Applying for an Indian Visa on Arrival

Getting your eTourist Visa or eTV

Important Updates from April 2017 highlighted below!

 

To visit India, you must obtain a visa beforehand. If you’ve determined that the best option for you is the e-Tourist Visa, you’re in the right spot!

After reading this blog thoroughly, please make sure you fill out the visa perfectly, as the Indian government can and will still charge you for incorrect applications. If you fill it out incorrectly, you must reapply and pay the fee again. 

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to get your e-Tourist visa:

1. You can ONLY apply for this visa 4 to 120 days before your arrival in the country. (The upper limit changed from 30 days to 120 days in April 2017.) Please apply as soon as you can and do not put it off (just in case there are any issues that come up that need to be resolved).

(Note: The April 2017 update increased the stay from 30 to 60 days. Also, the number of entries increased from one to two per e-Visa, so if you were to take a side trip to Nepal or Bhutan, for instance, you can use the same visa to return to India.)

2. Go to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html to familiarize yourself with the process. To fill out the application you’ll need information from your passport, your itinerary, a passport photo to upload, a scan of your passport to upload, and a local Indian reference name, address, and phone number (which we will provide). For this visa, you will NOT need to send your passport anywhere. 

3. Once you are ready, start the application by going back to the page above (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html) and clicking “e-Tourist Visa Application,” the orange button on the upper left. PLEASE USE THIS SITE AND ONLY THIS SITE.  Googling “Indian visa” will take you to 3rd party sites that may look official but are not.

4. Please enter the information requested, as odd as you may think some of the questions are. Some hints for questions you may not understand or things to watch out for:

  • You will be given three options: eTourist Visa (or eMedical or eBusiness). Please select eTourist. You will then be given three choices: please select “recreation/sight-seeing.” (The other choices are meeting friends/relatives and short term yoga programme). 

  • Make sure your arrival date correct (it gets tricky with late night/early morning arrivals; that is, if you fly in at 2 AM, make sure you are using the correct calendar date).
  • You must enter a religion; don’t worry, no one will test you on this  😉
  • They will ask your education qualification. Here is the translation:
    • Educational Qualification: Select the level of education of the applicant:
      BELOW MATRICULATION = less than 10th grade education
      GRADUATE = College or university education
      HIGHER SECONDARY = High school education
      ILLITERATE = Not formally educated
      MATRICULATION = 10th grade level education
      POST GRADUATE = advanced study beyond college or university (MA, PhD, etc.)
      PROFESSIONAL = professional /technical training or certification
  • They will ask for your parents’ names, even if they are deceased.
  • For “Places likely to be visited,” please refer to your itinerary.
  • If you have visited India before, you’ll have to enter those previous details. If not, mark “no” and continue.
  • When it asks if you’ve visited a SAARC country, those countries are listed in the pull-down menu (they are Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal). If the answer is yes, please fill in the information; if no, please mark “no” and continue.
  • We’ll provide you the Indian reference name; the other “Reference Name in Home Country” can be anyone at home–your emergency contact is a good idea (if they are not traveling with you!)

5. Upload your passport-style photo and passport as per the requirements.

  • If you have a passport-style photo to scan and upload, that is fine. Otherwise, there are other methods to take your own passport photo. Please see this link or check your phone’s app store for Passport Photograph apps.
  • These are the requirements listed on the official web page as of April 2017:
    The digital photograph to be uploaded along with the Visa application should meet the following requirements:

    • Format – JPEG
    • Size
      • Minimum 10 KB
      • Maximum 1 MB
    • The height and width of the Photo must be equal.
    • Photo should present full face, front view, eyes open and without spectacles
    • Center head within frame and present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin
    • Background should be plain light colored or white background.
    • No shadows on the face or on the background.
    • Without borders.
  • Scanned Bio Page of the passport showing the Photograph and Details.
    • Format -PDF
    • Size: Minimum 10 KB, Maximum 300 KB

(Note: it can be difficult to resize PDFs, which are already inherently large files. You can use this handy online tool to resize your PDFs: https://pdfresizer.com. Need to resize a JPG? Use this site: http://picresize.com.)

6. As of April 2017, the cost varies by country, and a bank charge of 2.5% will be charged additionally on applicable e-Visa fees. (Please see the fees for all countries here: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/eTV_revised_fee_final.pdf)

  • US: $75 USD
  • Canada: $50 USD
  • UK: $75 USD
  • Australia: $50 USD

Please be aware that both payment methods (Axis and SBI) only take Visa and Mastercard. If you have problems paying with one, try the other; if you still have problems, there is a phone number for each company under “Payment Help Desk” on the eVisa home page (on the left-hand side).  However, our guests have rarely if ever had any trouble with completing a payment.

 

Please let us know if you have any questions. Again, we will provide you with any particulars you need (such as the reference name).

 

Here are some screenshots to go along with our tips above:

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 1.13.32 PM

Lauren

Lauren

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
Current motto: "I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
Lauren

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