It’s a question we often get asked: how do you apply for an India tourist visa? Fortunately, thanks to the e-Tourist Visa scheme being extended to the UK in August 2015, the answer is more straightforward than it once was. No longer do travellers have to submit their applications in person or post application forms – now the entire visa application process is done online. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process:
1. What to do beforehand
Make sure your passport, which must have two blank pages, is valid for at least six months from your arrival date in India. You’ll need a digital passport photo at the ready, too. One other thing: your return or onward journey ticket must have already been arranged.
2. When to apply for your Indian tourist visa
Is your arrival date in India more than 34 days away? If so you won’t be able to submit your e-Tourist Visa application just yet. Make sure you don’t leave it any later than four days before your departure, though.
3. How long is the Indian tourist visa valid for?
Your e-Tourist Visa will be valid for a single entry into India for a period of up to 30 days. If you’re planning to stay for longer than one month you’ll need to apply for a traditional Indian tourist visa instead, which is valid for up to 90 days. A physical copy of your application will need to be submitted to VFS Global, the Indian government’s visa partner. Alternatively, you can use visa specialists Travcour’s designated form for Indigo East customers.
4. Where to apply for the Indian tourist visa
Head to the e-Tourist Visa website and, once you’ve read through the instructions, click on Apply online. It’s then a case of working your way through the form. Most questions should be straightforward enough, but the following might not be…
5. How to answer the more confusing questions
Some questions in the following sections might be a little unclear. Here’s how to answer them:
Citizenship/National Id No. – If you don’t have one, type ‘NA’.
Visible identification marks – Unless you have an obvious tattoo or birthmark, type ‘NONE’.
Place of Issue – Assuming you’re applying using a UK passport, type ‘HM Passport Office’.
Previous Visa/Currently valid Visa Details
Address – If you answered Yes to Have you ever visited India before? then use the address details of the last hotel you stayed at.
Reference Name in India – When you book with Indigo East we’ll provide the name, address and phone number of your designated local representative, who will act as your reference.
6. How much does the e-Tourist Visa cost?
The basic fee is $60, which excludes any debit or credit card surcharges or processing costs.
7. When will the visa be granted?
Travellers usually receive an email confirmation of their e-Tourist Visa within four days. This should be printed and taken to India. While the visa is issued electronically it will be stamped into travellers’ passports on arrival after biometric information is submitted.