Are you planning a leisure trip to India this summer? Do you know there is supposedly an easier and time-saving option called the e-tourist visa on arrival facility rolled out by the Indian ministry of tourism? Although the scheme is yet to bring a significant change in the international footfall in the country, there is a hope that it will.
Figures have increased in proportion; however, do the international visitors actually have a clear idea about the e-tourist visa facility? Since its announcement in November 2014, it is observed that India has failed to put up a consistent appeal in terms of proliferating it in the international market. Amid promising ad-campaigns such as ‘Incredible India’ and ‘Make in India’ trying to allure more global travellers, here are the five things that you must know about the e-tourist visa on arrival before travelling to India:
1. e-Tourist Visa FeeHow e-Tourist Visa Work?
The e-tourist visa enables a prospective visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country online without visiting the Indian embassy. You can even pay the visa fee online now. Once approved, the applicant receives an email authorizing him/her to travel to India with a copy of that authorisation note. On arrival in India the biometric details of the applicant will be mandatorily captured at immigration.
International travellers aiming to explore India as a leisure destination or visiting for medical treatment, casual business can easily seek entry into India within 30 days from the date of approval of e-tourist visa. The e-visa will be valid for 30 days stay in India from the date of arrival in India.
2. e-Tourist Visa Fee
The feasibility, accountability and reciprocity of the e-visa regime witnessed several revisions in terms of the fee structure. The slabs were simplified since November 3, 2015 in four parts viz., 0, USD 25, USD 48, and USD 60. Presently e-tourist visa application fee is USD 60. Bank charges have also been reduced from USD 2 to 2.5% of the e-visa fee.
3. List of countries eligible for e-Tourist Visa on Arrival in India
The announcement of the e-visa scheme aroused a lot of interest among potential visitors worldwide. To accommodate the excitement of this new regime, the facility was extended for citizens of 37 more countries with effect from February 26, 2016 taking the tally to 150 countries. The list of 150 countries (alphabetical order) eligible for e-tourist visa on arrival is given below:
Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hong Kong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
4. List of Airports where e-Tourist Visa facility is available
The e-tourist visa on arrival facility is now made available in the following 16 airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Goa, Varanasi, Gaya, Ahmadabad, Amritsar, Tiruchirapalli, Jaipur and Lucknow.
5. Is the e-visa really Incredible?
There are continuous speculations about the feasibility of the plan and its ground-level hitches since the electronic visa on arrival scheme surfaced in November 2014. Ambiguities prevailed regarding issues such as payment gateway issues, unresponsive websites and the confusion regarding the availability of e-visa more than twice in a calendar year. Moreover, complaints about the inconsistency of the application form and its low-responsive nature have also diluted the intention of encouraging foreign tourist arrival.
The tourism ministry probably wanted to encourage foreign individuals to travel with a short-term planning, take via routes while travelling to other countries and bring family members while on business visits to India. However, the overall numbers although shown in glorious percentages are far from being satisfactory. While experts believe that India is failing to gain grounds due to lack of proper representation in the international markets, the inconsistent tourism policies can be held responsible for the meagre growth over the last two years.
If you had an issue while trying to apply the e-tourist visa on arrival to India, share your experiences with us…