Guide to India Visa on Arrival (TVoA) – 2017

Guide to India Visa on Arrival (TVoA) – 2017

India was always on our around the world trip route, but with the complicated visa process, we didn’t think it was going to happen. Sending your passport into the embassy, knowing our exact dates, submitting flight & hotel documents, it was a really big hassle to get your India Visa BEFORE they introduced India visa on arrival. November 2014 India implemented Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or Travel Visa On Arrival (TVoA), which allows citizens of 43 countries to obtain an Indian visa on arrival at 9 Indian airports. Thankfully the USA is one of the 43 countries. When we got offered to attend the Holi Festival in March we quickly applied online for our India visa on arrival, as the festival was less than 3 weeks away.


If you are hoping to obtain your India visa on arrival here is all the information you’ll need to know.

Quick Facts on an India Visa On Arrival (TVoA)

  • India visa on arrival is available for those passport holders of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Guyana, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands,Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

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  • Apply for your India visa on arrival online here. Make sure to write down your application ID, you will need this to finish a partially completed application, to access partially completed applications click here.
  • Apply online with a minimum of 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a maximum of 30 days in advance of the date of arrival. Example: If you are applying on 1st April then you can select arrival date from 5th April to 4th May. We applied February 12th for our March 5th arrival.
  • You need a recent front-facing photograph with white background – When attaching you can crop it as needed. Photo page of your passport. Make sure your passport page is clear otherwise your application will be rejected. We struggled to get the system to take our white background picture at first, it seems the program wants you to crop the image somewhat in order to accept it.
  • Your passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India and have at least two blank pages. If it’s January 1, 2017 your passport can expire before July 1, 2017
  • Return ticket or onward journey ticket, with enough money to spend during your stay in India. We had to show an onward ticket upon checking into our flight from Thailand, the immigration officers did not check onward travel tickets or ask for proof of funds during our stay in India.
  • If you are a citizen of a Yellow Fever affected countries you must carry a YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CARD at the time of arrival in India. If you don’t have this you may be quarantined for 6 days upon arrival in India.
  • You will need to list a reference in India, we just listed our first booked hotel details and had no problems.
  • Tourist visa on arrival (TVoA) fee is US$ 60 per person, charged in US dollars. We paid right away with our Mastercard when we submitted our application. You can wait to make payment but it must be paid 4 days before your expected date of travel filled by you, otherwise, your application will not be processed. Once you pay the TVoA $60 fee is non-refundable.
  • You must fly into one of these 9 airports in order to obtain your India visa on arrival. Entry by land or other airports will not be granted India visa on arrival. We flew into Delhi, just follow the signs for TVoA, the process was quick and straightforward. Just DON’T FORGET to bring a printed copy of your TVoA that will be emailed to you once your India Visa on Arrival is approved.
    • Delhi (DEL)
    • Mumbai (BOM)
    • Goa (GOI)
    • Bengaluru (BLR)
    • Chennai (MAA)
    • Kolkata (CCU)
    • Kochi (COK)
    • Hyderabad (HYD)
    • Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum International Airport) (TRV)
  • India visa on arrival will be valid for 30 days from the date of arrival in India. We entered Delhi on March 5th and our passport stamp allowed us entry until April 4th.India Stamp
  • You are only allowed a maximum of two visits on a Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVoA) in a calendar year.
  • You cannot extend your  India Visa on Arrival (TVoA) and only valid for single entry.
  • You can track the status of your application online by checking the visa status. You will need to know your application ID and your passport number. We checked our status and is was accurate.

Approved! Here is my India Visa on Arrival!

Once your application is approved you get an email with your TVoA India visa on arrival attached. For us, this was less than 48 hours from when we submitted our application. Make sure to print a hard copy or two and present this at the TVoA booth in one of the 9 approved airports. They will not accept you showing the TVoA on your computer or phone. There was a girl in front of us who did not print it, and was trying to show her TVoA on her computer. The immigration officers told her to sit down & wait and they would deal with her later. I am unsure what happened to her. I suggest making two copies just in case.

Indian Visa on arrival form

This is still a new process in India

It’s clear that this is still new to the customs agents so allow a little extra time to clear customs. Do Not show up without all your information printed. I cannot stress enough about how important it is to print all your India Visa on Arrival document! Print everything you have booked for your trip: flights, hotels, tours, visa, EVERYTHING. You will thank me later.

Who can you contact with questions?

When we applied in February I had a few questions, and I emailed [email protected] and I got a response to my questions within 24 hours.

For More Articles on India Check out:

portraits of holi festival - featured image 2    How to Protect your camera during holi festival and a color run Feature

This article was written in March 2017 and TVoA rules are expected to change from time to time. This article was written as FAQ guide and we hope we have helped you but please double check with the embassy for up to date information.

16 Comments
  • TammyOnTheMove
    Posted at 16:18h, 17 March Reply

    Just a few months before they introduced that we were all ready to check into a flight from Bangkok to Delhi, until the lady at the check in desk politely reminded us that we can’t get a visa on arrival. We totally thought we could, so we no choice but to reschedule our flights to Nepal. We were planning to fly there from India, but now were only allowed to go to New Delhi airport in transit.. It was an expensive mistake, but now that you can get a visa on arrival we may consider going in the future. Would love to experience India one day.

    • Hannah
      Posted at 01:45h, 18 March Reply

      Why didn’t you qualify before? Are you from the UK? From all my research UK still can’t get visa on arrival. That sounds like a hassle!

  • Dave Brett
    Posted at 21:29h, 17 March Reply

    Brilliant news! I did not know this, Getting my visa for India was such a hassle, happy they sorted out an easier process. Great passport photos btw! haha 😀

    • Hannah
      Posted at 01:44h, 18 March Reply

      I know they are great pics aren’t they! From my research the UK isn’t eligible for the India Visa on Arrival YET but I am sure that will change soon.

  • Katie
    Posted at 19:19h, 02 July Reply

    Thanks for the tips you guys! Very helpful article for someone planning India!

  • Angela marks
    Posted at 16:50h, 27 December Reply

    Hello! If I have received my visa, and want to go to Nepal for 3 days and come back into India to catch my flight home during the same 30 days, is that okay? I would only be in the country again for less than 12 hours before going home.

    • Hannah
      Posted at 20:53h, 05 January Reply

      That I am not certain about, I would imagine it would depends if you have a multiple entry visa or single entry visa.

  • james smith
    Posted at 06:25h, 05 January Reply

    Your website was really useful for me..my evisa did not have my photo on it and I began to panic that it should have..However I found your website on a google search and my evisa looks exactly the same as yours!!..so everything seems ok

    James

    • Hannah
      Posted at 20:54h, 05 January Reply

      Glad you found us and we were able to calm you! Safe travels.

  • Rems Seneca
    Posted at 08:19h, 15 May Reply

    Should I have a confirmed flight before applying ?

  • Robert Leslie
    Posted at 21:12h, 15 August Reply

    Is the Visa on Arrival desk open in the middle of the night?
    How long is the wait?

    • Hannah Lukaszewicz
      Posted at 06:59h, 16 August Reply

      If you are arriving on an international flight to Cairo it will be open. The line wasn’t long at all when we were there.

  • David Jones
    Posted at 23:21h, 30 September Reply

    My understanding is that “biometric details” will be taken on arrival in india with an e-visa. What is the immigration process to collect these details? Is there a further cost involved or is this included in the e-visa price?

    • Adam
      Posted at 14:58h, 29 October Reply

      I do not recall biometric details (fingerprints) taken. However, if they take them I would imagine it would be included in the visa fee.

  • Kishore
    Posted at 07:13h, 01 December Reply

    Update:

    The duration of stay on e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with a double entry with effect from April 1st, 2017. The window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days. Therefore it became easier to obtain a tourist visa for India. You can now also apply for a medical or business visa online.

    • Hannah Lukaszewicz
      Posted at 12:27h, 01 December Reply

      Thank you for the updated Visa on Arrival information! Can I ask what passport you currently hold?

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