Everything you need to know about visas and India

The India e-visa: what is it exactly?

The India e-visa: what is it exactly?The India e-visa is an electronic travel authorization linked to your passport in the form of a pdf document. The electronic visa succeeds the physical/paper visa which you previously had to apply for at the Indian embassy or consulate, where the visa was affixed to the passport with a sticker. This is of course always possible, but since the process for the physical visa can easily take several months, most travelers staying in India for 30 days or less decide to opt for the electronic visa. For longer stays, a paper visa is still required.

The validity of the visa is 30 days from the date of granting. This means that you must ensure that the validity of the visa does not expire before your arrival in India by indicating the correct date of arrival. Once the visa is approved and you have received it, you can still decide to arrive in India after the stated arrival date, but it must be within the overall validity period. Once you arrive, you can stay for 30 days from the day you disembarked from your flight.

India e-visa variantsSeveral variants of the electronic visa are issued for India. The most frequently requested variant is the e-Tourist visa. This visa is suitable for travel to India for tourism purposes, such as vacation or visiting family or friends for up to 30 days. There is also an e-Business visa, suitable for travel for business purposes, including visiting contacts such as potential customers or business partners, or to attend trade fairs, conferences and other business engagements. People traveling to India for medical reasons can apply for an e-Medical visa or an e-Medical Attendant visa, which are also suitable for accompanying someone traveling to India for medical reasons.

UK nationals still cannot apply for an e-visa for IndiaIn response to the UK government putting in place strict rules for Indian travelers wishing to travel to the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic, India has banned UK nationals from applying for e-Visas for India . It was expected to be a temporary measure. While the UK has long since dropped the rules for inbound travelers from India, India has yet to make the e-visa available to UK nationals. This means that UK nationals are still required to apply for a physical visa to travel to India.

When can UK nationals again apply for an e-Visa for India?This is currently unknown. While the Indian government has said it will reassess the situation in the near future, an exact date has not yet been given. The UK government has been lobbying India to reinstate the e-visa for UK nationals as soon as possible, as travelers from the UK make up a large portion of all visitors to India.


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