India Electronic Visas Now Available

Filed Under: Travel

As I’ve written about in the past, one of the biggest barriers to travel for me are visa requirements. I simply don’t like filling out a dozen pages of information and parting ways with my passport for extended periods of time. No, it’s not a hurdle that can’t be overcome, and I’ve gotten many visas before for destinations I really want to visit. But I hate the process.

In February I wrote about how India was planning on loosening up visa requirements as well. Within five to six months they planned on introducing electronic travel authorizations and visas on arrival for nationals of many countries.

While the process of getting an India visa was a pain, at least it was valid for multiple entries over 10 years, which made the process slightly less frustrating.


While India isn’t yet allowing visas on arrival, they are now allowing electronic visa applications.

The applications must be made online at least four days prior to arrival, and the authorization isn’t instant (it takes a few days to process). You also have to include a photograph and a scan of your passport’s photo page, along with paying a $60 fee. So it’s not quite as straightforward as an Australia electronic travel authorization, for example.


Here are the basic details:

The TVoA enabled with ETA  Scheme will facilitate nationals of  43 countries to travel to India for tourism for a short stay of 30 days. The countries are Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kingdom of Tongo, Laos, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Papua & New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Korea (i.e. South Korea), Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam and Vanuatu. 

This facility is available to Foreigners whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, short duration medical treatment, casual business visit, casual visit to meet friends or relatives etc. and not valid for any other purpose/activities. This will allow entry into India within 30 days from the date of approval of ETA and will be valid for 30 days stay in India from the date of arrival in India. The TVoA enabled with ETA cannot be availed more than twice in a calendar year. The facility will be available at nine International airports in the country namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Goa.

This is great news for those looking to visit India!

  1. Is India thinking this move is gonna promote tourism??allowing just 3 european countries makes no difference to it as European and specially UK makes thr biggest chunk of bisitors and all these tiny islands on the program shows how India is out of touch for the time being am not visiting India git no time to queu fir that and i will spend my money elsewhere,respect for including Palestine on the list.

  2. My wife is Chinese and even though she has a green card, she needs a visa for every country outside of North America just about. For our next trip she needs 3 visas. We had to abandon the idea of visiting Taiwan because the process can take up to a month and requires an interview. We will be connecting in Taipei but can’t step out to visit. It’s all really silly. If the US has certified her to live in the US why can’t she visit visa waiver countries without a visa?

  3. sometimes people bitch for stupid reason, your wife does not hold a US passport how does having a green card make a diff? jeeeez

  4. I admire you for your joy of the simple things in travel like visas- even for someone who travels as classy as u do. The India visa looks beautiful.

    Have u had to add pages to your passport? Have you ever lost yours???

    Great post man, nice to see something like this!

  5. Hi Lucky, you mention that the TVoA process is not yet available, and the flow chart above indicates (i think) that one still needs to submit physical documents and pick up in person. However, your two hyperlinks (“now allowing electronic visa applications” and “the basic details” take me to a page offering the TVoA with a different flow chart and (i think) no need for any in-person process. Can you please clarify?

  6. Any thoughts on the threshold for what constitutes casual business (vs having to apply for a business visa)?

  7. @ mohamed — Well, I think boosting tourism is definitely the goal. Whether or not they’re executing it well is a different story…

  8. @ Rich V — Hmmm, in my experience the 60 day policy was never strictly enforced. Not sure if it’s still the case or not, though.

  9. @ Diamond Vargas — There is no need for an in person process. What I was saying is that they’re allowing an electronic visa application, which is slightly different than a visa on arrival. But there’s no need to submit anything in person.

  10. @Lucky – The 60-day rule was EXTREMELY strictly enforced until it was eliminated with effect from 23NOV12. It still applies to citizens of some countries and to persons whose parents or grandparents held citizenship of some countries.

  11. @ Sean M. — You’d obviously no better than I would. 🙂

    When I visited in 2011 I had no problem entering twice within 60 days, oddly enough.

  12. Hi Lucky, thanks for the response. Sorry if I’m being dense, but I’m still not sure I understand the improvement. The flow chart you posted above says “Submit your application with required documents at Indian Mission / Visa collection centre” and “collect your passport / Visa from Indian Mission / collection centre”. Which in-person aspects of the process does this remove relative to the previous process? It still sounds like you need to drop off documents and then go back to pick up your passport. I’m really hoping I’m wrong!

  13. Good to know Ben, especially for my friends who want to visit India, but just like you, they’re not too happy with the bureaucratic process that getting the visa entails!

  14. @ Diamond Vargas — No, it’s an online authorization now. The thing you’re describing is the only requirement.

  15. Hey Lucky This is fantastic news! I really need to plan a trip to india now! In your opinion What do you think is the best mileage program to send my SPG mile into for a business / first class redemption at the lowest level? I am sad that United requires like 80K just for Business!

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