Visa and Immunization
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 vaild 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.
PASSPORT: Submit a scanned copy of your passport’s information page online here. Your passport should be signed and valid for 6 months beyond your stay in India. It needs to be full of blank visa pages for all your fun travel plans. Don’t forget to carry it with you on your trip!
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.
For applications to be eligible they must be submitted no later than 4 days prior to departure, 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 visa.
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.
You can pick up a visa on arrival at Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Trivandrum ONLY.
Carry a copy of ETA at the time of your travel (obviously).
Your visa will usually be processed and issued within 3 business days if approved.
Happy bureaucratizing to you!
A little background on E-Visa for India
If you’ve been thinking that it’s high time the process of getting a visa to India became smoother, you’ve been thinking right! The Indian government since June 2014, has been aggressively putting in place an e-visa system for in-bound tourists. And the good news is, we’re almost there. You’ll most likely be getting your visa online for your next visit to India. It will reduce paper work and make the whole process much easier for travellers. No more enduring long lines at embassies, convoluted verification and other hassles!
E-Visa or Visa on Arrival for India? What is the difference?
The e-visa format being implemented 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 Visa is granted or not.
You do not have to courier your passport or visit an Indian Embassy or consulate. Once your Visa is granted, which you will be notified of online, you can board your plane to India. The Visa will be stamped on your passport when you arrive in India.
While similar, it is still not exactly a Visa on arrival. It’s a lot less cumbersome than couriering your passports or having to line up outside an Indian Embassy/consulate.
Which countries can avail of e-visa for India?
Overall, we’re looking at phasing in 109 countries. New Zealand, Luxembourg, Finland, Singapore, Japan, South Korea the USA, the UK, Canada, Malaysia, France and others are likely to be on the list. Germany, Israel and Russia are under active consideration. China with its lofty promise of active tourism in India definitely makes the list, although not in phase one.
Which countries will get the facility first?
Australia, certain BRICS countries and the African region will be part of the first phase. US, Japan and South Korea will follow up with 30-odd countries.
Which countries cannot avail of e-visa for India?
SAARC nations and Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Afghanistan. They’re on “prior reference” list and will have tough luck as far as e- visas are concerned.
There’s some good news for Afghan nationals though. India may open its doors for them to stay for up to 2 years on humanitarian grounds. This will be subject to checks and balances to avoid misuse.
A brief overview of the e-visa process for India
With Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) foreign travellers will be able to apply (through a website) for and receive online confirmation of their e – visa within 3 to 5 working days. The facility will be available for a 30 day period from your date of arrival in India onwards.
When will it go live by?
The software for e-visa system is ready and expected to be in operation at 9 international airports—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Goa by the time this year’s (2014-2015) peak tourist season arrives.
A dedicated website for the purpose of getting an e-visa is already functional. You will have to pay an additional fee to use the service. Visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/ to see if you can use the facility as yet.
A word to the wise
Once e-visas kick start, visa-on-arrival will become redundant. The government does believe though, that it is better to keep both options open for the convenience of travellers.
For those who like to travel to places where there aren’t too many tourists, this new development may make India a bit disappointing during season time. e-visas are expected to double India’s inbound tourism within 2 years! But if you plan in advance, choose your destinations smartly and book tickets and accommodation with good advice, you’re likely to have a great time as always.
As of late 2015, there have been some changes in the process. Learn more about them here.
Applying for a VISA to visit India
VISA Requirement for visiting India
A visitor to India needs to apply for a VISA if they are citizens of another country and are not eligible to apply for the status of Person of Indian Origin’ (PIO) or Overseas Citizenship of India’ (OCI).
Eligibility for a PIO card
a) Individuals who have had an Indian passport at any time.
b) Individuals who have at least one parent, grandparent or great grandparent born in India or permanently resident in India, with none being citizens of a foreign country.
Eligibility for OCI
Individuals who have at least one parent, grandparent or great grandparent who
a) Were eligible to become citizens of India on Jan 26, 1950.
b) Belonged to a territory that became a part of India after Jan 15, 1947.
c) Were citizens of India on or after Jan 26, 1950 .
Type of VISA for India
You need a Tourist VISA to visit India for a vacation.
VISA Application Overview
a) Make your applications through the website of the online VISA application system.
b) After filling in and submitting the application form online, you need to schedule an interview at the relevant Visa Application Center (IVAC) or Indian Mission/Post. Fill in the application form and submit a copy on the scheduled date of interview. You should also submit all required supporting documents.
c) Details of supporting documents needed, instructions for filling the online form, scheduling the appointment and the status of submitted applications can be found on the website above. This information can also be obtained by contacting the relevant Indian Mission.
d) A minimum processing time of three working days is taken to process applications and issue VISAs. Tourist VISAs are typically granted for a period of 180 days and allow multiple entries into the country. No Documents are required at the time of submitting the application. Five-year tourist visas may be granted if the applicant is connected with tourism professionally.
Guidelines for filling out the online application form
a) Use the online application form if you are applying for a VISA from outside India.
b) Each individual applicant has to fill out a separate form.
c) You cannot make further modifications after the online application form is submitted.
d) An option to save the online application form prior to submission is available, to allow verification and changes.
e) A file number will be automatically generated after form submission, and this is needed for all further communication regarding the application.
Guidelines for uploading digital photographs
The online application process requires uploading a digital photograph of the applicant. The photograph must meet the following specifications:
a) Format: JPEG
b) File size: Minimum 10 KB, Maximum 300 KB
c) Image size: Minimum 350 pixels (width) x 350 pixels (height), Maximum 1000 pixels (width) x 1000 pixels (height).
d) The photograph must present a front view of the full face with eyes open.
e) Your should center your head within the frame. Your full head from top of the hair to bottom of the chin must be visible.
f) The head must measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25mm to 35mm). The eye height must be between 1-1/8 inches from the bottom of the photograph.
g) Use a plain and light colored background (white or other colours allowed).
h) No shadows on the face or background, and no borders on the photograph.
Applicants can schedule appointments as per their suitability with the concerned Indian Mission.
Each applicant needs to schedule a separate appointment.
Sequence of steps for filling out the online application form:
- Accessing the online Visa application system.
- Filling out the application.
- Verifying the details and submitting the form.
- Recording the system-generated file number for all further communications with the relevant Indian Mission.
- After you successfully submit your documents you will receive an automatic confirmation for making an appointment will be requested by the system. Select Yes’ to seek an appointment and make an online payment or No’ to just print the submitted application form.
- If the response is No’, then the applicant is required to print the submitted online application and visit the relevant Indian Mission along with supporting documents for further processing.
- If the response is “Yes”, a selection of appointment date and time at the relevant Indian Mission will have to be made online.
- Next, an e-Payment’ system allows making a payment online.
- If e-Payment is not available for the relevant Indian mission, the payment has to be made physically on the day of the scheduled appointment.
So apply for your Indian Visa immediately and enjoy your Indian holidays!