All about Visa Free Countries for Indian Citizens
When it comes to planning an international trip, the very first thought that crosses our mind is applying for a visa. Cue spending hours on the internet, looking through the intricate processes of visa application for the country you want to visit.
But, did you know that there are several countries where a visa is not required for Indians? And a few others where you can avail a visa on arrival? Yes, that’s right!
As of January 2020, there are a total of 63 countries in the world where Indians have the advantage of visa-free or visa on arrival or e-Visa access.
According to the Henley Passport Index (the global ranking of countries according to their citizen’s freedom of travel), this places the Indian passport at the 84th rank, in terms of the freedom to travel.
But, what do visa-free countries for Indians mean? Again, what does visa on arrival signify? Take a look!
What are the Different Types of Visas You Can Avail?
Well, what are visas essentially?
They are documents that are issued by a government that grants permission to foreigners looking to visit the respective country. Unlike passports that act as proof of your country of origin, visas are markers that state the time period for which you will be allowed to remain in the foreign country.
Now, various countries have put forth different types of regulations when it comes to their visa process. Following is a table illustrating the same:
Type of Visa
What Does it Imply?
Visa-free travel is the benefit where you can visit a country without having to obtain a visa. This is applicable if the two countries in question have an agreement for the same, or if the country one is visiting has opened its borders to foreign nationals unilaterally.
Visa on Arrival
Also known as an on-arrival visa, these are granted to a visitor at the port of entry. The entire process of issuing the visa is initiated and completed at the port of entry government authorities.
E-Visas are, in essence, official documents issued online by a country’s immigration official that grant visitors with permission to enter it. These are an alternative to the regular paper-based visas that are issued by a country’s embassy.
Countries issue entry permits to their visitors in lieu of visas. These entry permits are documents that allow foreigners to enter and stay in the country legally for a certain period of time.
List of Countries where Visa is not Required for Indian Citizens
There are several countries where a visa is not required for Indians, and you can travel to without undergoing a visa application process. Following is a table illustrating the same:
Seychelles (permit on arrival)
Trinidad and Tobago
Haiti (for up to 90 days)
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Grenada (for up to 90 days)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (for up to 30 days)
Montserrat (for up to 180 days)
Turks and Caicos (for up to 90 days)
List of Visa on Arrival Countries for Indian Citizens
Usually, to obtain a visa on arrival, the immigration officials examine the visitor’s passport, collect the stipulated visa payments and subsequently issue the visa.
Few countries also collect the visitor’s biometrics as a part of their on-arrival visa issuance procedure.
The on-arrival visa is usually issued at major points of entry to the country – like large ports and airports. You should, therefore, look up the information about where the visa will be issued when you arrive at the country.
The following table illustrates the list of countries offering on-arrival visa facilities to Indians.
Hong Kong (Need to do pre-arrival Registration)
Iran (apply online & obtain ‘Submission Notice’ before departure)
Nigeria (only pre-approved VOA)
List of Countries Offering e-Visa/Entry Permit to Indian Citizens
The Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility became operational for citizens of India in 2014, with about 40 eligible countries. The list of eligible countries was next revised and expanded to 113 in 2015.
Again, like we have mentioned before, few countries like the UAE, issue entry permits to their visitors in lieu of visas.
Below is a list of other countries that offer e-Visa and entry permits to Indians:
Malaysia (eNTRI Note)
Turkey (at the border of Europe and Asia)
Madagascar (landing authorisation)
Georgia (lying at the intersection of Europe and Asia)
Sao Tome and Principe
East Timor (Timor-Leste)
Is Availing a Travel Insurance Mandatory?
Well no; BUT you do want to make sure that your finances are protected from the numerous unforeseen situations that can arise during your travels, don’t you?
There are several benefits that you can avail with a travel insurance policy. These are:
- Coverage for Medical Emergencies - During your trip, there can be situations where you might require emergency medical assistance – either accidental or illness related. During such situations, a travel insurance policy will take care of your hospital bills and treatment costs.
- Trip Cancellation or Flight Delays - A flight delay, missed connection or all-over trip cancellation are some of the instances covered under a travel insurance policy.
- Delay/Loss of Baggage - So, you have reached your vacation destination and have just gotten off your flight. You are now looking forward to a relaxing time and away from the hassles of your daily life. But wait! Your checked-in baggage got delayed! Well, during these situations, your travel insurance policy can provide you with monetary compensation for the delay or even loss of your baggage.
- Protection Against Loss of Wallet - Loss or theft of your wallet, along with loss of your passport is one of the most pressing problems that can arise during your travels abroad. These situations, without any back-up plan, can put in you in a fix and leave your stranded in a foreign land without any money. To prevent such situations from arising, it is crucial to have a travel insurance policy in place.
So, if you want to want to make your trip safer and ensure complete financial protection, it is best to purchase a travel insurance plan at the very onset!