The e-Tourist Visa (eTV) program launched by the Indian Government in November 2014 has been tremendously popular and successful. At the moment citizens of 112 countries can apply online from their comfort of their computer for an e-Tourist Visa and avoid having to schedule appointments and wait in queues at Indian Consulates. In order to successfully apply all applicants should keep in mind the following points:
Apply with ample time before your trip – but not too early either
In order for your e-Tourist Visa to be processed you must apply a minimum of four days before your travel date. This policy is strictly enforced and the system will not even let you apply. Applying late can ruin your trip since if you can’t apply for an e-Tourist Visa you will not be be able to apply at an Indian Consulate in time for your trip. Conversely, you are not allowed to apply with more than 34 prior to your travel date. Our recommendation is that you apply two weeks before your trip as this will allow plenty of time and ensure that even if your eTV application for some reason is denied you still have time to apply for a regular tourist visa at an Indian Consulate.
Submit a copy of your passport and photograph according to the document guidelines
Many applicants send photographs and passport copies that do not meet the guidelines and this can lead to their application being denied. Photographs should be taken with a white or light background, the full face from the top of the head to the chin should be visible and the height and width of the photograph should be equal. The passport copy should be submitted in PDF format and needs to show the biographical information page on thepassport.
Ensure that the information on your passport matches the information on the application
A very common mistake many applicants make is to enter different information on their application than what is found on their passport. This includes entering a different or incorrect passport number, not stating their full name on the application or even listing a different place of birth. Any discrepancy between the information on the passport and what is listed on the application can be automatic grounds for an eTV rejection. After your application is completed and before final submission you are able to review your application and ensure that all information is correct. We urge you to carefully review the information you have entered with the information found in your passport in order to avoid an unnecessary denial of your eTV.
Fully list your employment details
Some applicants are not comfortable listing their employer, address, position and contact information on the application and simply write NA. It is mandatory to list the applicant’s employment information. If the applicant is a minor or a student then the employment information of the applicant’s father needs to be provided on the application. If the applicant is a housewife she should list her husband’s employment details. Writing NA on the application can be grounds for the application being rejected and the eTV being denied.
Provide the address where you will stay in India
The application requires all applicants to list a reference name in India. Some people are confused by this section and assume that they must list a name of someone they know in India and simply write NA. What is required from all applicants is to provide the address of their hotel or other lodging information in India. Where it says reference name in India simply write the name of your hotel or the name of the apartment or other lodging information along with the address and telephone number. Failure to provide this information can also lead to the application being rejected.
Remember that you can stay only for 30 days
A common issue that arises with e-Tourist Visas is the length of stay in the country. Under the eTV program all applicants are allowed to stay only for a maximum of 30 days. Many people applying are interested in staying for extended periods of time in India and this not allowed under the eTV rules. Therefore, if you are planning to travel to India for more than 30 days you must apply for a tourist visa at an Indian Consulate where your stay in India is allowed up to 180 days.
Keep in mind that e-Tourist Visas are only valid in designated airports – ports are not included in the program
You can use your e-Tourist Visa only in 16 designated airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum and Varanasi. Ports are not included in the program so in the event you plan to take a cruise and disembark in Goa for example, you will need to apply for a regular tourist visa at an Indian Consulate.