One of the quickest ways to get a visa for India is to apply for an e-tourist visa (electronic tourist visa). You do not need any travel agent and you can do this yourself. All you need to do is apply for the e visa online and wait for it to come via email. The idea is simple; you apply for an electronic visa for India online, print out the application form, post it, the Indian consulate will email you the Indian e-visa, you print it out and hand it at the desk on arrival in India. It can take as little as 1 day to a maximum to 4 days (Monday to Friday) and you can stay 30 days from the date of arrival. It’s valid for a single entry.
It’s not like the traditional visa where it is stamped to your passport. You need to hand this to the immigration desk when you land in India. When you arrive in India the immigration desk will stamp your passport. This is a single entry visa. If you need to apply for multiple entries then you will have to apply on the same website but need to present or send your passport for stamping. However in the January of 2016 it was announced that the multiple entries will also become available and e tourist visa holders will receive a gift pack on arrival to India (you will find out the options when you start applying). But I do not think it has been implemented yet.
If you are a citizen of the UK or the USA then you can apply for the Indian tourist e-visa. 149 other countries have also been added to the list eligible to apply for the Indian e-Tourist visa. This visa allows tourists to enter India through 16 international airports namely Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Chennai (Madras), Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata (Calcutta), Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum and Varanasi.
The Government of India visa website does specify certain criteria and if you do it currently it will take only a few days to get your e-visa. Basically you should not apply for the e-visa no later than 4 days prior to going to India and 34 days before the date of arrival in India. You can apply for e visa 2 times in 1 calendar year.
In a nutshell e-visas are for tourists visiting India for recreational purposes, short visits like visiting relatives, business or medical treatment etc. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 moths and you should have already bought your tickets and should have enough money to spend in India.
Step to step guide to getting e visa for India:
Complete the e visa application form here
Upload your photo and a copy of your passport (this means you will need a printer and scanner. You can either take your passport to place where they will scan your passport and email it to you or simply you can buy a printer and scanner)
You can then pay your e-visa fees
Don’t forget to insert your email address as your e tourist visa for India will be sent to your email
Wait for your e visa to arrive (don’t forget to check your spam folders)
Print it out and take it to India.
E visa India contact number and email address
Your Indian high commissions or consulates do not have control over Indian e-tourists visas so if you need to ask them anything about these visas they wouldn’t know. If you need any clarification or if any doubt, then you will need to send an email to [email protected] or you can phone them on this number +91-11-24300666.
e visa photo requirements
The e visa India photo size is not the usual passport size photos.
It should be 2 x 2 inch (50 x 50 mm). The background should be plain. The chin to crown (basically the entire head) should cover 1 to 1-3/8 inches (25 to 35 mm).
Must in JPEG format and size of Image should be minimum 10 KB and maximum 300 KB
You can check your parameters of your image by right clicking on the photo and then clicking properties. If you photo is big you can downsize the image by reducing the size.
Basically it’s a square photo. Many photo booths in superstores are now able to provide these Indian visa photos. If you can’t find a one then you will need to go to a photo studio.
But make sure that the background is white or plain; your head must be in the centre, there should no borders, eyes open, no smiling and no shadows.
e tourist visa cost
Fees for the e tourist visa are around 40 pounds if you apply from the UK and 60 dollars from the USA per passenger. It’s a very cost effective way of applying. It saves you going anywhere (consulate, embassy or even the India visa and consular service application centre called the VSF).
You will need to present return tickets on arrival in India along with your e tourist visa that you received though email so make sure you print a few copies of your e visa.