A Detailed Guide to eVisa for India

EVisa for India – Avoid India Tourist Visa Surprises. Make sure to check your visa requirements before you book your trip to beautiful India. – by Sushma Goswami

The story about my eVisa application experience for India (Indian e-Tourist Visa)

A few months ago I decided to try the new India eTourist Visa. My employment visa for India had expired and I needed a new visa to fly back to India with Sonal. I decided give eVisa a try instead of going through the lengthy embassy visa application process (which I also explain in the latter part of this post). For those of you that don’t know yet, India has launched a new eTourist visa scheme, so most travelers can get an Indian visa online.

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This system supersedes the existing tourist visa on arrival where certain travelers were able to pay a fee upon arrival at immigrations. Travelers now have to apply before arrival to India for a tourist visa. They get a PDF that the airline desk clerk will check before boarding the flight. Then once in India, there is a special immigration queue for eVisas and voila, you are set! This eVisa is actually a great implementation as it not only boosts the tourism industry for Indian locals but it also eliminates costs and is a great benefit to all us travelers.

As I said, the tourist visa is now issued online and you will simply receive it in PDF format via email. Your Indian visa will be linked electronically to your passport so you will no longer receive a visa sticker. Enough about the benefits of the program. I started the process at 8PM and finished 12 hours later, in a nightmare night in the Philippines. The Government website (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html) is tortuous.

I had innumerable problems uploading my ID photo, my passport information page and worse of all, paying. The user experience was even more frustrating than getting a traditional visa. Instead of sleeping before my snorkeling trip in Palawan, I ended up wasting my entire night on this website. So when a blogger friend talked about iVisa.com, I instantly thought this was an interesting option for my readers. eVisa is a US based company whose motto is “zero frustration policy when it comes to visa processing”. For an additional fee, they’ve made an impressively easy interface that makes the visa application a pleasant one (or as pleasant as it can be).

After researching them in depth, they provide a few great service options that are very interesting: travelers can save an application and complete it at any time, eVisa system takes any type of image and they make it compliant to the visa application format (versus the Government website which only accepts a few formats and in ridiculously small sizes), they take any form of payment (including Amex and paypal), and best of all, unlike the Government website, they accept visa applications far in advance from the trip.

 

It’s crucial to understand that there have been applications rejected by the government in the past so waiting until the last minute to process the visas is not a great idea. The government service will only accept applications 33 days before your actual travel date, which made me a bit anxious, since this seemed to be too close to my actual trip.

India eTourist Visa validity

One thing to remember is that the validity of your Indian visa will only begin on the day of your arrival and you can not apply more than 33 days before your arrival to India. It’s a single entry visa and if you wish to spend more than one month in India then you will have to contact the Indian embassy as the India eTourist Visa is valid for 30 days alone and it seems like you can only apply for 2 eVisas in one calendar year.

Indian E Visa restrictions

If you want to apply for an Indian eTourist visa, make sure you are arriving to India via plane and through one of these airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi. You can exit India by any means of transportation and from any point of exit.

What will you need for your online visa to India application?

You will need a valid passport (valid at least 6 months after your arrival date) and a scan of your passport photo page along with a recent digital photograph of yourself.

After you make the payment online, you’ll receive an email with your visa after a few days, which you can print and take to the airport with you. It’s that easy. Show the printed copy to the immigration officer and a visa will be attached to your passport on the spot.

Again, I recommend that you use http://www.indianetouristvisa.co.in to avoid any frustration with the process. Remember you can apply online at any time with them, and the visa will be processed exactly 33 days prior to departure (so they apply on the first available date, ensuring that the traveler doesn’t have to worry about the visa at all).

 

Indian Visa on Arrival | Indian E-Visa | Indian E Tourist Visa

The government of India promotes the economic interests of the Indian business community and creates awareness about India through its Indian embassies and Indian consulates.

About Indian Visa:

Government of India has introduced e-Tourist Visa Facility (eTV) scheme for the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

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The eTV is took into consideration a greatest legitimacy of 30 days with single passage office by the Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa air terminals. eTV is considered a greatest of two times in a logbook year to an outsider with a base hole of two months between two visits. eTV will be non-extendable and non-convertible.

The nonnatives of previously mentioned nations may benefit of eTV for a period up to 30 days for tourism, medicinal treatment, easygoing business or to visit companions/relatives, and so on. The eTV office isn’t relevant to the holders of Diplomatic/Official Passports. Further, eTV will not be conceded to the nonnatives who have perpetual home or occupation in India. Such people can visit India on typical visa, as material.

Eligibility:

  • International Tourists who are travelling to India with the motto of meeting friends or relatives, sightseeing, recreation, medical treatment or casual business meets.
  • Passport must have validity of six months
  • International Travellers should carry return ticket or onward journey ticket, and they must have sufficient money with them to spend during her/his stay in India.
  • International Tourists with Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin have to apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
  • Not available to official / Diplomatic Passport Holders.

 

Instructions for e-Tourist Visa Facility:

 

  • Applicants of the countries eligible for this criterion may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days.
  • For Example: If one is applying on 1st Dec then s/he can select arrival date from 5th Dec to 4th Jan.
  • Applicant has to upload a latest front facing photograph with white background along with the photo page of passport having personal details like name, date of birth, expiry date, nationality etc. However, the confirmation of the application is subject to rejection if the uploaded document is not clear or as per specification.
  • The fees for eTV is non-refundable.
  • Applicant should carry a copy of ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) while travelling to India.
  • Biometric Details of the traveller will be collected compulsorily at Immigration on arrival in India.
  • The validity of Visa will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.
  • This facility is available in addition to the existing visa service.
  • Tourist Visa on Arrival (eTV) is allowed for a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.

 

 

How to Apply Online for an Indian Visa (OR E-Visa)

India is one of the few remaining countries in Asia that I haven’t managed to visit — until this year! That’s why you can imagine how stoked I was when I first found out that I’ll be setting foot in its soil; after all, I’ve heard a LOT of great things about India’s culture, food, people and sights. Back then though, when my itinerary was finalized, I checked the immigration requirements and… I was surprised when I discovered that I had to get an Indian visa first before entering the country.

I say this because I once heard that there was a visa-on-arrival scheme to a lot of nationalities, but apparently, by 2014 they have changed it into an online ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or E-Tourist Visa application.

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What is India’s E-Tourist Visa?

The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or “E-Tourist Visa” (now aptly called as “E-Visa”) replaced the special visa-on-arrival policy in India and it is divided into 3 categories, namely:

 

  • E-Tourist Visa
  • E-Business Visa
  • E-Medical Visa

STEP 1: Determine if you are eligible for an Indian E-Visa

I will only be discussing the requirements for an Indian E-Tourist Visa since it’s an experience that I’ve gone through myself. For this, you must first determine if you are eligible by reviewing the following conditions.

 

STEP 2: Prepare the Required Documents and Information for your Application

Before you lodge your Indian visa application online, it’s best to prepare the following beforehand…

Documents (In English)

Scanned bio page of your passport (showing photo and other details)

NOTE: This must be in a .PDF file with a maximum size of 300kb. To learn how to make .PDF files, go here, and if you want to know how to compress .PDF files, read here. Make sure that when compressing, the details on your passport are not blurred and are still readable.

 

Recent digital photo that shows your full face (with white background)

NOTE: The photo must be a .JPEG file with a maximum size of 1MB. Make sure that the height and width of the photo is equal (either way, once you upload it, the website will help you crop the photo).

STEP 3: Process Your Indian Visa Application Online Click Here

How can you apply for a Tourist Visa for India?

Every foreign citizen is required to obtain a visa before entering India. For tourists and visitors, there are two ways to apply for a tourist visa for India: the e-visa and the regular tourist visa. The e-visa is for a shorter period of stay and much easier to apply for while the regular tourist visa can be a pain to get and is more expensive but is also valid for a minimum of six months to 10 years, depending on your nationality. So it really depends on your travel plans.

We would like to introduce both options to you in this article and answer questions like Who can apply? How much does it cost? What are the requirements?

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What is an E-Visa OR Electronic Travel Authorization?

The e-visa format resembles a visa on arrival but is not exactly a visa on arrival. The applicant needs to submit their India visa forms online and pay the necessary fees online. The applicant would be informed online if the electronic tourist visa is granted or not. It is still not exactly a visa on arrival as you still have to apply before you arrive in India. However, it’s a lot less cumbersome than couriering your passports or having to line up outside an Indian Embassy.

Eligibility for an Indian Tourist Visa:

Purpose: Only four possible intentions are considered innocent by the Indian Government. Recreation and sightseeing, Casual visits with friends and family, short duration medical treatment and Casual business visit. Our apologies on not making a category for Self-Discovery.

Passport: The original document should be valid for another six months from arrival. It should have at least two blank pages to fill up with Indian stamps. Those holding Pakistani Passports or of Pakistani origin are unfortunately not allowed this convenience. They must apply directly at India Mission for regular passports. Diplomatic/Official Passport holders, those endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport and International Travel Document Holders will all have to also make do with the regular method of obtaining visas.

Details of E-Tourist Visa for India:

For applications to be eligible they must be submitted no later than 4 days and no earlier than 34 days before the date of arrival. So if you’re the kind that likes their itinerary done and dusted well in advance, you might want to consider a traditional tourist visa for India.

You can get a maximum of 2 Electronic Travel Authorizations (ETA) in a year with one of them providing a maximum stay of 30 days.

Carry a copy of ETA at the time of your travel (obviously). After you arrived at one of the designated airports mentioned you will need to proceed to the e-visa counter where they will actually add the tourist visa to your passport. Afterwards you will need to carry on to the immigration counter where they will stamp your passport. This might take quite some time at busy airports like Delhi or Mumbai.

 

Your Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) will usually be processed and issued within 3 business days after your online application if approved.

 

Guide on how to apply for an Indian Visa for US Citizens

Almost all nationalities, including US citizens, need to apply for a visa before traveling to India which means that applying for an Indian visa is an essential part of planning any trip to India.  As the process of applying for an Indian Visa for US citizens can sometimes be a little confusing and I get a lot of questions about applying for Indian visas and wrote a post for UK citizens and Canadians.

If a trip to India is approaching and time is in short supply, apply online at the Indian Government’s website for an e-Visa. United States citizens must have a valid passport and visa to visit this vast, diverse, ancient country and it takes a minimum of four days for the visa application to process. Once granted, an e-Visa is valid for 60 days after the arrival date.

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Indian e-Visa Restrictions:

Only visitors entering India at certain airports or seaports can use an e-Visa. The 24 designated airports include Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Mangalore, Amritsar, Jaipur, Kolkata and Hyderabad, and the designated seaports are Goa, Mangalore and Cochin. E-Visa holders can exit India from any authorized Immigration Check Post the validity dates on e-Visas aren’t extendable.

Required Documents:

A passport that’s valid for six months after the arrival date and a digital photograph are the minimum requirements to apply for an Indian e-Visa. You must submit a copy of your passport’s bio page along with a recent, passport-style photograph in JPEG format. Medical visa applicants must also submit a copy of a letter from the relevant Indian hospital, and business visitors need to include a copy of their business cards. On arrival, visitors must be able to show they have a return or onward ticket and enough money for their stay.

How to Apply for an Indian e-Visa:

Apply for an Indian e-Visa online via the Indian Government’s website. Complete the application form for the correct visa type, whether it’s an e-Tourist visa, e-Medical visa or an e-Business visa, and attach the relevant documents. You must pay a fee before the application is accepted. After you apply, the visa application status becomes available to view on the website. When the visa application has the status “Granted,” print off a copy to take on your trip.

Regular Visa Applications:

The processing time for Indian visas that aren’t e-Visas is variable, but the application website supplies estimation when the application is submitted. Though a non-e-Visa application for travel, business, medical or other visits usually takes longer to process than an e-Visa application, the validity duration of the visa is often longer.

What is E-Visa OR Electronic Travel Authorization? | Indian E Tourist Visa

The duration of stay on e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with a double entry with effect from April 1st, 2017. The window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days. Therefore it became easier to obtain a tourist visa for India. You can now also apply for a medical or business visa online. However, this requires different documents to be uploaded see here.

Every foreign citizen is required to obtain a visa before entering India. For tourists and visitors there are two ways to apply for a tourist visa for India. The e-visa and the regular tourist visa. The e-visa is for a shorter period of stay and much easier to apply for while the regular tourist visa can be a pain to get and is more expensive but is also valid for minimum of six months upto 10 years, depending on your nationality. So it really depends on your travel plans.

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Eligibility for an Indian Tourist Visa

Purpose: Only four possible intentions are considered innocent by the Indian Government. Recreation and sightseeing, Casual visits with friends and family, short duration medical treatment and Casual business visit.

Passport: The original document should be valid for another six months from arrival. It should have at least two blank pages to fill up with Indian stamps. Those holding Pakistani Passports or of Pakistani origin are unfortunately not allowed this convenience. They must apply directly at India Mission for regular passports. Diplomatic/Official Passport holders, those endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport and International Travel Document Holders will all have to also make do with the regular method of obtaining visas.

Application Requirements for the Tourist Visa for India

Passport:  You will need to submit a scanned copy of your passport’s information page after filling the application form which you can find here.

Photo:   If you have a digital copy of a passport sized photo, upload it to the website. Alternately use a scanned photo of a regular passport photo instead.

Proof of Departure:  Confirmed round trip ticket so they know you’re not trying to sneak in and start a new life.

 

Fees:  The e-visa fee depends on the country of origin. At the moment citizen from 161 countries can apply for an e-visa. To find out the fee applicable for your country please click here.

 

How to Apply U.S Citizens for Indian Visa | Indian E Tourist Visa

It’s during the holiday season, and you are probably looking forward to that vacation in the Goa. It could even be that work errand to or from India you need to get too urgently, and you are wondering how to get a visa without a tussle.

In the 21st century acquiring a visa has been made easy. You could apply for it online, by mail or by reporting directly to their offices. Payments for visas have also changed through time. Now you may use Visa tokens to pay for your visa. There are several requirements you will need to fulfill to obtain your entry visa.

Requirements Set by the India Visa:

Passport:

You will require an original signed passport and a photocopy of passport information. The passport should be valid for six months beyond your stay in India, and it should be signed.

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Indian visa application forms:

You must have a signed Indian visa application form. Have an extra copy as well just in case need arises. Your signature on both the Visa application form and passport must match. Remember to sign on both pages of your visa application form.

Photograph:

For your Indian e Visa enquiry you will need a recent colored 2×2 passport type photo with a plain background. You should not wear sunglasses when the photo is taken. The photo should not be stapled to the application either. Alternatively you can upload your passport photo to the Global Service Order Form instead of providing physical photos.

An Additional particulars form:

This is just a fill-out form on other important information to verify your identity as being legitimately your own. Preferably avoid the use of the term ‘N/A’ in questions that do not apply.

Proof of residential address:

Here you will have to provide a clear photo of your drivers’ license or state issued ID. The address should match exactly your present address on the visa card. Alternatively, a recent major utility bill like on electricity, gas, water, sewage or a current lease containing both the tenant and landlord may be accepted.

Letter of invitation from India:

In case you are coming to India for a company job, a letter of invitation from the Host Company or individual explaining their relationship to you as the applicant is important. The purpose of the travel should also be stated. The letter must be signed and sealed on company letterhead by the host in India. As a measure of being on the safe side, you may include the business cover letter.

Business letter:

A letter from your employer or sponsoring company from outside the country introducing you, the applicant, is important. The letter should include the applicants’ employment status in the company and a clearly stated purpose of going to India.

A tourist visa on arrival scheme exists currently for nationals of listed counties. Here you can apply for and receive the visa on arrival to the country. This visa is only valid for 30 days, and can only be used for tourism purposes.

As soon as you submit your visa application form you will receive a receipt number that allows you to track the progress of the processing of your e-Tourist Visa. It takes a minimum of 4 working days to get e-Tourist Visa approval. Once you receive a confirmation email with the approval of your application form you must print a copy and keep it with you at all times during your trip to India.

Top 5 Guidelines to Getting an E-Visa for India | Indian E Tourist Visa

Visitors to India can either apply for a regular visa or an e-Visa. The e-Visa hassle-free to obtain, although it’s valid for a shorter duration. Here’s what you need to know about it. The Indian government has also widened the scope of the visa scheme to include short duration medical treatment and yoga courses, and casual business visits and conferences. Previously, these required separate medical/student/business visas.

The “e-Tourist Visa” scheme became known as “e-Visa”. It was divided into three categories:

  • E-Tourist Visa
  • E-Business Visa
  • E-Medical Visa

What is the Procedure for Obtaining an E-Visa?

As well as entering you travel details; you will need to upload a photograph of yourself with a white background that meets the specifications listed on the website, and the photo page of your passport that shows your personal details. Your passport will need to be valid for at least six months. Additional documents may be required depending on the type of e-Visa required.

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How long is the Visa Valid For?

It’s now valid for 60 days (increased from 30 days), from the time of entry. Two entries are permitted on e-Tourist visas and e-Business visas, while three entries are permitted on e-Medical visas. The visas are non-extendable and non-convertible.

Which Indian Entry Points Accept E-Visas?

You can now enter at the following 25 international airports (increased from 16) in India: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kochi, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Varanasi, and Vishakhapatnam.

Important: Scams to be Aware of

When applying for your e-Visa, do be aware that a number of commercial websites have been created to look similar to the government of India’s official website, and they claim to provide online visa services to tourists. These websites are:

Indian Tourist Visa from Canada | Indian E Tourist Visa

India uses an E-VISA system. Processing takes 3 to 10 working days. Canadians will get their visas stamped into their passports upon arrival at one of twenty-four major airports or three major seaports in India once their e-Visa is approved and emailed to them. This applies to Tourists, Business, Medical and Family Visitors. The visa is valid for a double-entry of India, with a stay of up to 60 days. You must apply at least 7 days PRIOR to travel. Everything is done on-line. You do not send in your real passport.

The Government of India website to fill the online application. You must go via the links on the website. Simply fill in the widget and it will guide you through the entire VISA application process.

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Eligibility

A tourist visa is appropriate for those who would like to visit India for tourism or other non-business related purposes. You are required to possess a valid passport with a valid Indian visa before you start your travel to India. Every traveler, including minor children, must each have a valid visa to travel to India.

Duration & Validity

  • Tourist Visa is generally issued with multiple entry endorsement.
  • Validity of Tourist Visa commences from the date of visa issuance and not from date of entry into India.
  • The Period of stay for each visit is maximum up to 6 (SIX) months from the date of entry.
  • Applicants applying for Emergency visas.

A valid passport and tourist visa are required to visit India

Passport Requirements:

  • Original passport and one photocopy of passport information and signature page.

India Visa Application Form:

  • One signed India visa application form plus one copy.
  • The traveler must sign their own visa application form, and signatures on the application must match the signature in the applicant’s passport.
  • The Indian visa application form must be printed on two pages, and signed on both pages. The applicant must sign under the photo on the first page, and at the bottom of the second page.
  • This is an online application form. On the Indian E Tourist Visa website, select the orange button on the left that says “Regular Visa Application” to start the visa application form.

Photo Requirements:

  • One recent 2 x 2 passport type photograph, in color, front view and with a plain/white background. Glasses should not be worn in these photos; photos should not be stapled to the application.

Proof of State Residency:

A clear photocopy of the applicant’s driver’s license or state issued ID is the best proof of address. The address on the ID must match the present address on the visa application exactly. Alternatively, the most recent major utility bill (Water, Gas, Electric, Sewage), or a copy of a valid/current lease containing both the landlord and tenant signature, may also be accepted.

How to Apply For an Indian Visa from the UK?

Apply for Indian online Visa

All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad. All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through Online application in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa. The duly signed physical copy of the application form completed in all respect and submitted successfully, is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/Post, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents. The instructions for filling the form and scheduling the appointment can be seen at Instructions for Online Visa Application. Important technical information for filling online Indian visa application can be referred at Technical Instructions.

Indian Visa from UK

If you want to stay in India for longer than 60 days then an e-visa will not be appropriate for you.  This article is going to explain step by step, in-depth, how to apply for an Indian visa from the UK. I have a similar post on how to apply for an Indian visa from the USA.  A long term tourist visa will allow you to have a visa to enter India between 1 and 5 years with multiple re-entries. The visa lets you stay in India for a maximum of 180 days per trip. If you want a 5-year visa, Biometric information will be collected at the VFS Centre. You cannot apply for a 5-year visa by post.

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Apply Online UK Visa Process

Step 1– Click through to the Online Visa Application

Select Country– United Kingdom

If you live in Scotland you must select “UK- Edinburgh” as Mission, while filling the online application form. When booking the appointment you can select Edinburgh or Glasgow.

If you live in:          

Birmingham, Durham, Humberside, Isle of Man, Isle of Scilly, Manchester, Shropshire, Yorkshire (North), Lancashire, Midlands (West), Staffordshire, Yorkshire (South), Leicestershire,

Northumberland, Cleveland, Yorkshire (West), Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Tyne and Wear, Cumbria and Derbyshire, Merseyside, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire.

You will need to select “UK- Birmingham”, as Mission while filling the online application form, appointments can then be booked the offices in Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Liverpool, Bradford, and Newcastle

If you live in any other part of the UK, including the counties mentioned above, you can book appointments at any of the 2 offices in London (Goswell Road and Hounslow), Bristol, Cardiff, and Belfast.

If you want to do a postal application please select UK-London. Visa applications by post can be made as long as it less than a  5-year visa duration. ALL applicants requiring a 5-year tourist visa will need to make an appointment application as biometric information is required (fingerprints and photo).

Step 2 – DOB, Email, Date of Arrival

SelectTourist Visa and select purpose that best matches your trip.

Applicant Details- Complete all fields for the person wishing to obtain a long term Tourist Visa, for Citizenship ID No insert- NA.

Step 3 – Passport Details- Insert the details of the person wishing to obtain a long term Tourist Visa. Family Details– Father and Mothers Name, Nationality, Place of Birth (Town), Country of Birth.

Step 4 – Marital Status– Single or Married, provide details if married.

Step 5- Parents/Grandparents Pakistan Nationals or Belong to Pakistan Area– If yes provide information.

Step 6 – Profession/Occupation of Traveller– Present Occupation (select from list), Employer/Business Name, Address, Past Occupation, if any, Military Services (Yes/No- if yes provide details).

If You Know About More Details Regarding Online Visa Application Process Click Here .