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?
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.