Getting an Indian eVisa on arrival is meant to be easy. But the information available online can actually be confusing.
If you are planning a trip to India, depending on which passport you hold, you can now get an Indian tourist Visa (an eVisa, that is), which is actually much better because it’s cheaper than the 6 months visa many get – and let’s be honest, not many people can actually afford to spend 6 months traveling around India!
Getting an e-Visa for India is now super easy. Continue reading for a step by step guide on how to get your Indian visa for US citizens.
Traveling to India? Make sure to read my post The Best Places To Visit In India.
What Is The Indian eVisa?
In an effort to promote tourism, the government of India implemented the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), also known as Indian eVisa. This is available to citizens of 156 countries and territories (including Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Vietnam) and it was also on extended to business travelers and medical tourism purposes.
The India eVisa is granted for 30 days, and it’s a single entry visa.
The Indian visa application process changes a lot and it can be tricky. That’s why I suggest going the easy way and getting your Indian visa for US citizens (as well as for UK citizens, and citizens for many other countries) with an authorized agency such as iVisa.com.
iVisa charges a $45 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 your visa for India, no matter which country you are from.
Make sure not to confuse the Indian eVisa with the Travel Visa on Arrival (TVOA), which is only available to citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines and Indonesia. Nationals of Japan, South Korea and UAE (though for the latter, this is applicable only to those who had earlier obtained e-Visa or regular/paper visa for India) are eligible for Visa-on-Arrival.
How To Get An Indian eVisa (Indian Tourist Visa)
Applying for the Indian eVisa 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 pick the “standard processing” you pick the cheapest option – $45 USD.
If you pick the “rush” you pay $75 USD.
If you opt for the “super rush” you pay $110 USD.
The default currency is USD but you can change it into your home country currency if you prefer.
You then have to click to continue, revise all the information and pick any additional services – namely:
- Health Declaration – this is required to enter the country and iVisa can help you get it for an additional $ 9.95 USD
- Embassy Registration – this additional service costs $12.95
- iVisa Fee Protection – in case you are unable to travel, iVisa guarantees to process a new application free of charge. This protection costs $4.95 USD.
Once you select any additional service (or none), you can 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 Indian visa will come to you by email.
Some FAQ About The Indian eVisa
If you are concerned about your Indian visa for US citizens (or the Indian visa for UK citizens or other nationalities), 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 my Indian eVisa?
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 eVisa be valid for?
Your Indian tourist visa will be valid for a maximum of 365 days from the date of arrival in India. So if you arrive on 1 November 2022 and your passport is stamped on the same day, you can entry India until 31 October 2023.
What do I need to apply for an India eVisa?
In order to apply for an Indian tourist visa, 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 2022, your passport should not expire before 1 May 2023.
- 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.
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 eVisa application was approved. What do I do now?
Once your Indian tourist visa application is approved you will receive an email with your visa 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 eVisa on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Can I enter India via a land border on an eVisa?
Please beware that you can enter India via the 28 designated airport and 5 designated seaports, but not via a land border. 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 eVisa?
No, you can only enter once and stay for no longer than 30 days.
Can I extend my Indian eVisa?
No, this is not allowed.
Can I convert my eVisa to another visa?
No, this is actually now allowed.
How many times can I apply for an Indian eVisa?
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 tourist visa, you can’t get a refund. However, if you have paid the iVisa protection fee, you can ask iVisa to process your visa again at no additional fee.
The Easiest Way To Get An Indian eVisa
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. There is a $45 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 Indian tourist visa (whether you need an Indian visa for US citizens or a visa for other nationalities) and also about 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.
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