E-Visa and Visa on Arrival for India

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 documentation process 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, pay the necessary fees online and 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 would be notified of online, you can board your plane to India and the Visa would be stamped on your passport when you arrive in India. While similar, it is still not exactly a Visa on arrival and it would be a lot less cumbersome than couriering your passports or having to line up outside an Indian Embassy/consulate.

India Visa - (Photo Credits) India Visa – (Photo Credits)

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Which countries can avail of e-visa for India?

Overall, so far these following countries are Eligible, the most predominant ones being United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, the remaining list is Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba,  Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon Union Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland,  Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati,Kyrgyzstan , Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda,Ukraine,  Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Which countries cannot avail of e-visa for India?

SAARC nations and Pakistan,  Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria and Afghanistan which are on “prior reference” list are the ones that’ll 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, subject to checks and balances to avoid misuse.

map of the world countries eligible for e visa to india

 

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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. 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, 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.

Eligibility

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 and 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, and 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.

Application requirements

PASSPORT: Submit a scanned copy of your passport’s information page online here. Make sure that it’s signed and valid for 6 months beyond your stay in India, and 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, or used 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.

PLEASE NOTE

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 br processed and issued within 3 business days if approved.

visa to india immigration stamp

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A word to the wise

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. So do let us know if you are planning a trip to India and we would be happy to help!

Happy bureaucratizing to you!

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