Applying for your Indian e-visa
Preparing for your trip can be exciting and sometimes we forget that there are some hurdles that need to be passed. Namely receiving your visa for entry into the country.
In the last couple of years, the Indian government has made major changes to the application process by implementing an on-line visa application process and e-Visa on arrival.
Traditional visa or e-Visa process
The e-Visa application is available to passport holders of a number of countries, including:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
If your country is one that does not currently have this arrangement you will need to plan for your visa earlier as the process will take longer.
The process here is specifically focused towards the e-Visa application (although much will be the same).
- Your passport must have at least six (6) months validity from the date of arrival in India.
- Your passport must have at least two blank pages.
- This is valid for entry through designated airports. The main ports being Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur, Kolkata and Mumbai.
You apply and pay for the visa fee online. You will receive the e-Visa online which you print out and take with you and then present it at the arrival desk in India.
To apply you will need to have a scanned copy of your Bio page of your passport showing your photograph and details (most smart phones have the ability to do this)
You will also need a jpeg passport photo.
The questions they ask you on this form are quite involved, including questions about your parentage and for women, your husband and their details.
Once you reach India you will see a separate section in immigration for those with an e-Visa.
You can apply between 120 and 4 days of arrival into India. From our personal experience 30 to 60 days prior to arriving in India is good.
The Official site requires significantly more information, eg where you have travelled in last 10 years and if you have visited India before previous visa number.
Visa service providers
There are a number of 3rd party visa service providers. We have personally used:
- www.ivisa.com (my personal favourite)
Our experience is that the 3rd party visa providers are much easier to deal with and are worth the money. The last time I visited India I used the super rush service from one of these providers.
They have checked my application, asked further questions of me if required, before submitting it to the Indian government.
They are also more responsive to questions about your application. I personally use a visa supplier when it’s appropriate.
Multiple Entry visa for India
India has recently changed it’s e-Visa to allow multiple entry over twelve months (using the same passport). This is a long awaited and welcome development.
On arrival at the port of entry you will find a separate section for e-Visa entrants. The staff are particularly helpful and my impression is they may have had extra training.