India: e-Tourist visa expanded to 37 additional countries

India has expanded the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) program to applicants from 37 additional countries. Eligible visitors under the eTV include business visitors and those travelling to sightsee, visit friends or relatives or to make short medical visits. Nationals from a total of 150 countries are now eligible for the program, as was announced in March 2015.

The new countries included in the scheme are:

  • Albania;
  • Austria;
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina;
  • Botswana;
  • Brunei;
  • Bulgaria;
  • Cape Verde;
  • Comoros;
  • Cote d'lvoire;
  • Croatia;
  • Czech Republic;
  • Denmark;
  • Eritrea;
  • Gabon;
  • Gambia;
  • Ghana;
  • Greece;
  • Guinea (Republic of);
  • Iceland;
  • Lesotho;
  • Liberia;
  • Madagascar;
  • Malawi;
  • Moldova;
  • Namibia;
  • Romania;
  • San Marino;
  • Senegal;
  • Serbia;
  • Slovakia;
  • South Africa;
  • Swaziland;
  • Switzerland;
  • Tajikistan;
  • Trinidad & Tobago;
  • Zambia; and
  • Zimbabwe

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

Travellers must have at least six months’ validity on their passports from the date of arrival in India with two blank pages for stamping by the immigration officer 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 can 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.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK