India has become an emerging hub for medical tourism in recent years; this is because it offers some of the best medical treatments, lower medical costs, vast medical procedures, alternative medicine, latest medical technology, international quality standards and about 54 world class US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Joint Commission International (JC) accredited facilities. Grant Thornton India reported that the medical tourism in India was estimated to be worth about $3 billion in October 2015. With 184,298 medical tourism visitors in 2014, excellent medical expertise in cardiology, orthopedic, nephrology, bone marrow and pediatric surgery, medical tourism in India can only go up from there. Medical places of interest in India include Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Goa, etc.
Medical tourism is the migration of individuals from their country of origin or residence to another country for the purpose of getting medical care or treatment.
According to the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, Indian hospitals received 18,000 Nigerians on medical immigration visas in 2012, 47% of these Nigerians received medical treatment and spent approximately $260 million (Medical Tourism). With thousands of Nigerians trouping to India every year for affordable medical care and expertise, I decided to provide an up-to-date step by step information on how to apply for a medical visa to India from Nigeria.
India Medical Visa Application Requirements
The India medical visa is granted to a visa applicant whose sole purpose of visiting India is to seek medical treatment in specialized accredited medical hospitals or recognized treatment centres in India. Two relatives are allowed to accompany the applicants under separate medical attendant visas. Visa must be applied for in person at the India high commission in Lagos. The visa and immigration application requirements include the following:
- An international passport valid for at least 6 months after your intended stay in the country, it must have at least two blank pages. You can also submit previous passports with visas and stamps; this can help assess your travel history. You can process your international passport at your nearest immigration office. Click here for our article on how to process your international passport
- One photocopy of the bio data page of the international passport
- Two passport photographs of the size 50mm X 50mm (2 inch x 2 inch) with white background, Passports should be glued on your visa application forms in the box provided on pages 1 and 2.
- A duly completed online visa application form. The forms should be signed in the box under the photograph on page 1 and at the end of page 2. Your signatures should match with the signature printed on your passport. Click here
- Minors should provide copies of birth certificate, copy of both parents’ passports, for signatures, minors should sign their names or thumbprint where appropriate on the visa forms, and then these forms should be signed and notarized by both parents.
- Applicants must provide their own contact details including e-mail address.
- A properly addressed original referral letter on letterhead paper, with complete contact details, duly stamped and signed from an accredited hospital or medical institute after the patients’ preliminary examination stating specification of the nature of the patients’ illness and the reason for referring the patient for medical treatment to the accredited medical Institute or hospital in India.
- A hospital admission letter on letterhead paper, duly stamped and signed with complete contact details, from the hospital in India, this must also be e-mailed by the hospital management to the India High Commission in Nigeria at this e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org copied to the patient as well, specifying the nature of the medical treatment to be undertaken along with the treatment itinerary.
- Certified bank account statement of last three months issued by the patients’ bank in his/her name, stating the ability to afford all medical and living expenses in India for the duration of the medical treatment. In the case of sponsorship, an affidavit form undertaken by the sponsor along with a copy of his/her government issued Identity Card or international passport should be attached.
- Yellow fever, polio, IPV vaccination certificate for all applicants except infants under six months.
- Receipt of visa fee payment of $252.00 (N80,640) including surcharge of $2.00 (N640), this is only accepted at the Sterling Bank counter in the Indian High Commission premises in Abuja or Lagos. Note that visa fees are non refundable, so do not conclude travel arrangements until you’re issued a visa.
Additional documents may be required during the interview at the discretion of the Consular Officer, ensure that you can easily provide them.
India Visa Application Process
Visa application submissions are between 10:00AM to 12:00AM on all working days. Visa should be applied for in person at the High commission in Lagos or Abuja.
India High Commission, Abuja
364, Cadastral Zone,
Central Business Area (CBA),
Telephone: +234 708 062 2800-4
India High Commission, Lagos
8A, Walter Carrington Crescent,