By Sayantan Khamaru
India is home to unfathomable natural beauty, innovation, historic and prehistoric sites, deserts, mountains, jungles, rivers, and seas. But, every year, millions of people from all across the globe not only come here to embrace nature but also for business, medical, job, and other purposes. As the reasons for entry into the country are different, the types of visas are also different.
Back on 27th November 2014, the Government of India started to offer ETA or Electronic Travel Authorization for 40 countries that were eligible at that time. Later, in August 2015, it was expended to more than 113 nations. Now, you do not need to wait hours in queues at Indian Embassies for a visa. You can apply to make an Indian Visa Application online form your home computer. Since 1st April 2017, a few changes were introduced to the Indian e-Visa policy. Now, if you want to go to India, you need to select any of the three types of visas available, e-Tourist Visa, e-Medical Visa, and e-Business Visa. There are four slabs for the payment of Indian Visa Application fees, these are $0, $25, $80, and $100 with an additional 2.5% bank fees, and a surcharge may be charged as per the type of Visa you are obtaining. Depending on your country of origin and type of entry (like single-entry, double-entry, triple-entry or multi-entry), you need to pay the visa fees. But, if you are holding a Diplomatic Passport or Official Passport, of certain countries and ties with India, you may not have to pay anything.
There are a few rules and regulations one must follow and hold proper documentation before making any Indian e-visa application. In the following, they are described.
• Date of Application: An Indian e-Visa application should be made four calendar days before the date of arrival with a window of 120 days. That stands for, and if you are going to India after 120 days, you need to apply for the Visa at least 124 days early to avoid any problem.
• Type of Visa: Indian E-visa only allows you to stay in India for the maximum period of 60 days irrespective of Tourist, Medical and Business e-Visa. But, under some circumstances like medical emergencies, the Visa can be extended with minimum fees.
• The validity of Passport: Your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry and two blank pages for visa stamp. Some countries allow children with their parent’s passport and wife with husband’s passport; as per Indian e-visa and law, this is not applicable here, and apart from infants, everyone must hold a separate passport but, it is not applicable for the residents of Nepal and Bhutan.
International tourists should hold onward or return tickets.
Diplomatic or Official passport holders cannot apply for e-Visa.
The Laissez-passer travel document holders and International Travel Document Holders are not eligible for this facility.
Residents from the following countries are not eligible for e-Visa,
Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Korea, Iraq, Lebanon, and a few African nations.
• Entry policy: The Indian e-Visa holders can only enter India through 26 designated airports and five seaports.
The Government of India recently advised that the foreigners who want to visit should apply for Indian e-Visa from a dedicated government website else they might lose valuable private information and money through scams.