India is putting sincere efforts for making e-Visa more tourist friendly. From 1st April 2017 e-visa norms including e-tourist visa have been simplified for more and more people to travel to India. If you are thinking of traveling to India, here is everything you need to make plans for your visit.
E-visa facility is now being extended to the nationals of 163 countries. The valid entry point for e-visa include the 24 designated Airports (Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum and Varanasi) and 3 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa and Mangalore). However, on departure from India, one can exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India.
The highlights as per the revised guidelines for e-Visa in 2017 are as under:
- The e-Visa is now applicable for 163 countries.
- E-Visa is divided into sub-categories i.e., e-Tourist visa, e-Business Visa and e-Medical visa. A foreigner is permitted to club these categories to travel to India.
- Applicants of the eligible countries/territories may apply online, minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 120 days. Example: If you are applying on 1st September then applicant can select arrival date from 5th September to 2nd January.
- Documents to be uploaded mandatorily by the e-Visa applicant required include:
- Recent front facing photograph with white background
- Photo page of Passport containing personal details like name, date of birth, nationality, expiry date etc.
- In addition, one more document depending upon the e-Visa type would also be required to be uploaded.
If the uploaded documents and photograph are not clear / as per specification, it is liable to be rejected by authorities.
- The e-Visa fee is country/Territory specific. Bank transaction charges of 2.5% will be charged additionally on applicable e-Visa fees. The fee must be paid at least 4 days before the expected date of travel otherwise application will not be processed. The fee amount will be available on the E-visa application website.
- The e-Visa fee once submitted is non-refundable. The fee is only for processing of the application and is not dependent on either Grant or Rejection of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).
- Applicant should carry a copy of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) along with him/her at the time of travel. Please confirm that your ETA status is shown as ‘GRANTED’ prior to commencement of your journey. Applicants can track the status of their application online.
- Biometric details of the applicant are mandatorily captured at Immigration on arrival in India.
- The validity of e-Visa will be 60 days from the date of arrival in India.
- Double entry is permitted on e-Tourist Visa and e-Business Visa. Triple entry is permitted on e-Medical Visa at multiple points.
- Upon urgent requests, and e-Business Visa and e-Medical visa will be granted within 48 hours of application.
- E-Visa facility can be availed for maximum of two times in a calendar year i.e. between months of January to December.
- E-Visa is non-extendable, non-convertible and not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas. If you intend to visit Protected/Restricted/Cantonment areas, you would require prior permission from the Civil Authority.
- While making payment of the e-Visa fee, be careful with details. If the number of unsuccessful attempts is more than three (03), then the application id would be blocked and the applicant would be required to apply afresh starting with filling application form and generating new application id.
- The e-Visa fee payment status updation may take up to 4 hours due to technical reasons/network delays. Before re-applying, wait for 4 hours for payment status updating, after final submission of the application form and payment of the fee. In cases, where e-Visa fee has been deducted, but status is not updated, the applicants are advised to verify their payment status by clicking on ‘Verify Payment/Pay Visa Fee’ tab or by clicking on the link Verify Payment.
- Nationals of Yellow Fever affected countries or travelers arriving from these countries must carry Yellow Fever Vaccination Card at the time of arrival in India. On failing to do so, foreign travelers may be quarantined for 6 days upon arrival in India.
- Two new category of visa were announced on March 1 which will be very soon for foreigners. The Intern (I) Visa is for foreigners intending to pursue internship in Indian companies, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations. Another category of visa, titled Film (F) Visa has been introduced with maximum duration of one year with multiple entry facility for purposes of filmmaking in India.
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