The tourist visa scheme was introduced on January 1, 2010, but from April 2015, the scheme was renamed to ‘e-Tourist visa’ by the Indian government. The aim of the Indian government is to make the process of getting E-visa India easier so as to bring more business people and medical tourist into the country. Hence, in April 2017, the ‘e-Tourist Visa’ scheme became known as ‘e-Visa’. Also, it was divided into three categories:
- E-tourist visa
- E-business visa
- E-medical visa
To apply for an E-visa, passport holders of around 166 countries are eligible. But in case, if your parents or grandparents were born in or lived in Pakistan, you will be ineligible to get an e-Visa, even when you are a citizen of the passport holders of those 166 countries. In such situations, you can apply for a normal visa.
Procedure to obtain an E-Visa
- Applications have to be made at the official website but not less than four days and no more than 120 days before the date of travel.
- After entering your travel details, you will be required to upload your photo with white background as per the specifications mentioned on the website. This will include the photocopy of your passport that shows your personal details and should be valid for at least six months.
- Next, you have to pay your fee online using your debit or credit card. For this, you will receive an Application ID and you will get the ETA via email within three to five days. You have to make sure the status of your application shows ‘Granted’ before you proceed to travel.
- You are required to have a copy of the ETA when you arrive in India and present it at the immigration counter at the airport. The immigration officer will stamp your passport with your e-visa for entry into India and your biometric data will also be captured during the same time.
The fees of visa depend on the nature of the relationship between India and the other country in consideration. There were some changes in the fees of e-visa in June 2018 and it got increased for many countries.
E tourist visa in India is valid for 60 days from the date of arrival in India but the e-Conference visas are valid only for 30 days. To enter in India, you can enter through any of the given 28 international airports which include Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kochi, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Port Blair, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Varanasi, and Vishakhapatnam. After you have the e-Visa, you can enter and leave India using any immigration point.
Also, you can get an E-Visa three times in a calendar year from January and December. While applying for E-Visa, make sure you are landing at the spam websites which claim to be official. These websites do not belong to the government and can charge you a very heavy price for giving E-Visa services.