British fingerprints required for India visa

24th Feb 2015
Written by: Dave Owen

Potential visitors will be required to visit a new application centre

New visa regulations mean that British tourists planning to travel to India will have to undergo biometric testing before their application can be approved.

From March 14, all potential visitors will have to report to an application centre, of which there will be 14 in the UK, to submit biometric data, namely their fingerprints. This comes as a result of the High Commission of India outsourcing the process to a company called VFS.

The change hasn’t exactly been welcomed by tour operators to India, who fear it will deter visitors, particularly those travelling as a family.

“Each family member has to lodge an individual application,” said Darrren Bridges, director of visa agent Travcour, to the Telegraph. “There is no guarantee that the appointments will be one after the other, so you could have Dad, say, getting his at 9am; Mum getting hers at 10am and so on.”

These inconvenient changes are something of a surprise, given that India has recently simplified its visa process for tourists from Australia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and more. Even with 14 centres in the UK it could prove incredibly difficult for many to attend and, with just over three weeks until the regulations come into force, only three of the centres are currently open.

ABTA – the Association of British Travel Agents – is making an official complaint.

“We are writing to the Indian High Commission expressing our concern about the short notice given concerning this change to visa requirements, requesting that they either reconsider or delay its introduction,” said Nikki White, ABTA head of destinations and sustainability. “We are also expressing our concerns about the requirement for individual family members to book separate appointments which could cause considerable unnecessary inconvenience and have the unintended consequence of discouraging travel to India.”

Tour operators had already been reporting a drop in bookings to India, and this new requirement is unlikely to reverse the trend.

Find out more about India visas.


Cairo to Cape Town Overland

from £3,695.00

119 days

A trip for those who are happy to rough it and willing to muck in with a group of like-minded...

Mini January Ski Package in Austria

from £359.00

3 days

Early January is dreamland on the slopes, jump on the 08:55 BA flight from Heathrow and spend the next 3...

Desert Wildlife Program

from £520.00

14 - 70 days

Volunteer in Israel  in a nature reserve with desert wildlife! 

Australia Adventure with Gapforce

from £2,400.00

28 - 49 days

Travel down under with us and embark on the experience of a lifetime! From exploring Oz to finding a job...

Mamma Mia

from £1,300.00

13 days

Visit Florence, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi coast and lots more with this 13 day tour for the...

Africa Explorer with Gapforce

from £2,200.00

28 - 56 days

Combine wildlife and community volunteering with culture and adventure in the Rainbow nation, South Africa!

Bahamas Marine Conservation with Gapforce

from £2,200.00

28 - 70 days

Live on a stunning Caribbean island - Work for The Bahamas National Trust to help set up Marine Parks -...

Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary

from £775.00

15 - 85 days

Come and join this fantastic project in the heart of Namibia and get up close and personal with some of...

Ultimate Ski / Snowboard Experience

from £8,875.00

70 days

The ultimate way to spend an entire season on the slopes gaining your instructor qualifications. Have fun and experience a...

Language Assistant in France

from £1,250.00

28 - 84 days

Live in the beautiful city of Montpellier in Southern France, learn the language, embrace the culture, meet new friends, and...

Check out these awesome tours!


California’s Coast

from £454.00

This is what road trips were made for. Take the ultimate drive down the California coast from San Francisco to...

Canadian Road Trip from New York

from £2,329.00


Oh Canada! From the North Atlantic to the North Pacific; from the cities to the wilderness including the Great Lakes,...

Thailand Family Holiday with teenagers

from £1,695.00


Explore the busy streets of Bangkok and Chiang Mai on this energetic family adventure in Thailand. Zipline through treetops, cycle...

Peruvian Pathways

from £2,576.00


Travel to Peru and discover its fascinating history, from the depths of the Amazon to the heights of the Andes...

Northern Thai Highlights

from £695.00

6 - 6 days


The North of Thailand is fast becoming a traveller haven, and it's easy to see why. Adventure into this part...

Active Galapagos

from £2,263.00


Amazing wildlife, both on land and underwater, is the drawcard of the remote Galapagos Islands. Tour the Galapagos' outstanding natural...

USA Western Circuit

from £1,751.00

There are spectacular sights to be uncovered on every turn of this adventure through western USA. Walk past centuries-old sequoia...

Kilimanjaro & Serengeti Adventure

from £3,510.00

Tanzania, United Republic of

Experience two of Africa's most famous natural wonders from ground level on this Active trip, designed for those with a...

Rajasthan Adventure

from £970.00


Travel to India and discover the country at its most colourful amid the deserts, bazaars and forts of Rajasthan. This...

London to Rome by Rail

from £4,095.00


Roam around Europe on this excellent adventure that’d make Bill and Ted proud. Swoon under the Eiffel Tower, hitch a...

More inspiration and advice

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]