When researching how to get an Indian visa we were shocked how much of a process it can be. Indian visas are kind of a complicated visa process and part of the reason we didn’t travel to India earlier. As full-time travelers 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.
If you are hoping to obtain your India visa on arrival here is all the information you’ll need to know.
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Indian Visa On Arrival- TVoA
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. The next year they opened up the e-Visa program to additional countries to promote tourism.
Most recently in April of 2017 India’s e-Visa program introduced for additional visa categories: tourists, business, travelers, and medical tourism. As of today, tourists from over 160 countries are eligible to apply for an India e-Visa.
When we got offered to attend the Holi Festival in March we quickly applied online for our Indian visa on arrival, as the festival was less than 3 weeks away.
NEW UPDATE APRIL 2019
Citizens of the US, UK, and Canada both Tourists e-visas and Business e-visas are valid for 365 days with a maximum stay of 180 days per entry.
All other nationalities a Business e-visa is valid for 365 days with a maximum stay of 180 days per entry and a Tourist e-visa is valid for 365 days with a maximum stay of 90 days per entry.
Things to Know BEFORE applying for an Indian Visa On Arrival (TVoA) or e-Visa
1. India visa on arrival is available for those passport holders of the following 167 countries and territories:
- ALL EUROPEAN UNION CITIZENS
- FOR COMPLETE LIST OF 167 COUNTRIES & TERRITORIES
2. Apply for your India visa on arrival online here. Again, this is the easiest and fastest way to get an Indian visa.
3. Apply online with a minimum of 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a maximum of 365 days in advance of the date of arrival. Example: If you are applying on 1st April then you can select arrival date from April 5th to August 4th. We applied on February 12th for our March 5th arrival. Once your Indian tourist e-Visa is issued the 365 days starts counting down. If you apply for your visa with iVisa here outside of the 365 days they will make sure they submit your application on the correct dates. Therefore you can apply for an Indian visa well in advance and not worry about the 365-day window, they will do all the work for you.
4. India E-Visa will be valid for only 365 days from the date of arrival in India. We entered Delhi on March 5th and our passport stamp allowed us entry in India until May 4th.
5. You need a recent front-facing photograph with white background – When attaching your photo 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.
5. 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, 2019, your passport can’t expire before July 1, 2019.
6. Need a 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.
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7. You must fly into one of these 28 airports or 5 seaports 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. Here are the airports in Indian with e-Visa entry
- 28 designated Airports– Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Portblair, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Varanasi & Vishakhapatnam
- 5 designated seaports – Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai, Chennai
8. Port of entry must be the port of entry on your e-Visa application. If you state you’ll be arriving at the Dehli airport then you have to enter India through the Dehli airport.
9. Allowed a maximum of two entries on a Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVoA) in a calendar year.
10. You cannot extend your India Visa on Arrival (TVoA) and only valid for single entry.
11. You can apply for a maximum of three Indian e-Visa’s in a calendar year, between January and December.
12. List a reference in India, we just listed our first booked hotel details and had no problems.
*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels in India check prices on Booking.com, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*
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13. Exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India.
14. Carry a copy of your Indian visa with you at all times while traveling in India. We were never asked for it thankfully but we had a copy in our day bags just in case. You never know when you’ll need to show it.
15. 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.
16. The e-Visa fee is non-refundable once paid
17. No visa needed if you’re not leaving the airport. If you have a layover in India you do not need a visa as you won’t be leaving the airport.
18. Indian Tourist visa on arrival (TVoA) / India e-Visa fee is US$ 102.50 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.
19. Don’t try to pay more than 3 times. When trying to pay the Indian e-Visa fee don’t attempt it more than 3 times. If you do, your application ID will be blocked and you’ll have to start the application all over and get a new application ID.
20. Write down your e-visa application ID. 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 it was accurate.
Approved! Here is my India Visa on Arrival!
Once your India visa application is approved you will get an email with your TVoA Indian 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 28 approved airports.
They will not accept you showing the TVoA on your computer or phone. There was a girl in front of us at immigration who did not print her TVoA 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.
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:
This article was written in March 2017 and updated in March 2019, 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.
Friday 5th of July 2019
Uk citizens can now get a TVOA.
Sunday 14th of July 2019
Thanks for the update!
Sunday 23rd of December 2018
I am a Thai national. Arriving in Chennai tomorrow. Can I get a tourist visa on arrival without prior ETA?
Thursday 13th of September 2018
Im in philippines, upon arrival in india, what are the documents needed to present? Im waiting for reply. Thank you
Friday 1st of December 2017
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.
Friday 1st of December 2017
Thank you for the updated Visa on Arrival information! Can I ask what passport you currently hold?
Saturday 30th of September 2017
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?
Sunday 29th of October 2017
I do not recall biometric details (fingerprints) taken. However, if they take them I would imagine it would be included in the visa fee.