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.

Guide to Indian Visa application for tourists

Most countries need a Visa to go to India, even just for tourism reasons. However, getting an Indian Visa is much easier than ever, and the Indian Visa application process now includes the option to get an e-Visa. It’s also cheaper than before. Canadians, Americans, Australians, and British nationals are all among the long list of countries now eligible for 10-year tourist Visas and the new e-Visa for India. To find out if your nationality is on the list, click here: Indian Visa Online.

There are essentially two types of Indian Visas for tourists

To apply for a six-month (or longer) tourist Visa, you need to apply at an Indian mission (see links above for examples of Consulate Generals and High Commissions). You have to apply online, print the form and bring it to your local consulate. There will be many very specific rules, such as the exact dimensions of the photos you need to bring. If you don’t follow the guidelines precisely, and to the letter, they will not accept your application. Likewise, if there are any mistakes, such as a name misspelled.

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To get detailed information about the e-Visa

To apply for the new e-Visa facility, you can apply online on this page: Indian Visa Online. See below for more details.

E-Visa (Indian Visa) process

The e-Visa is for: “International Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit” according to the Indian government website.

Indian Visa

The currency crisis may be keeping the number of Indian visa applicants down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the lull. Travel Visa Pro’s team of experts can assist you with getting your visa for India whether you’re just looking for an escape to Agra or need to arrange a meeting with important business clients.

Indian Visa Services

Applying for an Indian visa online gives travelers 30 days in the country, and you don’t even have to hand over your passport; just print the electronic visa and have it ready at immigration when you arrive. Flying to India has never been easier now that the government accepts applications for e-visas online. We provide most India travel visa types. International travelers whose sole objective is sightseeing or a short visit to meet friends or relatives are eligible for a tourist visa in India. Travel Visa Pro will walk our clients through the process from start to finish and get you on your flight with a smile on your face and a passport ready to be stamped. As always, US passport holders should have at least six months’ validity from the date of arrival in India and at least two blank pages for immigration. In addition, travelers may be required to submit proof of their onward journey and sufficient money for their stay in India.

Indian visa application form

Filling out an Indian visa application, like any other piece of paperwork issued by a foreign government, can be confusing even for weathered travelers. Visa applies to your visit to India. Those with short stays of 30 days or less qualify for Tourist Visas and e-Tourist Visas. Travelers coming to India for work qualify for Business Visas or Employment Visas.

Start Your Indian Visa Application Online

Complete our enquiry form online or come into one of our nine offices across the US. Our staff is available in every city containing an Indian consulate or embassy. As always, US citizens are expected to carry a passport with at least six months’ validity and enough room in its pages to accommodate an Indian visa; one blank page is recommended. In addition, you should come with a Travel Visa Pro order form, your Indian visa application, and any other information relevant to your trip, including flight schedule, hotel confirmation emails, and business contacts when applicable.

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

Introduction:

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.

The eTV is allowed for a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility by the Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa airports. eTV is allowed for a maximum of two times in a calendar year to a foreigner with a minimum gap of two months between two visits. eTV shall be non-extendable and non-convertible.

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The foreigners of above mentioned countries may avail of eTV for a period up to 30 days for tourism, medical treatment, casual business or to visit friends/relatives, etc. The eTV facility is not applicable to the holders of Diplomatic/Official Passports. Further, eTV shall not be granted to the foreigners who have permanent residence or occupation in India. Such persons can visit India on normal visa, as applicable.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ETA is valid to let the travellers enter into the country through 9 reputed airports of the country, i.e, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Cochin, Goa, Mumbai, Hyderabad & Trivandrum.
  • 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.
  • Applicants can easily track their application status online clicking Visa Status.
  • The documents required for Tourist Visa On Arrival are:
  • Scanned copy of the First Page of Passport in PDF Format, size should be minimum 10 KB to maximum 300KB.
  • The digital photograph that needs to be uploaded along with the Visa application should meet the following criteria:
  • The photograph to be uploaded should be in JPEG Format, size should be minimum 10 KB and must not exceed 1 MB.
  • The photo must be equal in both height and width.
  • Photo should display Full Face, Front View with your eyes open.
  • Centre head within frame and present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.
  • Background should be plain light coloured or pure white.
  • No shadows on the face or on the background.

Business Travel Requirements for an India Visa for Australian Citizens

Choosing to process an application through our website means having the approved e-Tourist Visa in hands. E-Tourist Visa Online Application is double-checked before submission. Once completed the entire process, the request will be reviewed and then submitted. Applicants usually receive their visas within 12 to 16 hours if they apply for urgent processing. However, some may take longer to process up to 5 to 7 working days.

Visa Validity

Visa is valid from the date of issue. Entry and exit must occur within the validity of the visa. The validity of the issued visa is at the discretion of the Embassy/Consulate and may vary to that advertised.

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Duration of Stay

Holders of this visa can remain in the country for the entire validity of the visa. Please note: Persons holding visas with a validity of longer than 6 months who are intending on remaining in India longer than 180 days must register with the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Offices in India as soon as possible after arrival. Please check the special endorsements section of the issued visa for any stipulations on when registration may be required by. The duration of stay issued on the visa is at the discretion of the Embassy/Consulate and may vary to that advertised.

Passport

The applicant’s actual passport. The passport must:

  • Be valid for six months beyond the expiry date of the visa
  • Have two blank facing visa pages
  • Be Machine Readable
  • Holders of handwritten passports will not be permitted entry into India. Passports must be Machine Readable.

Letter of Invitation

For visa requests with validity greater than 6 months, a letter of invitation from the applicant’s host is required. A copy is acceptable. This letter must:

  • Be on company letterhead including the full address and contact details of the host
  • Be addressed to Indian High Commission
  • Specify the purpose and duration of stay
  • Specify the type of visa, validity, and number of entries requested (must match what is requested on the visa application form)
  • Include an acceptance of financial responsibility for the applicant
  • Be signed by the applicant’s host

Indian Emergency Service

The Indian Emergency Service is available to customers who will not be able to obtain their visa within the standard visa issuing delays. Applicants must be able to provide a confirmed flight itinerary showing departure ex Australia within 48-72 hours from the date of visa lodgement to have their request considered. This is not a guaranteed service and is subject to approval by the local Indian Consulate or Embassy. The Emergency Service is not available to:

  • Non-Australian passport holders in possession of Temporary Residency visas for Australia
  • Non-Australian passport holders who have not been Permanent Residents of Australia for 2 years or more
  • For more information regarding this service please contact Visas Direct.