Applying for an Indian Visa on Arrival

Getting your eTourist Visa or eTV


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! The e-Tourist visa is good for 60 days in India and 2 entries (so, for example, if you were to take a side trip to Nepal or Bhutan, you can use the same visa to re-enter India).

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

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

1. You can ONLY apply for this visa 4 to 120 days before your arrival in the country.  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). However, you may wish to give yourself a few days leeway in case your flight arrives late (so you may want to apply 115 days ahead of your arrival, instead of 120 days).

2. Go to 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 ( 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 and will charge you a higher fee.

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. Eve if you are on a yoga trip with us, it is not a state-sponsored yoga programme, so please still use “recreation/sight-seeing.”). 

  • 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).
  • After the initial application page, there will be a red Temporary ID number at the top of each application page. PLEASE write this number down or take a screenshot that you can access later, in case your browser quits unexpectedly or you run into another technical issue. Also, please be aware the difference between capital “I” and the number “1” and lowercase “L,” and the letter “O” and the number “0” in your ID number.
  • “Citizenship of National ID number”–Americans, do not put your Social Security Number here. If your country has a national ID system, put the number here. American citizens by birth, just type “NA.”
  • You must enter a religion; don’t worry, no one will test you on this. This is more to identify your community (interesting blog post here).
  • 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/your trip’s website and simply enter the CITY names, not site names.
  • 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
    • The background should be plain light colored or white background.
    • No shadows on the face or in 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: Need to resize a JPG? Use this site:

6. As of June 2018, 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: or

  • US: $100 USD
  • Canada: $80 USD
  • UK: $100 USD
  • Australia: $80 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. Please see below these screenshots for some troubleshooting tips!





Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 1.13.32 PM



These are the first things to do if you encounter trouble along the way:

  1. If you are having trouble with the application crashing or freezing, try a different browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc).
  2. If you are having generalized trouble, please try clearing your internet cache (please Google for instructions if you are not sure how to do this on your browser).
  3. i vs L vs 1: If you are having trouble inputting your Temporary Application ID, please check to make sure you are using the proper “I”—that is, it could be a capital “i,” a lowercase “L” or even a “1.”  This has been a problem for many guests!


Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."Looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!

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