Applicants for the India’s tourist visa no longer have to be subjugated to tedious fingerprint scanning, biometric tests or trips to the test centre. The introduction of the E-Tourist Visa, (e-TV), will allow applicants to complete a quick online form and expect an approval within a week. This efficient method is designed to save applicant’s time and money.
The new introduction of a further 36 countries eligible for the e-TV application now includes the United Kingdom, Canada and USA passport holders. For the full list of eligible countries and passport holders visit the official website. E-TV, however, is strictly created for foreigners who have no occupational or residential connection with India, but rather, purposely visits to enjoy the sights, meeting friends and family or immersing in what India has to offer. Business or diplomatic purposes are prohibited with the e-TV, and those who wish to conduct formal engagements should apply for a Business or Employment Visa.
Applicants who hold a valid and recognised passport are able to obtain and complete the online application through the India’s Tourism official website. Applicants for the e-TV must apply a minimum of 4 days prior to the expected arrival date. Any application, however, made more than 30 days in advance of the arrival date will not be considered. During the online process a clear, untampered passport’s first page will need to be scanned and attached to the online form. Requests that are unable to provide these details will not be processed. Those who successfully completes the e-TV application have to pay a non-refundable fee of £40 per application, and should expect an approval within a week.
Those who have successfully applied and obtained the e-TV are only able to enter India through 16 designated airports which includes India’s biggest national airport - New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and Mumbai’s award winning Chhatrapati Airport. When entering India, the e-TV and a minimum of 2 clear passport pages must be available for immigration officers to certify.
The e-TV, however, does not allow access to prohibited sites that include the whole of Manipur and Mizoram and parts of Kashmir. Additionally, e-TV restricts travelers from entering India’s cantonment areas. Those who wish to enter these restricted sites must apply for an area permit. India’s e-TV is only valid for a maximum of 2 visits per calendar year. Those who wish to frequently enter India should consider obtaining a long term visa.
The successful visa can be delivered to the address stated on the online application. Applicants are given the opportunity to track the postal shipment using the Royal Mail or DX Postal. Alternatively, it can be collected at the Indian Visa and Consular Application Centre in London on weekdays between 4pm-5:30pm. Travelers who are face difficulties or are unable to complete the online application are able to book an appointment at the Visa Centre for support and advice.