The Indian Government introduced Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) to citizens of 11 countries; these include Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. The TVOA scheme in India, was launched with the sole purpose of promoting tourism. It simplifies the visa process and encourages foreign nationals to visit India, on short notice, without first applying for a visa.
Travel Visa on Arrival is granted for a maximum of 30 days, to visitors who are in India for sightseeing, medical treatment, business or to visit family and friends. Visitors are granted entry for a limited period and the visa does not allow them to take permanent residency in the country.
Further, visitors must have a passport with a validity for at least 6 months, and also a re-entry permit, to return to their country, wherever applicable. Visitors must be financially sound, with enough funds to support their stay in India. They must also have a return ticket.
TVOA is offered at limited airports, namely, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.
The Indian Government has also introduced the e-Visa, which eases the process of applying for an Indian visa. An e-Visa is applied online on the Indian Government’s official website - https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
Procedures involved for obtaining an e-Visa
The visa application must be made online, on the link provided above. Applications need to be submitted at least 4 days prior to the date of travel and not more than 120 days before the proposed date of travel. Applicants will be required to provide their travel itinerary and other details, in the application. And their passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months, at the time of travel.
Additionally, a recent photograph will need to be uploaded. The photo must be in JPEG format, with equal width and height, showing the frontal view of the face of the applicant, without spectacles, and with eyes open. The size of the photo should be minimum 10KB and must not exceed 1MB. It should be a clear photo, with a clear background and sans a border.
Applications will need to be accompanied with valid documents, such as invitation letters, business cards and such. The documents must be in the English language.
The following documents are mandatory while applying for an e-Visa
- e-Business Visa applications will need to be supported with a clear scanned copy of the passport’s Bio Page that has the details and photo of the applicant. A scanned copy of Business Card will also be required
- E-Medical Visa applications will also require a scanned copy of the traveler’s passport and a letter on the letterhead of the Hospital where the treatment is sought, mentioning the traveler’s name and details of treatment
- e-Tourist Visa applicants must upload their passport bio page and travel itinerary
- Applications for e-Business Visa to deliver a lecture(s) must be accompanied with a scanned copy of the passport and copy of the invitation of the institute hosting the event and a few other details, as mentioned on the website, a Pakistani Passport cannot apply for an e-Visa. Applicants who are of Pakistani descent also cannot apply. Such travelers must apply for a Visa at the Indian Mission, in the United States.
Payment of Visa fee
After the application is successfully submitted the applicant will be prompted to pay the visa fee. The fee can be paid online with a credit card or debit card.
The Visa fee was recently raised, while it is free for natives of a few countries, citizens of the United States of America need to pay a $100 visa processing fee. Additionally, a bank charge of 2.5%, which will also be charged.
The application process is completed once the visa fee is remitted. The applicant will receive an email, within 3-5 working days, from the Government of India’s e-Visa portal, mentioning the Application ID and the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA is an important document and a copy of the same will have to be produced at the immigration check-point in India.
- e-Visa is issued under the following categories – e-Business Visa, e-Medical Attendant Visa, e-Medical Visa and e-Tourist Visa.
- An e-Medical Visa applicant will be granted only 2 e-Medical Attendant Visa
- The e-Visa will be rejected if scanned copies of mandatory documents are not uploaded at the time of submission of the application
- The e-Visa fee is non-refundable
- Travelers must carry a copy of ETA, with the status ‘Granted’ mentioned on it
- The application status can be tracked here - https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/StatusEnquiry
- The applicants’ Biometric details will be captured at the immigration counter when they arrive in India
- The e-Visa is valid for 60 days, from the date of arrival. A special provision of ‘Double Entry’ is allowed to e-Business Visa and e-Tourist Visa holders. e-Medical Visa holders can get a further extension
- Currently, 26 Airports in India allow entry through e-Visa besides 5 seaports
- Travelers are permitted to exit the country from any Indian airport that has an Immigration Check Post (ICP)
- Travelers to India are permitted to avail the e-Visa facility not more than three times, in a calendar year
- e-Visa holders are barred from visiting Cantonment Areas, Restricted and Protected areas. Travelers are not restricted from visiting Arunachal Pradesh, in the Northeast part of India. Special permission will need to be sought, to visit any place that falls under the aforementioned categories. Travelers will need to apply for an Inner Line Permit (ILP) or Protected Area Permit (PAP), to visit these places
- Travelers arriving from Yellow Fever affected nations will be required to carry a ‘Yellow Fever Vaccination Card’ in order to not be sent into quarantine, upon their arrival
- Helplines for assistance are open 24/7. Applicants can call the Helpline at - +91-11-24300666 or contact the e-Visa center through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
e-Visa entry is available at the following Indian International Airports
e-Visa entry is available at the following Indian seaports
Additionally, the following International Airports have special immigration desks to assist travelers with an e-Medical Visa
Note for travelers with Pakistani Passport
Those applicants who reside in the US, but hold a Pakistani Passport cannot apply for an e-Visa. Applicants who are of Pakistani descent also cannot apply. Such travelers must apply for a Visa at the Indian Mission, in the United States.