Although around 8 million tourists visit India every year to marvel at the white marble walls of the Taj Mahal, spend a day in the company of a rescued elephant or walk around the ancient pathways inside the Amber Fort, a significant number have put off due to the notorious difficulty and sky-high price of obtaining an India tourist visa. Thankfully, with the introduction of the e-Tourist visa (eTV), that’s all changed. Here are some tips you would need for India e-Tourist visa applications, if you ever want to see Taj Mahal in real life.
How to Apply for an India e-Tourist Visa
A couple of years ago India gave their visa application process a major overhaul, making it much faster, simpler and cheaper for almost everyone to get their hands on the legal document for entry into the country. Today, many people can apply for an e-Tourist visa online without the need to even step foot inside the Post Office or Indian Embassy.
Check your eligibility
Before you jump in head first and begin to apply, you need to confirm you’re eligible for an India e-Tourist visa (eTV). Simply look over this list of eligible countries and see if the one you were born in is there. If it is, you’re in luck and you can apply for this type of tourist visa.
As well as being one of the eligible nationalities, you also need to meet the following requirements:
- Be solely visiting India for the purpose of recreation, sightseeing, visiting friends or relatives, visiting for a medical treatment or for a casual business visit
- Have a passport that’s valid for at least six months from your date of arrival in India
- Have at least two blank pages in your passport
- Have a return ticket
Fill out the form online
Visit the official e-Tourist visa website for India (be careful, there are a lot of fakes claiming to be the official site) and fill out the application form. You’ll need to scan the first page of your passport and upload it as a PDF between 10 KB and 300 KB. A digital photograph is also required to be uploaded as a JPEG between 10 KB and 1 MB with a plain background and clear view of your full face. If you’ve got a spare passport photo, just scan that and upload it. When that’s done, simply pay the one-off visa fee (plus a small admin cost) online and wait for your visa’s approval.
Although the visa application system has improved a lot, there are still a lot of online forms to fill out which can take a lot of time, especially if you’re travelling with a few people. To take the weight off your shoulders, use Visa First, the Global Visa Specialists to apply for your India tourist visa on your behalf. This company organises 60,000+ visas every single year and can get your visa sorted for you quickly and easily.
After completing the online application and submitting payment, it takes around 4 working days to receive your entry documents via email. Because of this, it’s important to apply for your e-Tourist visa at least one week before you’re due to travel.
An e-Tourist six-month visa for all nationalities that qualify (including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US) costs $25-$60, depending on the nationality.
Extra things you need to know
Each India e-Tourist visa is single-entry only, valid for 30 days without the possibility of extension and can only be used for a maximum of two trips within one year.
To travel to India with an e-Tourist visa, you need to arrive at one of the 16 designated airports, which include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
When you arrive, although you won’t have to fill out endless forms for a visa, you will have biometric data taken, including fingerprints.