How to apply for a tourist e-visa to India
The easiest way to take a short trip to India is by applying for an e-visa on the Indian government’s website: Indian Visa Online. It will take about 30 minutes to register, 3-5 business days for approval, and then you’ll be allowed to visit for 60 days with the ability to enter the country twice during that time period. You have to apply within 3 months of your arrival date – not before.
Before you get started, make sure you have the following items available:
- Passport (must be valid for 6 months after your arrival date in India and have two blank pages)
- Port of Arrival (the airport you’ll be flying into)
- Date of Arrival (make sure this is accurate because you cannot enter before this date)
- References in India and your home country (names, addresses, and phones)
- JPEG file of Headshot
- PDF file of Passport
- $75 USD ($25 or $50 for non-US nationalities)
Because I’m very thorough, please see the following screenshots of each page of the registration and my tips.
Under Visa Service, the option for eTourist Visa should be sufficient in most cases. After clicking it, sub-options will appear for Recreation/Sight-Seeing, Meeting Friends/Relatives, and Short Term Yoga Programme.
Under the Application Details section, Citizenship/National ID no. can be filled in with your Social Security Number.
Enter details about yourself, your parents, and your employer.
For the field Places to be Visited, you don’t have to have your entire trip planned out here – just don’t list anywhere restricted.
If you don’t have a Reference in India, hit me up.
Make sure your uploaded photo meets all of the requirements listed. This should be a passport-type headshot – not a selfie.
The file should be a jpeg that’s less than 1 MB and larger than 350 x 350 pixels. The form will allow you crop the uploaded photo before submitting.
Upload a photocopy of the passport page with your personal details. All of the information you entered on the form should match with the passport.
The file should be a pdf that’s less than 300 KB.
After you upload your passport, you’ll have a chance to verify all of your information before submitting the application. If you haven’t saved your Temporary Application ID number, do this now. You’ll need this if there are any questions about your application later.
Finally, you’ll need to pay the fee. Everyone I know has had trouble with this. You can select either option, so if one doesn’t go through, try the other (after verifying that the payment did in fact not go through). I’ll get more information on this process soon and update this post. Until then, good luck with this part.
Once you submit the application, you should receive a confirmation email. This will include your actual Application ID. Please note that the first character is a capital i – not a 1 or lowercase L.
Although they say it will take 72 hours to process, I actually had my visa granted in 24 hours. Once you receive your approval email, you’ll need to log back into the government site, and print your status, also know as your ETA or Electronic Travel Approval, to take with you to the airport on your departure. The ETA will have your information, image, and dates of travel. You will need to present it at multiple checkpoints in the airports, so keep track of it.
Then you’re all set and ready to travel to India!