India is one of the few remaining countries in Asia that I haven’t managed to visit — until this year! That’s why you can imagine how stoked I was when I first found out that I’ll be setting foot in its soil; after all, I’ve heard a LOT of great things about India’s culture, food, people, and sights!
Back then though, when my itinerary was finalized, I checked the immigration requirements and… I was surprised when I discovered that I had to get an Indian visa first before entering the country.
I say this because I once heard that there was a visa-on-arrival scheme for a lot of nationalities (such as mine), but apparently, by 2014 they have changed it into an online ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or Indian Visa documents required application.
India’s E-Tourist Visa
In November 2014, the ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or “E-Tourist Visa” (now aptly called as “E-Visa”) replaced the special visa-on-arrival policy in India and it is divided into 3 categories, namely:
- E-Tourist Visa
- E-Business Visa
- E-Medical Visa
This might sound like a hassle to you, but I assure you: it is very easy to apply for an Indian visa or e-Visa because the process is fast, simple, and straightforward. I was successful in applying for this in just one (1) day; so, armed with my experience, below is an Indian visa guide that will also help you make your India travel dreams come true!
…But first, a disclaimer:
NO ONE can give you a guarantee on your Indian visa’s approval — not even a lawyer, a consultant, a travel agent, or an embassy employee. Anyone who says otherwise is most likely going to be a scammer. That being said, what I can offer you here is a comprehensive guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that Indian tourist visa.
• • •
How to Apply for an Indian Visa Online
Step 1: Determine if you are eligible for an Indian E-Visa
There are, of course, various types of Indian Visas that you can apply for, and with the E-Visa they have 3 categories (as I’ve already mentioned above): E-Tourist Visa, E-Business Visa, and E-Medical Visa.
For this particular guide, I will only be discussing the requirements for an Indian E-Tourist Visa since it’s an experience that I’ve gone through myself. For this, you must first determine if you are eligible by reviewing the following conditions:
- You must be a citizen of the following countries or territories (this is as of November 2017):
– Antigua & Barbuda
– Bosnia & Herzegovina
– Cameron Union Republic
– Cape Verde
– Cayman Island
– SAR Hong Kong
– SAR Macau
– Cook Islands
– Costa Rica
– Cote d’lvoire
– Czech Republic
– Dominican Republic
– East Timor
– El Salvador
– Marshall Islands
– New Zealand
– Niger Republic
– Niue Island
– Papua New Guinea
– Republic of Korea
– Republic of Macedonia
– Saint Christopher and Nevis
– Saint Lucia
– Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
– San Marino
– Sierra Leone
– Solomon Islands
– South Africa
– Sri Lanka
– Trinidad & Tobago
– Turks & Caicos Island
– United Kingdom
– Vatican City
- You are entering India via any of the following airports (given that they’re the only entry points that allow online Indian Visa Eligibility:
– *Sea ports: Kochi, Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai, Chennai
NOTE: If your point of entry to India is in another place that’s NOT listed above, you will then have to apply for an Indian Visa in the embassy that’s near you. I haven’t gone through such a procedure but you can find some info on the Indian Embassy’s website in your local Indian embassy (one example is this info [click] by Manila’s Indian Embassy)
- Your sole objective of visiting India must be for recreation (sightseeing or tours) or a casual visit to see friends or relatives.
- Remember that this tourist E-Visa is NOT allowed for employment purposes and NGO/volunteer activities. If you’re a journalist or if you’re visiting India for a conference, there is a separate visa for that which you can apply directly for at an Indian Embassy.
- You have a passport that has at least six (6) months of validity from the date of your arrival in India. The passport should also have at least two (2) blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
- You must have a return ticket or onward journey ticket, as well as sufficient money to spend during your stay in India.
- You do NOT hold a Diplomatic/Official passport or Laissez-passer travel document.
- Your parents or grandparents were NOT born nor have lived in Pakistan. If they are, even if you’re a citizen of the aforementioned eligible countries, you are ineligible to get an online Indian Visa or E-Visa.