India is a diverse country which is not only culturally diverse and rich but also offers opportunities for medical tourism and other recreational purposes. So, international travellers mostly travel to India either for exploring this dynamic vast country or for meeting their friends and relatives. Also, today, many foreign nationals are also seeking out short-term yoga and Ayurveda courses or learning other traditional Indian art forms in music, dance, cooking or other short-duration courses. However, like in any other country, such individuals have to go through the formal process of applying for an Indian tourist visa.
This post will serve as an exhaustive guide for applying for an Indian tourist visa.
Let’s delve into the step-by-step procedures and other information pertaining to the Indian tourist visa application process.
What Is An Indian Tourist Visa?
An Indian tourist visa is an electronic travel permit that enables citizens belonging to an eligible set of nations to travel to India. The e-visa for India was formally launched in October 2014 in an effort to simplify the process of obtaining Indian visas and attract more foreign nationals to improve tourism in India. The Indian tourist visa enables the holder of such a visa to visit the country for the following purposes:
- Exploring the country as a tourist
- Visiting family and friends
- Attending a yoga and Ayurveda retreat
- Attending short-term courses on music, the local language, dance, cooking, arts and craft and other courses not extending beyond 6 months.
- Short duration voluntary work
- Medical tourism purposes especially for availing of treatment under the Indian systems of medicines
- Attending a seminar, conference or workshop organized by a Ministry or any Government department
Eligibility Factors To Obtain An Indian Tourist Visa
In order to be eligible for an Indian e-Visa, an applicant foreigner needs to fulfil certain eligibility criteria mentioned below:
- The applicant’s passport should have at least six months of validity at the time of applying for the grant of e-Visa.
- The applicant international traveller must produce an onward journey or return ticket
- The applicant must have enough money to fund his/ her stay while in India
Other relevant travel documents need to be submitted at the time of application
- International travellers of Pakistani origin or those holding a Pakistani passport need to apply for a regular visa at the Indian mission.
- The Indian tourist visa is not issued to Diplomatic/Official passport holders or short travel Laissez-passer travel document holders.
- Endorsements on the spouse or parent's passport are not allowed. Each traveller should hold an individual passport.
- The facility of an Indian tourist visa is not available to International Travel Document Holders except for the passport.
Indian Tourist E-Visa Eligible Countries
At present, there are 156 countries that are eligible to apply for an Indian tourist e-Visa.
Online Visa Application Steps
International travellers need to visit the website https://indianvisaonline.gov.in to complete the Visa application process. The E-Visa application process is an easy 5 step process as mentioned below:
Applicant needs to visit the above-mentioned website and apply online by uploading a photo and passport page. He/ she is required to key in basic information as discussed in the below sections.
The international applicant needs to pay the e-Visa fee by using a debit or a credit card or other payment wallet. After making the payment, the applicant will be given a reference number that can be used to track the status of the application.
After the review of the application, an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) will be sent to the applicant’s email ID.
The applicant needs to carry a print of the ETA and show it at the Immigration Check Post. It is here that the e-Visa will be stamped on the passport.
An applicant needs to furnish basic information such as full name, place and date of birth, contact information and passport details. Below are some key pointers that need to be filled in by the applicant for the online visa application process.
- The applicant needs to key in the country that he/she belongs to and apply from
- The applicant needs to select the appropriate Indian Mission applicable to his/ her location
- An applicant needs to fill in his/her nationality
- The date of birth should be given in DD/MM/YYYY format
- A valid Email ID needs to be furnished for Visa approval communication.
- Depending on the nature of the travel, the applicant must give information pertaining to the kind of visa he/she is applying for.
- The applicant must give the intention of his/her travel from the list of drop-down options
- A series of security and eligibility questions will be asked and finally, fees need to be paid online by credit card or debit card. It should be noted that most tourist e-Visas are approved within 2 to 4 business days.
Factors to Consider Before Applying to India Tourist e-visas
There are many elements which need to be considered by a traveller intending to travel to India on a tourist e-Visa.
- The India tourist e-visa is non-extendable and non-convertible
- Applicants can apply for a maximum of two tourist e-visas in a calendar year.
- Travellers need to carry a copy of their approved tourist e-visa authorization at all times during their stay in India.
- Travellers need to have a return ticket or an onward journey ticket before applying for an Indian tourist e-visa.
- Parents may not include their children while applying for an Indian tourist e-visa.
- The e-tourist visa cannot be produced to enter protected or prohibited areas such as Cantonment areas.
- The international traveller’s passport must contain at least two blank pages where the immigration and border control authorities to do the entry and exit stamps.
- Diplomatic passport holders or individuals carrying international travel documents such as those issued by the
- United Nations are not eligible to apply for an India tourist e-visa.
- E-visa is given under the e-Tourist visa,e-Medical visa and e-Business Visa categories.
- The online uploaded photograph should meet the requisite guidelines.
- Applicant’s biometric details are given to the immigration officer upon arrival in India.
Types Of E-Tourist Visas For India
There are 2 types of e-tourist visas that are available for India namely, a one-month e-Visa and a one-year e-Visa.
One-month tourist e-visa is applicable for a period of one month from the date of arrival in India. It's a single entry visa where the date of entry should lie somewhere between the date of issue of visa and the date of expiry.
The one-year tourist e-visa is valid for 365 days from the issue date of the visa. Through such a visa, one can avail of multiple entries for up to 90 days for each stay. Citizens belonging to Canada, the US, the UK and Japan can extend their stay by up to 180 days in India.
Entry Ports For E-Tourist Visa Holders In India
An e-Tourist visa holder must enter India through any of the 28 designated airports or through 5 authorized seaports. While leaving India, e-Tourist visa holders need to depart through any of the mandated Immigration Check Posts (ICPS) in India. Also, international travellers who plan to come by land or by another entry port need to avail of a visa from a consulate or an embassy.
Prohibited Activities With An E-Tourist Visa For India
Travellers entering India on an e-tourist visa are banned from participating in any kind of “Tablighi work”. If a traveller indulges in such an activity, it will be considered a violation of visa norms and will result in an entry ban along with a fine. Although there is no limit on going to or attending religious pilgrimages, Indian visa norms prohibit travellers from propagating the Tablighi Jamaat ideology, disbursing pamphlets and giving discourses at religious places.
Q.Which official website is there to apply for the e-Visa application?
A. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/ is the official website that processes applications for e-Visa services. For any queries, applicants may write on email id ' email@example.com ' or reach at +91 11 24300666.
Q. Is there any other amount to be paid other than the processing fee?
A. There is no other fee other than the processing fee that needs to be paid. However, this fee which is country-specific is non-refundable.
Q. How much time does it take for an e-Visa to be issued and how will the applicant be notified about it?
A. The e-Visa application can take 72 hours or more for the purposes of the processing. The applicants will be notified about their Visa status i.e Granted or Rejected on the email id provided by them in the e-Visa application.
Q. Can I convert my e-Visa to any other Visa?
A. No, the applicants cannot convert their tourist e-visa into any other form.
Q. If applicants cancel their proposed visit to India, will their processing fees be refunded?
A. e-Visa processing fee is non-refundable and the paid amount is for processing of the application irrespective of the Grant or Rejection of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).
Q. What should I do if the payment is not accepted by the e-Visa website?
A. Applicants need to eliminate the cookies and browser history before they attempt to make payment. Also, switching the browser can also help eliminate payment issues. However, upon multiple failed payment attempts, applicants may have to re-submit the entire application form once again. Below are some payment support helplines :
Axis Bank Technical support: Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll-free Contact Numbers for:
UK: 0808178 5040
Canada : 1855 436 0726
UAE: 8000 3570 3218
Saudi Arabia: 8008500000
Qatar : 00800 100348
For other countries: + 91-40-6717-4100
SBI ePay payment support : +91-22-2753-5773 (24 x 7).
Q. Can an applicant enter India via a land border even though he/she is holding a valid e-visa for any other airport or seaport not listed for the e-Visa?
A. No, visitors can only enter India only via the designated airports/seaports listed on the e-Visa website.
Q. Can a visitor get issued Visa on Arrival(VoA) at Airports/Seaports in India?
A. The Visa on Arrival can be availed only by the citizens of UAE, South Korea and Japan. For nationals of all other nations eligible for e-Visa, the process of filling out the application form on the mandated Indian government website https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/ needs to be followed.
Q. How long can British nationals stay in India?
A. British holidayers can apply for a tourist e-Visa. UK citizens have 365 days from the issue date of the visa to enter India for the very first time. Thereafter, these individuals can stay up to 180 days after they enter India.
Q. What other information is required by the Indian e-visa portal for Americans planning a short visit to India?
A. Besides filling out the mandated information, American citizens are also required to divulge their marital status, occupation, and details of the places that they plan to visit while in India and the countries that they visited in the past 10 years. Also, details pertaining to their educational qualifications and religion are also asked while filling out the online application form.
Q. Is registering with the US Embassy mandated for US citizens travelling to India?
A. Although not mandatory, it is advised that US nationals travelling to India should register themselves with the US embassy before travelling. The registration service is called the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). US travellers registered with STEP get notified of a plethora of travel safety benefits.
US citizens can Select the “Embassy Registration” tab to enrol with the STEP while they apply on the website for an e-Visa to India.
The electronic travel authorization or the e-tourist visa is designed for foreign nationals who wish to visit India for tourism intentions. The Indian Government specially came up with this type of visa to promote tourism in the country. Besides, India is a favoured destination especially when it comes to spiritual travels. Each year, hordes of foreign nationals from the US, the UK and the EU visit India to participate in the famed yoga teacher training course programs in places like Rishikesh, Kerala and Goa. Furthermore, these travellers also explore the rich culture, heritage monuments and the delectable albeit spicy cuisine of India as leisure escapades.
This blog has given exhaustive information pertaining to applying for (Tourist Visa) Indian Visa. If you have additional queries, we suggest you visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/ for more clarifications.