The hurdles one has to navigate, from applying for a visa to securing one without having to compromise on schedule, to your dream vacation abroad, are all too familiar to all of us. Unless your dream vacation includes one of these ten beautiful destinations you can travel to without worrying about a visa.
Henley & Partners, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently published the Passport Index. Their data includes a list of all destinations that a passport holder from one country can visit without a prior visa, and then all countries are ranked based on this data. Japan ranks highest on this list with 191 countries, followed by Singapore with 190 countries, while Afghanistan came last with visa-free access to just 26 countries.
This year, India was ranked 84th on the list, down 2 places from last year, with visa-free travel access to 58 destinations. However, some of these may require a visa on arrival. We have selected the 10 best alternatives out of these 58, to make your next visa-free travel plan that much easier.
These are the 10 countries where Indians can travel without a visa (or visa on arrival):
Madagascar – Visa on arrival
With its rich biodiversity, Madagascar is known for its rainforests, beaches and reefs and for the fact that it is home to thousands of animal species, some unique such as lemurs. The best places to visit are the Andasibe-Mantadia and Isalo national parks, with the best time to travel being from July to August.
Fiji – No visa
This spectacular island country is known for its coral reefs with crystal-clear lagoons, palm-fringed beaches, and rugged landscapes, and peak travel months include April-May and December-January. Qalito Island and the Mamanuca Islands are some of the places that would make your trip to Fiji worthwhile.
Bhutan – No visa
Known for being the happiest country in the world according to its unique Gross Happiness Index, Bhutan is an amazing vacation destination to explore its landscape and wildlife. The best time to visit is the months of March and April, which is the peak period for rhododendrons in bloom. Punakha Dzong, Paro Taktsang and Rinpung Dzong are some of the best places to visit in this landlocked country.
Jamaica – Visa free
Known for its beaches, rainforests, and mountains, the Caribbean island nation is an amazing vacation destination if you’re interested in visiting scuba and snorkeling sites. The best time to visit is from mid-December to April.
Sri Lanka – No visa but special permission is required
Sandy beaches, highlands, and tropical jungles make this country an ideal destination with diverse landscapes. The 5th-century citadel Sigiriya is known for its palace and frescoes. Although it experiences mild and warm temperatures throughout the year, the peak time to visit is from December to April.
Mauritius – No visa
The multi-cultural island nation located in the Indian Ocean is popular for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. December-February is peak season for snorkeling and diving on Île aux Cerfs and the historic peak of Le Morne Brabant is another great place to visit.
Thailand – Visa on arrival
Thailand is a popular destination for its temples, royal palaces, and tropical beaches. Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are some of the best temples to visit in this Southeast Asian country.
Nepal – No visa
Home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, Nepal is known for its temples and Himalayan mountains. Nepal’s good relations with India allow us to visit Nepal without a passport or visa. The high season for trekking is from September to November due to its mild weather during that time.
Indonesia – Visa on arrival
With thousands of volcanic islands, this rich culture is most famous for the Komodo dragons and the jungles that are home to elephants, orangutans and tigers. An ideal time to visit would be from June to July when you can experience the Bali Arts Festival.
Maldives – Visa on arrival
Although Maldivian-style water villas are coming to India soon, it’s best not to miss this tropical nation with its more than 3,000 coral islands, rich blue lagoons and extensive reefs. The best time to visit is the less humid period from December to April.
How can Indians travel without a visa?
If you have a “visa-free” status for a country, you can simply travel there on an Indian passport and you will be allowed through. However, you should still research the entry requirements of the country you’re visiting, even if you don’t need a visa.
Also, make sure you don’t exceed your allowed visa-free stay; If you can stay in the country for a maximum of three months, leave before they run out. If you stay longer, you might face problems returning there in the future.
During a visa-free stay, you are not allowed to work or enroll in school in the country you are visiting.
What do Indians need for a visa on arrival?
When applying for a visa on arrival, Indian citizens may need a set of documents. The exact requirements differ from country to country, but generally include some or all of the following:
- Valid passport.
- Passport-size photograph.
- Hotel reservation or other proof of accommodation, such as a letter of invitation.
- Proof of sufficient funds, such as bank statements.
- Round trip air tickets.
- Valid travel medical insurance.
How long does it take to get a VOA? Processing your request may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the country.
Can I get a VOA at any point of entry or airport? No, there are generally only specific airports or points of entry where you can obtain a visa upon arrival. Do your research before you travel to avoid being sent back.
Is there a VOA counter? Yes, there is usually a designated counter that you must go to in order to obtain your visa.
How to apply for an eVisa from India?
To apply for an India e-Visa, you will need to find the official visa application website of the country issuing the visa. In many cases, there are unofficial sites that will help you submit your application for an additional fee.
Generally, it is not necessary to apply through such websites, unless you find the application process confusing and difficult to navigate. Still, make sure the site is reputable and trustworthy.
You can also approach India visa application centers like VFS and they can help you to submit the eVisa application.