India has expanded its e-Tourist Visa (eTV) program

As part of the progressive expansion of the e-Tourist Visa (eTV), India has expanded the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) program to applicants from 36 additional countries and seven ports of entry. Nationals from a total of 113 countries are now eligible for the program. Eligible visitors under the eTV include business visitors and those travelling to sightsee, visit friends or relatives or to make short medical visits. The program is expected to be expanded to a total of 150 countries by the end of March 2016.

The new countries included in the scheme are Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Belgium, Colombia, Cuba, East Timor, Guatemala, Guyana, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turks & Caicos Island, United Kingdom (limited to UK nationals and not available to British Subjects, British Protected Person, British Overseas Citizens, British Nationals - Overseas and British Overseas Territories Citizens), Uruguay and Venezuela. Bolivia and Seychelles have now been added to the dropdown list in the online application form. These countries are in addition to the July 2015 expansion.

The new additions to the designated ports of arrival are Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Gaya, Jaipur, Lucknow, Tiruchirapalli and Varanasi, adding up to 16 total eligible ports of entry. Foreign travellers under the eTV program must enter via the designated ports of entry and can exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India.

The eTV is valid for 30 days from the date of arrival, is non-extendable and not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas. It is valid for two visits per calendar year.

How to Apply for an e-Tourist Visa

Applicants must pay the applicable fee and apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) online at least four days prior to arrival. An ETA is emailed to the applicant and the traveller must carry the ETA while travelling to India. The applicant must travel to India within 30 days of applying. Upon arrival, travellers must present their ETA at the airport immigration counter, complete biometric formalities and obtain an eTV on their passport.

Restrictions

Travelers must have at least six months validity on their passports and a return or onward journey ticket. eTVs are not available to Diplomatic/Official passport holders, travellers of Pakistani origin or with Pakistani passports.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Eligible foreign nationals will be able to travel to India faster and easier using an eTV at eligible Indian airports. Those wishing to apply for the visa should apply online at least four days prior to arrival.

Courtesy of Fragomen

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK