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How to Apply for an Indian e-Visa

Updated on September 21, 2017

In an effort to boost the tourism to India, the country's government initiated e-Tourist Visa (formerly known as Electronic Travel Authorisation or ETA). Tourists then can apply and get their visa all via online efforts. While the process is quite straightforward, it can get confusing due to the many websites from a third party that offer similar service but charging at higher prices.

Make sure that you apply through this link: IndianVisaOnline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

Notice that the link is "TVOA" which stands for "Tourists Visa On Arrival". It does not represent the usual understanding of 'visa on arrival'; it just means e-visa.

Don't confuse the link with IndianVisaOnline.gov.in/visa/ which is for regular visa application.

Are you eligible?

First, you need to check if you come from the countries that have the convenience of the online visa. Only citizens of the following countries are eligible:

  • Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria,
  • Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria,
  • Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic,
  • Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic,
  • East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia,
  • Fiji, Finland, France,
  • Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana,
  • Haiti, Honduras, Hungary,
  • Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel,
  • Jamaica, Japan, Jordan,
  • Kenya, Kiribati,
  • Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
  • Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar,
  • Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway,
  • Oman,
  • Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal,
  • Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia,
  • Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland,
  • Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu,
  • UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA,
  • Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam,
  • Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Documents needed

Since it's online application, it's pretty straightforward. You'd only need the soft copy/scan of the following documents.

  • Recent front facing photograph with white background, 2x2 inches, JPEG format.
  • Passport page containing personal details like name,date of birth, nationality, expiry date etc.
  • Return ticket

P.S.: Not a document, but you also need to get your credit card ready to pay the fee online, if you are using credit card instead of Paypal. Online payment is the only option there is. Do no resist.

The process

Now, this is where it gets tricky. I cannot emphasise this enough: Make sure you click on the "e-Tourist Visa Application" tab.

It's the very first tab in IndianVisaOnline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html page. Remember, NOT any other link. This is important because the website for regular visa looks exactly the same but you won't be getting any notification and, eventually, your visa.

STEP 1 - Getting there
Click the first tab of that page, "e-Visa Application". Fill in all the info required in the form.

Make sure you enter your Port of Arrival and Date of Arrival correctly and truthfully. Filling the rest should be straightforward. However, if you have any questions, ask in the comment box below. Click "Continue".

STEP 2 - Application form
Once you clicked "Continue", you'll be brought to another page titled "Applicant Details Form". You'd need to key in more detailed information, as well as upload your passport scan, and picture in JPEG format.

There'll also be a notification "Data saved Successfully.Please note down the Temporary Application ID : 45261038WCSNPF2".

The interesting question in this form is "Visible identification marks". Do not freak out. This is just for immigration purposes, and the best way to answer this is any scar or mole you have on your face. As much as possible, don't note down temporary scar or mark like acne that might heal by the time you get to India.

TIPS: If for whatever reason you need to close the page, click "Save and Temporarily Exit". You can come back to your form later by keying in the 'Temporary Application ID' you got earlier.

Click "Save and Continue".

There'll be a few more forms, answer all questions accordingly.
For "Reference" part, you can use the hotel name and address you'll be staying in.

STEP 3 - Photo upload
Upload your photo with specifications:

  • JPEG format
  • Size: Minimum 10 KB, Maximum 1 MB
  • Minimum dimensions are 350 pixels (width) x 350 pixels (height).
  • Recent front facing photograph with white background.

Click "Choose File", and then "Upload Photo". Crop photo as desired.
"Save and Continue" if you're satisfied with your photo.

STEP 4 - Passport upload
It's time to upload your passport scan now. Please keep in mind:

  • Format must be in PDF format
  • Size Minimum 10 KB, maximum 300 KB
  • Page of Passport containing personal details like name,date of birth, nationality , expiry date etc.

"Choose File" >> "Upload Document" >> Check "I have verified that all the documents are uploaded as per the requirement." >> Click "Confirm"

STEP 5 - Verify your details
If everything is correct, then click "Verified and Continue". Once you click this, you can modify your information from the main page, but this might delay your application. So please make sure everything is correct.

You will then get a prompt that says "Please note down the generated Application ID: "I008V0B5E717".The e-Visa fee is : xxx USD" (fee depends on your nationality).

Once you get the application ID, you don't need the "Temporary Application ID" anymore.

TIPS: I'd suggest you to pay now, to avoid future complication. But if you really can't do it at the moment, you can choose to "Pay Later" and access the payment page from the main page.

Payment

Once you click "Ok" on the prompt (see picture above), you will reach "Online VISA Fee Payment" page. Read through everything, and select "Yes" for the buttons option.

When you clicked "Pay Now", you'll be given two options: Sbi e-pay or Axis Bank.
If you don't any preference, you can choose any one. This is only the option for in case your bank charge transfer fee for one and not the other, then you'll have more option.

Click "Continue".

You will get another prompt, read through it, then click "OK".

You will then reach a separate page for payment. Select the payment method you prefer, and process as how usually you shop online (don't lie, I know you know how).

That's it! You should be getting your visa in your email in a few days.
Print this document, and carry it with you when you fly to India.

When you reach India, find a designated queue for eVisa. There might not be any sign that show this, so make sure you ask someone. Don't waste your time queuing on the regular visa or common entry, because they'll ask you to queue again for the eVisa queue.

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