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How to Apply for an India Tourist Visa Online
When people ask me which is my favorite country of the ones I’ve visited, I usually say that I have different countries for different reasons. The country that changed me the most, that shook me up the most, that made me both the most uncomfortable and simultaneously helped me grow the most…is India. Hands down.
I wanted desperately to like India. When I first arrived, I hated it. But when I left, I had a whole new respect for the country, and for the world. I was fortunate to visit many cities, including Jaipur, Rajasthan where you can see the world famous Amber Fort and walk the steps to the top or take an elephant ride; Rajaji National Park where I went on safari, Agra, home of the stunning Taj Mahal, and more. And I fell in love with this beautiful, large and varied country.
If you’re planning to travel to India, the tourist visa process has changed since I went. You can now apply online!
Until recently, you had to apply well in advance and have a visa sticker put in your passport at the consulate. It was a lengthy and time consuming process. Now you don’t have to wait in long lines. You can simply apply online with iVisa and print your confirmation document that will hold your Indian Visa. That’s it, the only thing you have to check though is that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you arrive in India and have a digital passport photo handy.
So what is the India eTourist Visa and how does it work?
This eVisa to India is a great implementation from the Indian Government, its really just a fancy word for the Indian tourist visa that replaces the old traditional sticker in your passport.
You simply complete an online form, fill out all your details, answer a few questions and upload all the required documents, pay and then wait for your visa approval via email. After applying for your Indian Tourist Visa you will receive a PDF with your visa. You need to print this document.
The Indian tourist visa will be linked electronically to your passport, so make sure you double check that you input the correct info! Your final step will be to show this printed PDF document to the airline staff that will assist you when checking in.
It’s that easy!
How long is the eTourist Visa to India valid?
You have to apply at least 4 days in advance of your date of arrival to India as the visa holds a validity of 30 days. Thus if you apply say on 1 January, then you can enter India any time during the 5th of January to 4th February as the approval takes approximately 3 days. Then the visa hold 1 single entry and you can ONLY enter India through these 16 designated Airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi. You can however leave the country from any border post. And you can stay a maximum of 30 days inside India!
PS: If you arrive by boat, car, train, etc, then please note that this visa will NOT BE VALID. You have to contact the cruise company or other service provider for more details regarding the correct type of visa you have to get.
Do check out these eight Indian customs to get a better idea of how the Indian culture works, what’s expected of you when entering temples and other religious sites as well.