether a country has visa on arrival facility, there are still requirements that need to be met, if you are planning to travel abroad. Failure to meet these requirements can cause severe consequences, wherein the authorities may deny a visa upon arrival, penalize you or even deport you back to your home country. Lack of supporting documents, invalid passport, unavailability of local currency to pay visa fee, unclear purpose of travel are few of the common problems encountered by travelers opting for visa on arrival. If possible, be sure to apply in advance to avoid any panic or stress at the airport.

What would be a better option then?

To minimize any sort of visa troubles, we strongly recommend you apply for a visa well in advance. Why not look forward to a stress-free and cherishable holiday by applying for visa online. Through applying for a visa beforehand, you request for a pre-arrival permission to visit the country. This means no hassle of managing documentation after landing, no standing in long queues and no last minute hiccups.

Nevertheless, if you opt for a visa on arrival, make sure you arrive with supporting documents, have plenty of local currency, are prepared to wait in line, and that your trip is for a duration covered by the on arrival visa. We also recommend that you cross-check with the Embassy of the visiting country before making any travel plans.

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