The Indian passport ranked a lowly 81th on the Global Passport Power index. This index takes into account the number of countries a country’s passport holder can travel to visa free or visa with minimal processing (Click here to read the index page). What it means is that you have to apply for a pre-approved visa for most countries with few others offering a visa on arrival and fewer offering a visa free travel. That’s one of the main roadblocks when Indians plan to travel abroad. The most powerful passports belonged to Germany and Singapore. They can travel with a free Visa to a whopping 158 countries. That’s pretty unfortunate for us Indians.
When you plan on traveling, you need to check the eligibility of the kind of Visa that you need, sort out the documents, submit at the embassy/travel agent, pay the not so cheap fee and then wait.. and wait some more. That’s been the story far for me as well. Anyway, let me simplify the visa process country wise and make it simpler for you. You will see here a list of countries sorted by the visa eligibility for an Indian passport holder.
Countries offering free Visa for Indian passport holders:
- Armenia (Website)
- Bhutan (Don’t even need a passport)
- El Salvador
- Indonesia (Website)
- Mauritius (Link)
- Nepal (Don’t even need a passport)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- St Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Countries offering Visa on Arrival (VOA) for Indian passport holders:
- Cambodia (eVisa link)
- Cape Verde
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) (eVisa also)
- Kenya (eVisa also)
- Marshall Islands
- St Lucia
- Seychelles (Visitor’s permit)
- Thailand (2000THB) (Link)
- Vietnam (Get a pre-approved VOA, 40USD) (Link)
- Qatar (Link)
Countries offering eVisa for Indian passport holders:
Definitely easier than a pre-applied Visa. Also, find the links to the eVisa websites suffixed against the country.
- Antigua & Barbuda (Website)
- Azerbaijan (Website)
- Bahrain (Website)
- Cambodia (Website)
- Colombia (Website)
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) (Website)
- Gabon (Website)
- Georgia (Website)
- Kenya (Website)
- Lesotho (Website)
- Moldova (Website)
- Myanmar (Burma) (Website)
- Sao Tome & Principe (Website)
- Sri Lanka (Website)
- UAE (Website) Easier if you fly Air India
- Zambia (Website)
- Zimbabwe (Website)
All other countries require a cumbersome pre-approved Visa. These requirements, however, keep changing frequently. You need to check well ahead before you travel. If you have a valid USA, Schengen, Japanese or Australian Visa on your passport, more countries open up to you and you may be eligible for a VOA or even a free visa.
But when you got to travel, you got to travel!
Don’t let the Visa come in your way!
So just pack & travel away! err… of course sort out the Visa first 🙂
Here is a simple guide to Visa for other countries that I have visited.
- Australia Visa for Indians: Indians need a visa to get into Australia. I applied through VFS Global. It was pretty straightforward.
- Schengen Visa for Indians: The following countries fall under the Schengen visa agreement. You can apply through VFS global or any travel agent. Usually takes 1-2 weeks to get processed. Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
- Japan Visa for Indians: One of the most professional and traveler friendly embassies that I have come across. They respond to every call and email diligently. Do check their website for the visa process. Should take 5 days to process. (Embassy Site)
- South Korea visa for Indians: You have to go through VFS for their visa officially. (Website link). Has a turn around time of about a week.
- Taiwan visa for Indians: For a super-developed country like Taiwan, their visa process is surely confusing and at times silly. They do let you do an online travel authorization certificate if you have a Schengen or some valid country’s visa on your passport or else you need to apply for a regular visa. Read their website for more confusion. I applied through a travel agent.
- Egypt Visa for Indians: Indias need a pre-approved visa and their embassy in India is not very helpful nor are their websites. I did mine through a travel agent and it cost me INR 4500 and 10 days time.
- South Africa Visa for Indians: Though the visa is free, the embassy has outsourced them to VFS global. It works out to just over 2000 INR for a visa. Its pretty simple though. One tip though: Always carry birth certificates of kids when on tour!
- Jordan Visa for Indians: Its officially a visa on arrival for Indians. But more info is hard to find. I had taken a tour with Classic Wadi Rum Tours and they sorted my visa on arrival. Their representative met us at the arrival visa counter and it was pretty smooth. You can also call their embassy in Delhi at 011 2649 7032 for more info.
- Thailand Visa for Indians: Thailand allows Visa on Arrival to Indians and many other countries for tourism purposes. There is a 2000 Baht fee and you need to fill up a form at the counter. (Embassy Link)