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Travel To India Easily
(2015 - Winter Issue)

Writer: Donna S. Viera

The Government of India recently simplified the travel process by introducing an easy four-step e-tourist visa (eTV) online application program to facilitate travellers visiting India, while strengthening security.

Who Is Eligible?

For a non-refundable fee of US$60 (plus bank transaction charges) per person, the eTV is only issued to foreigners whose sole purpose for visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, short duration medical treatments, casual business visits or visiting friends and relatives. It is not valid for any other purpose or activity.       

Nationals holding an ordinary passport valid for a minimum of six months from the countries listed online are eligible to apply, however foreigners travelling on other-than-ordinary passports, such as official, diplomatic, special and service passports, are not. Nor should any traveller holding an eTV visa own a residence or have an occupation in India. Travellers must have a return ticket or an onward-journey ticket and show they have sufficient money to spend during their stay. 

Anyone being of Pakistani origin or holding a Pakistani passport is required to apply for a regular visa through normal channels.

An Easy Process

Along with their application, applicants must include a scanned page of their passport containing a photo and personal details as well as a digital full-face, front-view photograph with eyes open. The background must be plain and lightly coloured or white and there must be no shadows on the face or background.

Applications will be processed once eligible applicants have applied online and paid for their e-tourist visa. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by email, therefore it is important to provide accurate information. Applicants can also track their application status online at the eTV website by selecting the link “Visa Status,” and entering their application ID and passport numbers. Once issued, an eTV cannot be extended, is non-convertible and is not valid for travel in protected/restricted and cantonment areas.

Airline personnel will verify each eTV is genuine and valid before boarding passes are issued. Upon arrival in India, biometric details must be captured at the airport eTV counter prior to going through existing visa service procedures.

The eTV permits entry into India within 30 days from the approval date and is valid for 30 days following the date of arrival in India. An e-visa allows travel to and from any of 16 airports and will not be issued more than twice in a calendar year. Travellers are advised to carry a copy of their eTV at all times.

Travel Planner

To boost tourism and business, India is also offering a 10-year tourist and business visa for Canadian citizens. For more information and a full list of nationals eligible to apply for the e-Tourist Visa, visit indianvisaonline.gov.in.

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