The most perplexing question that visitors to India face is whether to apply for a regular visa or e-Visa. We are here to help. Go for an Indian e-Visa if you are planning for a shorter trip (less than 60 days) and for a longer duration, choose a regular visa. The Government of India has made the process to obtain e-Visa pretty simple. But the problem is, there are a number of websites which look official and authentic and may charge you a higher fee! Below are some of the FAQs on Indian e-Visa for tourists.
1. What is an e-Visa?
The foreign nationals who want to visit India must have a valid passport issued by their home country along with a valid visa. The visa can be a regular visa or an electronic/e-visa. The visitors can opt for an e-visa if they intend to stay in India for a shorter duration. E-Visa has been categorized into five: e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, e-Medical visa, e-Medical Attendant visa and e-Conference visa. The Indian e-Visa can be applied online through the official website of Government of India.
2. Who is eligible for an e-Tourist Visa?
e foreign nationals who want to visit India must have a valid passport issued by their home country along with a valid visa. The visa can be a regular visa or an electronic/e-visa. The visitors can opt for an e-visa if they intend to stay in India for a shorter duration. The five categories of e-visa include e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, e-Medical Visa, e-Medical Attendant visa and e-Conference Visa. Eligible candidates can apply for Indian e-visa through the official website of Government of India.
The purpose of visit for e-Tourist Visa should be recreation, sight-seeing or other tourist purposes. The e-Visa can be applied by the nationals of more than 160 countries. For the complete list, please check the official website of the Government of India. You can find the link here. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
Please note that international travellers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin have to apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission. Also, e-Visa will not be provided to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders or Laissez-passer travel document holders.
3. When should I apply for the Indian e-Tourist Visa?
The applicants should apply for an e-Tourist Visa at least 4 days before the date of arrival. The window period of application is 120 days which means the applicant can apply for an e-Tourist Visa as early as 120 days before the date of arrival in India. Always keep in mind to provide some room for possible delays or change in the travel plan. For instance, if you are applying on the 1st of March, then you can visit India from 5th March to 2nd July.
4. Can I apply for an Indian e-Tourist visa offline?
No, e-Visa application is a completely online process. The application process can be facilitated through the official website of the Government of India.
Caution: – There are many websites impersonating as agents who provide easy processing of e-Visa application. Do not fall prey to the claims of speedy processing of e-Visa by agents or intermediaries who may charge higher amounts.
5. What are the requirements of the passport?
The validity of the passport should be at least six months from the date of arrival in India. Also, make sure that your passport has at least two blank pages for stamping by the immigration officer.
6. What is the validity of e-Tourist Visa?
The validity of the e-Tourist Visa is 60 days from the date of arrival in India. Also, a double-entry will be permitted on e-Tourist Visa. That means you can visit India, go back and again come back to India provided all these happen within the stipulated 60 days.
7. Can I apply for e-Tourist Visa again in the same year?
Yes. E-Tourist Visa can be availed up to three times in a year. (From January to December)
8. Can I travel anywhere in India with an e-Tourist Visa?
You can travel anywhere in India except for some protected/restricted areas. For that, you may have to obtain prior permission from the civil authority.
9. What is the cost of obtaining e-Tourist Visa?
The cost of the e-Visa is country-specific. For US citizens, the fee is 100$ and an additional 2.5% will be charged as bank transaction charges. So, you have to pay an amount of $102.50 to process your application. For the complete list of applicable fees, please check the official website of the Government of India.
10. How can I make the payment?
The website provides multiple payment options through SBIePay and Axis bank payment gateway service. It facilitates online payments of all Credit and Debit Cards issued by MasterCard and VISA.
Caution: After 3 unsuccessful payment attempts, the id will get blocked and the applicant would be required to start again. Be extra careful.
11. Can I change my port of entry after application?
e-Visa is valid for entry through 26 designated Airports (Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Varanasi & Visakhapatnam) and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai, Chennai). So, it does not matter which airport is your point of entry as long as that airport is in the designated airports’ list.
You can exit through any of the immigration points.
12. How can I know that my payment has been successful?
Due to unforeseen network issues, the updating of the payment status can take up to four hours. Please verify your payment status before re-applying through the tab verify payment in the official website of the Government of India
13. Is it refundable?
No, the fee is non-refundable.
14. How can I check the status of my online application?
You can confirm your ETA (Electronic Travel authorization) status on the official website of Government of India.
15. Do I need a printed copy of the ETA?
Yes, you should carry a copy of the ETA at the time of your travel. Upon arrival in India, the authorities will verify your documents and capture your biometric information before stamping your visa.
16. Which are the documents to be uploaded to obtain e-Tourist Visa?
- Scanned Bio Page of the passport showing the Photograph and Details. The scanned copy should be of PDF format with size not exceeding 300 KB. (Minimum size 10 KB)
- The digital photograph should be of JPEG format with a size not exceeding 1 MB. (Minimum size 10 KB)
- The photo should be without borders and the height and width should be equal.
- The background should be white or light-coloured.
- The photo should present full face without spectacles.
- The photo should be devoid of any shadows.
- Recent, front-facing photograph.
However, you may not find it easier to apply for the Indian e-visa through the government website if your application is cancelled after 3 unsuccessful transactions. Then you will need to apply afresh as per the Indian visa website.
17. Can the e-Tourist visa be extended?
e-Tourist Visa is non-extendable and non-convertible.
18. What is the official link for online e-Tourist Visa application?
Please visit the official website of the Indian Government for visa application.
19. Do I have to carry a YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CARD?
If you belong to any of these countries on the list or are travelling from any of these countries, please carry Yellow fever vaccination card with you.
20. Can I apply for e-Tourist Visa on arrival in India?
No, you cannot. Please apply for e-Tourist Visa at least four days in advance of the date of arrival.
21. What happens after I successfully complete my e-Tourist Visa online application process?
An application ID will be generated and the ETA will be sent to you through email once you complete the application procedure and make the payment. Please take a print out of the email and take it with you while you travel to India.
22. How long will it take to receive my ETA approval?
Under normal circumstances, you should receive your ETA via email within three to five days.
23. What are the documents to be carried while travelling to India on an e-Tourist Visa?
Please take your passport (should have at least six months validity and at least two blank pages), email copy of ETA, yellow fever vaccination card if applicable. You may also be asked to show your return ticket or onward journey ticket to the immigration officers.
24. Whom should I contact if I face any difficulties while applying for e-Tourist Visa?
For any assistance call, 24 * 7 e-Visa support centre at +91-11-24300666 or send email to email@example.com. For payment related issues, please contact
SBI ePay +91 1800221401
(10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. IST)
(09.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m IST)
25. Can I enter India through any of the airports?
Indian e-Visa is valid for entry through 26 designated Airports (Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Varanasi & Visakhapatnam) and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai, Chennai).
You can exit through any of the immigration points.
In a nutshell, the process is easy, fast and reliable. Please make sure that your Indian e-Visa status is ‘Granted’ before you start your journey. Have a great time in India!