Getting an Indian visa on arrival is meant to be easy. But if you ask me, the information available online can actually be confusing.
I am currently planning a trip to India. It will be my second time there, and I will be traveling with my sister. The first time I visited, Italian passport holders couldn’t get an e-Visa so I opted to send my passport to the Indian consulate via a local agency.
I got a 6 months visa for India, which ended up being quite costly, not to mention unnecessary as I only spent 4 weeks there. And as it took a month to process my visa, I could not travel overseas in the meantime (which can be a bit of a hassle when you work as a travel blogger).
Thankfully the regulations have changed and even Italian passport holders can get an e-Visa for India now. So, I’d rather opt for an easier and cheaper process, and keep hold of my passport in the meantime.
That’s why I have been looking for information on how to get an Indian visa on arrival. And to make things easier for you – and for myself – I thought I’d write a step by step guide to get your visa.
Ask iVisa to arrange your Indian visa on arrival for a mere $35 USD.
Traveling to India? Make sure to read my post “The 17 Best Places To Visit In India.”
What Is The Indian Visa On Arrival (TVOA)?
In an effort to promote tourism, the government of India implemented the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), also known as Travel Visa on Arrival (TVOA) in November 2014. This allows citizens of a 167 countries and territories (including Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Vietnam) to get an Indian visa on arrival.
The e-Visa program was later on extended to business travelers and medical tourism purposes.
The India tourist visa on arrival is granted for 365 days, with multiple entry and, depending on your nationality, you can stay for up to 90 or 180 days in the country.
The Indian visa application changes a lot and it can be tricky. That’s why I suggest going the easy way and getting your e-Visa with an authorized agency such as iVisa.com.
iVisa charges a $35 fee to process your visa for you, which honestly is a small price to pay to avoid the issues you can encounter if you try to do it yourself through the government site. They also provide 24/7 support and can manage your e-Visa in any language for you (if you don’t speak English).
Continue reading to discover how to get an Indian visa on arrival.
How To Get An Indian Visa On Arrival
Applying for the Indian visa on arrival is actually very easy. You just need to fill out the application, which you can find here.
The “Calculate Your Visa Cost Before Applying” button will allow you to check the price of your visa depending on the processing time (36 hours, 3 days, 5 days).
If you tick the “standard processing” you pick the cheapest option.
The default currency is USD but you can change it into your home country currency if you prefer.
Proceed to make the payment. After you pay, you will see a pop up saying “Status Incomplete.” Don’t worry about that, it’s perfectly normal. Just click “complete now.”
Go on to attach additional documents. You should upload a clear copy of your passport in PDF format and a photograph in JPEG. Make sure it has a white background.
Click “save and complete request” when you finish. You will receive confirmation that the application has been received via email and your e-Visa will come to you by email.
Some FAQ About Indian Visa On Arrival
If you are concerned about your India visa on arrival, perhaps answering a few questions for you will help.
Do I need a visa if I am not leaving the airport?
No, you do not. If you are only having a layover in India and you are not leaving the airport you don’t need a visa.
How long in advance should I apply for your India visa on arrival?
You need to apply at least 4 days prior to departure and no more than 365 before the date of arrival. So for example, if you plan to arrive in India on 1 November, you should apply no later than 28 October. iVisa can sort out your application and all the correct dates so you don’t have to worry about the 365-day window.
How long will my India e-Visa be valid for?
Your India visa on arrival will be valid for a maximum of 365 days from the date of arrival in India. So if you arrive on 1 November 2019 and your passport is stamped on the same day, you can entry India until 31 October 2020.
What do I need to apply for an India visa on arrival?
In order to apply for an India visa on arrival, you will need the following:
- A passport that has at least 6 months validity from the date of your arrival in India, and two blank pages. So for example, if you plan to arrive in India on 1 November 2019, your passport should not expire before 1 May 2020.
- A return ticket or an onward journey ticket. You may (or may not) be asked to show proof of a valid return or onward journey ticket in order to board your flight. This is a legal requirement and if you fail to provide proof, you may be denied boarding.
- A recent photo. It needs to have a white background and you need to be facing in front of you.
- A clear copy of your passport. It has to be in PDF format.
- A valid address in India. This can just be the hotel where you will be staying once you arrive.
You can ask iVisa to arrange your Indian visa on arrival for only $35 USD.
How much is an Indian visa on arrival?
The Indian Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVOA) costs $102.50 USD. You can pay by credit card upon submitting your application. Make sure not to try to pay more than 3 times, as this will block the application process and you’ll haVe to start over.
I have applied successfully. What should I do now?
Make sure to write down your e-Visa application ID so that you can track the status of your application. It normally takes a few days for the application to be processed once you submit it.
My Indian visa on arrival application was approved. What do I do now?
Once your Indian visa application is approved you will receive an email with your Indian visa on arrival attached. Make sure to print a couple of copies of your visa as you will be asked to show it once you get to border control.
You won’t be allowed to show your Indian Tourist Visa On Arrival on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Please beware that you can enter India via the 28 designated airport and 5 designated seaports. Most people traveling to India fly to Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Other designated airports include Goa, Varanasi, Calicut, Chennai and Jaipur. Your port of entry has to be the same one stated in the application form.
Can I enter India more than once on an Indian visa on arrival?
Yes, you can enter up to twice in a year on an Tourist Visa On Arrival.
Can I extend my Indian visa on arrival?
No, this is not allowed.
How many times can I apply for an Indian visa on arrival?
You can apply for up to three times in a calendar year (ie from 1 January to 31 December).
Do I need to carry my visa with me at all times?
Yes, you do. The chances you may be stopped and searched by local police or asked to show your visa by the local authorities are very slim, but make sure to carry a copy with you just in case.
Do I need a yellow fever vaccination?
If you come from a country that is affected by yellow fever, you need to show proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entering India. If you don’t, you may be held in quarantine for up to 6 days.
I am not traveling to India anymore. Can I get a refund of my e-Visa fee?
Unfortunately, once you have paid for your Indian visa on arrival, you can’t get a refund.
Save yourself the hassle and ask iVisa to arrange your Indian visa on arrival for only $35 USD.
The Easiest Way To Get An Indian Visa On Arrival
The most hassle-free way of getting an Indian tourist visa is to ask iVisa to arrange it for you. The best part of it is that it only takes 48 hours. That’s why my sister and I have decided to get our Indian visa with iVisa. There is a $35 USD service fee, which is actually much cheaper than asking an agency to get your passport and send it to the nearest consulate (or going to the consulate yourself, which in some cases – like for me – requires a flight and a trip proper).
Keep in mind that the rules for the TVOA are bound to change from time to time. I will do my best to keep this article updated but in case of doubt contact the embassy or consulate.