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 Obtain India Tourist Visa on Arrival or e-Visa

The India Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) allows tourists from 43 nations to visit India for the purpose of tourism, short duration medical treatment, visit friends and relatives or casual business visit.

The India Tourist Visa on Arrival is granted for a maximum of 30 days. The TVoA can be availed twice a year by a tourist. This visa is also referred to as e-Visa to India.

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Eligibility Criteria for India Tourist Visa on Arrival

In order to meet the eligibility criteria for obtaining India Tourist Visa on Arrival, you will need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • You must have a valid passport with a validity of at least 6 months
  • You must have the financial resources required to pay for your expenses during your stay in India
  • You must possess return ticket or onward journey ticket
  • You plan to remain in India for a specific and limited period of time
  • You intend to visit India with the sole objective of sightseeing, meeting friends and relatives, for short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
  • You intend to leave India at the end of your visit
  • You have no intention to seek or undertake employment while in India
  • You do not pose a security risk
  • You agree to abide by the laws of the land
  • Steps to follow to apply for e-Visa to India

A foreign tourist who is eligible for e-Visa to India can apply for the same by following the procedure mentioned below:

Step 1: Access online visa application form

Access the visa application form for India e-Visa online by clicking visa on arrival application.

Step 2: Check the document requirements

Check the requirements for the passport and photograph needed along with the application by clicking document requirements.

Step 3: Upload documents online

Upload the scanned first page of the passport and the required photograph along with the visa application.

Step 4: Pay e-visa fee online

Make payment for the visa fees online using either a debit card or a credit card by clicking e-visa processing fee.

Step 5: Receive the e-visa online

An electronic version of the visa or electronic travel authorization (ETA) will be delivered to your email id within the next 96 hours. You can track the status of your visa application online by clicking visa status.

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.

How to apply for an Indian Visa online | Indian E-Tourist Visa

In order to visit India for tourism, business or any other reasons, all foreign nationalities are required to fulfill certain eligibility criteria and furnish valid travel documents such as the passport, visa, etc. While the visa applicant can opt for the regular method of application, an Indian visa can also be requested online. In case of regular visa application, the application form needs to be signed and submitted along with all other supporting documents at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center.

The Application Process Is Categorized Into The Following Steps:

Online Application – The online application process involves filling in the application form, uploading the necessary documents such as the passport and the passport size photograph according to the specifications. Applicants are advised to use the latest Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer for best viewing and navigation experience.

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Payment of Visa Fee – Once the application is completed successfully, the applicant will be advanced to the payment page where he/she can pay the visa fee based on the visa type. The payment can be made through debit and credit cards. Based on the entry scheme, whether the visa will allow single, double or multiple visits, the visa fee will be calculated accordingly.

Receiving the e-Visa – When the application form is submitted, the applicant will receive a reference/acknowledgement number which can be utilized to track the progress of the application process. If the visa application is approved, the applicant will receive the e-visa through an e-mail which is sent to the registered email ID. The applicants are advised to take a print out of the e-Visa and carry it at all times during the travel. If the visa application is rejected, the visa fee will not refund.

Who Can Apply For An Indian E-Visa?

The foreigners who wish to visit India for recreation, sight-seeing, meeting friends or relatives, medical treatment, and business can apply for an Indian Visa. The visitors need a valid passport with at least six months of validity from the date of arrival in India. Additionally, the passport must have at least two blank pages for immigration Officer’s stamp. The visitors are also required to have sufficient funds to support their travel along with accommodation and daily expenses. Along with the other required documents, confirmed return tickets are also a part of the application procedure. The nationalities from the following country can apply for an e-Visa to India.

Choose the ultimate eTourist Visa urgent for you

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