Now the tourists visiting India can escape the hassle of obtaining the visa by opting for a much more reliable and easily-obtainable e-visa. Although it is valid for a shorter period of time as compared to the traditional visa, it is the most convenient option for travelers. Here’s everything you need to know about the e-visa:
The tourist visa on arrival scheme, introduced by the Indian government on January 1, 2010, was initially trialled for citizens of five countries, which extended to a total of eleven countries. Later on, from November 27, 2014, the Indian government replaced the visa on arrival scheme with another scheme known as the online Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). Implemented in phases and made available to more countries with time, the scheme got renamed to “e-Tourist Visa” so that no traveler confuses it with the previous scheme, where one could get a visa on arrival without applying in advance. Thanks to the widened scope of the Indian Tourist Visa, the people who earlier required to make a separate visa for medical, educational or business purposes can now use the new scheme to their advantage, even though the ETA is available to those who want to visit India for short durations.
The Indian tourist e-visa is now known as e-visa, and the three categories of this e-visa include e-Tourist visa, e-Business visa, and e-Medical visa, with two additional categories named e-Conference visa and e-Medical Attendant visa.
Citizens of 166 countries can apply for the Indian e-visa, with the exceptions of citizens whose parents or grandparents were born or lived in Pakistan. If that is the case, you would simply have to apply for a normal visa.
As you can complete the entire procedure online, you don’t have to worry about waiting in long queues and waste essential time in lengthy procedures. All you need is internet connectivity. Other than essential travel details, you also need to upload a photograph of yourself with a white background to meet the specifications listed on the website. You will also have to upload the photo page of your passport that consists of all your personal details. Moreover, your passport should have a minimum remaining validity of at least six months. Depending on the visa you ought to obtain, there might be a need for additional documents.
After the successful submission of all your documents, you can proceed to pay the required fee online with your debit or credit card. If your application gets approved, you will not have to wait for more than five days to receive the unique application ID and ETA via email. You don’t need to worry as you wait for the approval, as you can keep yourself updated by tracking the application online.
You will have to present a copy of the ETA to the immigration counter at the airport upon your arrival in India. Other indian visa requirements which you need to fulfill is that you must have a return ticket and enough money to support your tour in India. After checking all the necessary details, the immigration officer will stamp your passport with your e-visa, while also capturing your biometric data.
The most important factor which affects the cost of a visa depends on the nature of the reciprocal relationship between India and your country. In June 2018, certain changes were made to the fees, as many citizens will now have to pay an increased fee for obtaining the visa. However, if you are a citizen of either Indonesia or Myanmar, you can get the e-visas free of cost!
The e-visa remains valid for sixty days, starting from the day of your arrival in India. You can use the same e-visa for two entries in India within a period of two years.