The Indian government introduced a tourist visa on arrival scheme on January 1, 2010. It was initially trialed for citizens of five countries. Subsequently, a year later, it was extended to include a total of 11 countries. And, from April 15, 2014 it was extended to include South Korea.
Effective November 27, 2014, this visa on arrival scheme was replaced by an online Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme.
It has been implemented in phases and progressively made available to more countries.
In April 2015, the scheme was renamed "E-Tourist Visa" by the Indian government, to remove confusion over the previous ability to get a visa on arrival without applying in advance.
From April 1, 2017, the scheme was further extended to passport holders of 161 countries (up from 150 countries).
The Indian government has also widened the scope of the visa scheme to include short duration medical treatment and yoga courses, and casual business visits and conferences. Previously, these required separate medical/student/business visas.
The aim is to make getting an Indian visa easier, and to bring more business people and medical tourists into the country.
To facilitate this change, as of April 1, 2017, the "E-Tourist Visa" scheme is now known as "E-Visa". Furthermore, it has been divided into three categories:
- E-Tourist Visa
- E-Business Visa
- E-Medical Visa
Who is Eligible for an E-Visa?
Passport holders of the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameron Union Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hong Kong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, 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, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, 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, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
However, do note that if your parents or grandparents were born in or lived in Pakistan, you will be ineligible to get an E-Visa even if you're a citizen of the above countries. You will have to apply for a normal visa.
What is the Procedure for Obtaining an E-Visa?
Applications must be made online at this website, no less than four days and no more than 120 days before the date of travel.
As well as entering you travel details, you will need to upload a photograph of yourself with a white background that meets the specifications listed on the website, and the photo page of your passport that shows your personal details. Your passport will need to be valid for at least six months. Additional documents may be required depending on the type of E-Visa required.
Following this, pay the fee online with your debit or credit card. You will receive an Application ID and the ETA will be sent to you via email within three to five days. The status of your application can be checked here.
You will need to carry a copy of the ETA with you when traveling to India and present it at the immigration counter at the airport. An immigration officer will stamp your passport with your E-visa for entry into India.
You should have a return ticket and enough money to spend during your stay in India.
How Much Does it Cost?
The visa fee depends on the nature of the reciprocal relationship between India and each country. A detailed fee chart is available here. There are four different fee amounts, which are applicable as follows:
- Free: Citizens of Argentina, Cook Islands, Fiji, Jamaica, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
- $75: Citizens of US, UK, Russia, Ukraine and Mozambique.
- $50: Citizens of the majority of countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- $25: Citizens of Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
In addition to the visa fee, a bank charge of 2.5% of the fee must be paid.
How Long is the Visa Valid For?
It's now valid for 60 days (increased from 30 days), from the time of entry. Two entries are permitted on E-Tourist visas and E-Business visas, while three entries are permitted on E-Medical visas. The visas are non-extendable and non-convertible.
Which Indian Entry Points Accept E-Visas?
From April 1, 2017, you may enter at the following 24 airports (increased from 16): Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum and Varanasi.
ETAs are also valid for entry at the following three designated seaports: Kochi, Goa, and Mangalore.
In addition, separate immigration desks and help counters have been set up to assist medical tourists at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad airports.
Once you have the visa, you can leave India (and return) through any immigration point.
How Often Can You Get an E-Visa?
Twice in a calendar year.
Need Help with Your Application?
Call +91-11-24300666 or email email@example.com
Important: Scams to be Aware of
When applying for your E-Visa, do be aware that a number of commercial websites have been set up to look similar to the government of India's official website, and they claim to provide online visa services to tourists. These websites are:
The websites do not belong to the government of India and they will charge you a fee.