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).

 

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.

 

How to Apply For an Indian Visa from the UK | Starting the Application

Step 1– Click through to the Online Visa Application

Page 1- Visa Application

Select Country – United Kingdom

If you live in Scotland you must select “UK- Edinburgh” as Mission, while filling the online application form.

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If you live in:

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.

Insert – DOB, Email, Date of Arrival

Select – Tourist Visa and select purpose that best matches your trip.

Page 2- Applicant Details Form

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

Passport Details- Insert the details of the person wishing to obtain a long term Tourist Visa.

Click Save and Continue

Page 3- Applicants Address/Family Details/Marital Status/Occupation/Military Experience

Applicants Address Details – Present Address and Permanent Address, if they are the same tick the box.

Family Details – Father and Mothers Name, Nationality, Place of Birth (Town), Country of Birth.

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

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

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)

When this section of the form is complete, click Save and Continue at the bottom of the form.

Page 4- Details of Visa, Previous Visa Information, and Countries Visited in 10 Years, SAARC Countries, and References

All applicants requiring 4 years or less can make a postal application.

After deciding the duration of your visa, complete the first section of the form.

Places to be Visited – Insert places in India planning to visit into box one and two if required. Of course, if you change plans once in India, it’s not a big deal. At least get the flying into and out of destination on there.

Duration of Visa – Please insert the duration in months- so 1 year would be 12, 1.5 years would be 18 etc.

No of Entries – This means how many times you can re-enter India, as there is no cost difference between single and multiple entries, its best to select multiple unless you know you will only travel to India once whilst the visa is active.

Port of Arrival – Please inserts the Airport/Sea Port city you are planning to enter India, eg Mumbai.

Expected Port of Exit – This is not a mandatory field but if you know, please enter the airport or port you have booked to leave India.

Previous Visa/Current Visa- If you have had or have an Indian Visa please provide the details required.

Other Information – List countries you have visited in last 10 years.

SAARC Countries – If you have visited any of these countries in the past 3 years select Yes and fill in the details- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

Page 5- Upload Passport Photo

Choose File – Select the Choose File button first, then a window will open, find and select your passport photo image file, it must be in JPEG format and be no larger than 1mb in size. The image should 350 pixels (width) and 350 pixels (height). It should be a recent front-facing photograph with white background, do not scan your passport image and use this, it should be a new passport style photo.

The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded photograph is not clear and as per specification.

Upload Photo – After choosing the file to upload, click the orange Upload Photo Button.  This will take you to the resize screen.

Page 6- Resize and Select Photo

Resize and Select – A preview of the JPEG passport photo you uploaded will appear in the left-hand box, with your mouse select the area of the photo showing your whole face and white background when happy click the orange Save and continue button.

Page 7- Review Passport Photo

If happy with the photo select “Save and continue” if not happy select “Upload Image Again” and if you’re getting frustrated save and Temporarily Exit or use the hassle frees service!

Page 8- Review and Confirm Application

Review the form and make sure all information is completed and accurate, the visa could get rejected if this is not the case. If happy please select Verified and Continue button at the bottom. If you want to make changes select Modify.

Page 9- Confirmation

Now your application has been confirmed!

If you will be carrying out a postal application there is no need to Book an Appointment, unless you are applying for a 5-year visa and biometric data is required.

Click the Print Form (orange button), the completed application will then automatically download a PDF, into your Downloads folder.

Click Book Appointment to proceed to the next step.

If you click Book Appointment you will be taken to this screen: Select the UK Mission you inserted in the application form, then select- Get Appointment.

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.

Make good efforts to apply for urgent tourist Visa India

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It is very important for you to ensure of searching for the right source where you can apply for urgent tourist Visa India. You should try to take the best steps that would lead to feel much satisfied out of it.

You should make sure of taking the perfect steps as to how it would be possible for you to find the right source for applying tourist Visa.  It is important for you to find out all good details on how it would be possible to get the right one that would help in getting your requirement fulfilled. It is therefore important for you to find out all good details as to how it can be possible to get the ultimate source that would get the work done in the best way. Some good steps should be taken that would help in making it possible to feel quite glad of your own choice that you have made in the right manner. So, you have to look forward to finding all good details if you really wish to find the right source where you can apply for urgent tourist Visa India.

  • Find the right way to apply: You should try to make your perfect attempt to look for all the right information as to how you can apply for the ultimate India Visa. By making your right selection for India visa application, it would help you to feel quite satisfied. Therefore you have to ensure of looking forward to finding the best service provider.

Look for its eligibility: When you try to search for the best urgent Medical Visa India then you should definitely try to look forward to its eligibility. This would help you in adding to your own satisfaction where you can find time effective services in the best manner. Therefore you should definitely make the right effort to contact the best one for your requirement. It would help you to find that it has really helped in satisfying your purpose without any worry at all for you. Visit: https://www.indianetouristvisa.co.in/about-us.php

 

Indian e-Tourist Visa

How to apply for India visa