India is a very popular destination for travelers across the world. It is known for its myriad culture, language, and traditions. Every year there are thousands of tourists visiting India. To travel to India, you need a travel visa. The visa application process can be done in person or online.
E-visa to India- How can you apply for a tourist visa to India from the privacy of any place?
The online visa application process in India was introduced in 2014 to make it easier for tourists across the world to visit India. This process is a simple procedure that travelers can do from the comforts of any place. Gone are the days when they had to visit the Embassy to get their visas approved. The Indian Government has made the application process quicker for thousands of people from across the world who have the desire to visit India.
If you are planning a trip to India, you can apply for an E-visa on the Government of India website. However, note an E-Visa is not considered a visa on arrival that you will often get in many South East Asian countries. If you have traveled to Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and other nations, you get your visa on arrival. For India, you need to apply for your E-visa in advance, and with the online application process, you generally get your e-visa sent to your email address in 2 to 5 working days if everything is in order.
Check are you eligible for an e-visa?
Note not all nations in the world are eligible for an E-visa to India. Check the list of nations eligible for E-visa to India online. You need to be sure your country is in.
Application for E-visa to India before travel
You have two options to apply for E-visa before your trip to India-
You may visit the Indian Government website and follow the instructions laid out. Remember to be very careful. In case, you make a mistake and pay the fees online; you cannot rectify it. You must check the application online to make sure every piece of information or detail is correct. The E-visa must be applied in advance at least four days before you leave.
Via international travel agent
You may ask your travel agent to complete the visa application process for you. If you are weak in computer skills, you may visit a professional international travel agent and ask them to complete the application on your behalf. You need to pay the visa charges as well as the service fees of your agent. They will complete the application process for you if you are not confident to do it on your own.
Get your visa before you travel to India
The processing time for E-visa application differs from person to person. So, do it in advance. There are some applications approved in 2 to 3 days, and some take weeks to get approved. Even if you have an emergency trip, the processing time will at least take two days. Keep this vital point in mind before you decide to travel to India. Given below are certain tips you must remember-
Your passport should have at least six months of validity left from the date you arrive in India.
When you are uploading your digital photograph for E-visa, read the photo specifications very carefully. The background, facial expression, color or the attire you wear and more have to be precise. Read the instructions very carefully or else your application might get rejected if you have the wrong photograph.
You must have a return ticket or a ticket booked for an outward journey from India. This is an integral part of the E-visa application process as the Issuing Authority takes the above very seriously. In fact, you will also be asked by the airline before boarding your flight to India.
Once you have received your E-visa, take a print out. This must be shown to the immigration officer when you arrive in India.
There have been significant changes to the Indian visa application process recently. In the past, there was just a single- entry visa however now you can apply for a multiple entry visa as well. So, you can come to India and go to nearby nations like Nepal, Sri Lanka etc. and come back.
Note that your E-Visa is not valid for restricted areas in India like Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, parts of Himachal Pradesh etc.
There are 16 airports where you can fly in your E-visa in the past however the number has gradually increased to 24 airports. Check with the Indian government website or ask your international travel agent to give you a complete list of the airports where you can fly into with an E-Visa.
Note, you can apply for two E-visas to India in a year.
Before the trip to India, do not forget to carry your visa. Several tourists make this mistake. It is easy to forget small things before a trip, however, plan in advance and keep your visa and other valid travel documents together.
Opting for the E-visa is very convenient. The paperwork application for a visa to India is highly daunting, and you need to mail your passport to the Embassy for its approval. The processing time is longer, and there are cases where even a month has been taken for the visa of a person to get approved. Opting for an online visa is a hassle-free and quick way for you to get your travel visa to India from the privacy and comforts of home.
Therefore, when you are planning a trip to India, keep the above points in mind. As a traveller, keep your travel documents safe and carry a map with you all the time. For further concerns or queries, you may contact the Embassy officials to guide you. The online visa application process saves time and a lot of hassles from applying for your visa in person to the Embassy.