Tourism in India has expanded a lot over the years. Every region in the country contributes something to its exuberance and splendor. The rich diversity in India’s culture is reflected through the languages, people, traditions, cuisines, customs, festivals, dance, music, religious practices, art and craft and holistic healing traditions.
In order to travel to this beautiful country and make it an exemplary experience for the tourist from other countries, the Indian government came up with the e tourist visa scheme in November 2014. This was introduced in nine different Indian airports and 43 countries. The scheme was extended by the Government of India for all the citizens of Sri Lanka and Guiana in April 2015 and January 2015 respectively. In May 2015, the etourist visa facility was offered to 31 more countries. With more countries being added, currently, there are 76 of them under the scheme. A phased manner will be followed o extend the scheme to more countries. In order to promote and encourage Indian tourism, the Government is planning to extend the e tourist visa scheme to 150 more countries.
List of E Tourist Visa Countries
There are several countries where e tourist visa for India can be availed. These are as follows:
- Vatican City-Holy See
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- Turks and Caicos Island
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Sri Lanka
- South Africa
- Solomon Islands
- San Marino
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Christopher and Nevis
- Republic of Macedonia
- Republic of Korea
- Papua and New Guinea
- Niue Island
- New Zealand
- Marshall Islands
- El Salvador
- East Timor
- Dominican Republic
- Czech Republic
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Costa Rica
- Cook Islands
- China – SAR Macau
- China – SAR Hong Kong
- Cayman Islands
- Cape Verde
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Antigua and Barbuda
Eligibility Criteria for E Tourist Visa
- International travelers who plan to visit India for sightseeing, recreation, meeting friends and relatives, casual visit, business visit or medical treatment for short duration.
- The passport must have validity of at least 6 months from arrival date in India. There should be two blank pages in the passport so that the immigration officer can stamp there.
- The international travelers must have onward journey or return ticket along with sufficient money for the stay in India.
- International traveler who are of Pakistani origin or have Pakistani passport can choose to apply for regular Visa.
- E-tourist Visa cannot be availed by holders of official and diplomatic passports.
- Every individual must have a separate passport. E-tourist Visa cannot be availed by people who re endorsed on the passports of spouse or parent.
- This visa cannot be availed by holders of international travel document.
How To Apply E Tourist Visa
- You can apply online for E-tourist Visa by uploading your passport page and photo.
- You can pay the visa fee
- a online using your debit card or credit card.
- E-tourist Visa will be sent to you by email.
- Whenever you wish to travel to India, get the E-tourist Visa printed and carry it with you.
Documents Required For E Tourist Visa
- The first page of the passport must be scanned and sent in PDF format. The minimum size can be 10 KB and the maximum size can be 300 KB.
- The photo that is uploaded must be in JPEG format. The minimum size 10 KB and the maximum size can be 1 MB.
- The width and height of the photo should be equal.
- The photo should be front view, full face with eyes opened.
- The center head should be within the frame and full head from hair to chin must be present.
- Background can be either white or plain colored.
- There should be no shadows on the background or face.
- The photograph should be without borders.
E-Tourist Visa Fees
- The fee for E-tourist Visa is USD 60 per passenger. This fee is excluding interchange charge for debit cards and credit cards. The payment of the fee must be made four days prior to the travel. If not, the application will not be processed.
- The fee for E tourist visa is non-refundable. This suggests that it does not depend on rejection or grant of visa. Either way, you will have to pay the fee and once you pay it you cannot get it back.
- Ensure that you are very careful while making the payment for the E-tourist visa fee. If the number of unsuccessful attempts goes beyond three then the application id will get blocked.
E-Tourist Visa Instructions
- All the application from various countries can apply online for E-tourist Visa. The application can be made four days in advance from the arrival date. There must be a window of thirty days. For example, if you wish to travel between 5th November and 4th December, you can apply on 1st November.
- Front facing photograph (recent) with plain or white background and Passport’s photo page with personal information such as name, birth date, expiry date of the passport, nationality, etc. must be uploaded. If the uploads are not clear and legible, they can be rejected.
- During the time of travel, applicant must have a copy of E-tourist Visa.
- At Immigration, the applicant’s biometric details will be captured after arriving in India.
- From the arrival date, the visa will remain valid for a period of 30 days.
- There are nine designated airports via which E-tourist visa entry is authorized. They are Trivandrum, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Goa and Cochin.
- E-tourist visa is allowed twice per calendar year.
News about E-tourist Visa
Bangladesh students to receive Rs.350 million from India under new scholarship schem
Under the new ‘Muktijoddha scholarship’, the Indian government will provide Rs.350 million to children of freedom fighters in the upcoming five years, said High Commissioner Harshvardhan Shringla. India initiated in scheme in the year 2006 for children of 1971 Freedom Fighters. As of now, around 10,000 scholarships have been provided worth Tk 150 million. In the current year, 600 undergraduate students have been given scholarships.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during Sheikh Hasina’s visit that 10,000 additional students would receive scholarship under the new scholarship scheme. All freedom fighters are eligible for 5 years multiple entry Indian visa.
8th May 2017
Pre-activated SIM cards for foreign tourists in India
Tourists who have been getting e-visas will now be given pre-activated BSNL SIM cards that will be free of cost. They will get the SIM cards once they land in India. Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma informed that the SIM cards will have a talk time of Rs.50 along with 50 MB data. This service will be initially available only at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Airport. Gradually, it will be provided in 15 different airports that have the facility of e-visa. These SIM cards will come handy as using these, the tourists will be able to talk to their family members as soon as they land in India, said Sharma. This facility will prove to be extremely beneficial for the tourists who otherwise had to wait for hours just to get their SIM cards working after reaching India. Vinod Zutshi, tourism secretary, informed that in 2016 as many as 10 lakh tourists had come to India. Shedding some light on the expenses being incurred by the tourism industry on this project, Zutshi said that this expenditure is a part of the budget that has been allocated for the development of tourism.
Senior vice president of Indian Association of Tour Operators, Rajeev Kohli lauded the initiative and said that he is proud of the fact that India is the first country to hand over free SIM cards to tourists. He added that this step is going to make travel hassle free for foreign tourists in India.
22nd February 2017
Visa made easier to Increase Tourism in Philippines
The Philippines Department of Tourism, in a bid to increase tourism to the country, is making efforts to simplify procedures for visas to foreign nationals, especially Chinese nationals. The Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo said that her department had made some breakthroughs with Chinese leaders and investors to enhance tourism in the Philippines. In a meeting with the Chinese National Tourism Agency Administration (CNTA) Chairman Li Jinzao, Teo pointed out that efforts need to be made to simplify visa procedures for Chinese tourists by either providing them with visas on arrival or e-visas. Currently citizens from 158 countries can enter the Philippines visa-free, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, most European Union countries and members of the Asean. The Department of Tourism hopes to achieve 12 million visitor arrivals into the county by the end of President Duterte term in 2022.
3rd November 2016
KIA Ranks Third in Arrivals on E-Tourist Visa
The Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru stood third in a survey on ‘e-tourist visa arrivals’ in the country. This makes up to 7.4 percent of total number of visa arrivals in the country. In the last 10 months, more than 31,000 tourists visited the country on e-tourist visa. Of the sixteen airports in the country for e-tourist visa arrivals, few that were recently designated for the same include Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Gaya, Jaipur, Varanasi, Trichy and Lucknow. The e-tourist visa system was launched in 2014 in India and it allows visitors from 150 countries to apply via online mode.
20th October 2016