In an attempt to boost tourism, India is finally opening up it’s E Visa Scheme to the UK, a move which will hopefully lessen the stressful and time consuming business of applying via the current process. The cost will be also reduced from the current fee of £89.44 to £39, and rather than book an appointment at an application centre or provide documents in the post, applicants will now be able to upload documents, pay the balance and track their application online. All in all this is a superb bit of news for frequent travellers to India which should make the process of getting access to this fabulous country a lot easier.
According to the Indian government website, ‘e-visa applications must be submitted a minimum of four days in advance of arrival in India’. However, our advice would be to do it well in advance of this just until this new system picks up steam.
The e-visas are still subject to several constraints: the official Indian government visa website says that they may only be used for a maximum of two visits a year, are single-entry only, and that their 30-day validity cannot be extended.
The website also says that e-Tourist visas are valid for travellers visiting India only for recreation, sightseeing, meeting friends or family, “short duration medical treatment”, or for a “casual business visit.” Business or student visas must still be applied for in the traditional manner.