• Indian Visa Application | How To Get India 30 Day E-Tourist Visa On Arrival The Easy Way

Indian Visa Application | How To Get India 60 Day E-Tourist Visa On Arrival The Easy Way

If you’re wondering how to get an Indian visa from USA or many other countries, I’m here to help! The Indian Visa application process is always changing and can seem complicated. It’s also complicated because there are many sites which look “official” offering the Indian visas. In this post I’ll share how to get the 60 day E-Tourist visa which is new from December 2015, when originally it was only 30 days. It’s much easier than the paper mail-in visa you still need to do for visiting India longer than one month.

UPDATE APRIL 4th 2017: E-visas are now for up to 60 days, can possibly be multiple-entry, give you more time to apply and are for medical and business visas now also. 

If you’re looking for a visa for MORE than 60 days, check out this post on how to get a visa for India for longer than 1 month. I give a step by step guide on how to fill out the paperwork.

tawang monasteryTawang, India

How to Get a 60 Day E-Tourist Visa

The first thing you need to keep in mind is this is an “E-visa” NOT a visa on arrival. Visa on Arrival is often used when talking about this Indian visa and even is on the signs in Mumbai airport BUT you do not get your visa on arrival in India like you do in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Jordan and many countries.

You MUST get this visa sorted BEFORE you come to India.

Trust me, people get this confused. I get many e-mails from people who didn’t realize until the night before and have had to change their flights. Even if you rush it for an “emergency visa” it’s going to take 24-48 hours. Typically, this visa takes a week to get but sometimes you can get it faster. I’ve had people tell me they were approved the very next day even though they didn’t “rush” the visa application.

Visas are valid from the DATE OF ARRIVAL but there is a very specific window for this. That means you should NOT apply for this visa too far ahead of time. Here is how they explain it:

  • Applicants of the eligible countries/territories may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. Example : If you are applying on 1st Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 5th Sept to 4th Oct.”
  • Update: BUT as of April 1st 2017, they now say you can apply within 120 days of your arrival date to India. Great news!

Most countries are eligible for the e-tourist visa, but not all. Check this list of countries valid for e-visa to India to see if your country is.

Surfing in VarkalaSurfing in Varkala, India

How to apply for the Indian E-Visa Online Before Your Trip

There are two ways:

  1. On the Indian Government website. You do it yourself and follow the instructions they lay out. If you mess up or forget a piece of paperwork, they will not give you a second chance for free, you must pay again. You need to remember to do this exactly FOUR days before you are leaving.
  2. On the iVisa website. This is the easiest way as they have a “zero frustration policy”. You just tell them the date you are flying in and they take care of it for you. If you’re rejected for an error they pay to try again. The biggest benefit of iVisa is you can apply to them anytime and they will be the ones who get the visa for you four days before, so you can cross that off your to-do list and not have to be worrying about it right before you leave for India.

munnarMunnar, India

What you need to know ahead of time about Indian e-visa for tourists:

  1. Your passport must have at least 6 months expiration left on it from the date of arrival.
  2. You must have a return ticket or onward journey booked. This is a serious part of the Indian visa application process and they take it quite seriously. You will often be asking by the airline before you can even board your flight to India.
  3. You should print a paper copy of this E-visa once it’s issued to show the immigration officers when you land in India.
  4. This used to be a single entry visa. But now you can enter TWICE. As in you can go to Nepal or Sri Lanka, etc, and come back to India.
  5. The E-Visa is NOT valid for restricted and protected areas which includes my favorite place NE India, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, and parts of Himachal among others.
  6. With the E-Visa you could only fly into these 16 airports:Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi but they are slowly adding more, now up to 24 airports. 
  7. You can only apply for TWO E-tourist visas in one year.

Varanasi Travel Tips Ghats IndiaVaranasi, India

These are pretty much the only things you need to know before coming to India for a one month or smaller trip. Make sure you do not forget to get the visa. SO many people somehow do! I recommend applying with iVisa as soon as you’ve booked your flight so that it’s going to 100% be taken care of.

The Indian visa application process has always been daunting. The paperwork visa for longer than 1 month is very difficult and you have to mail in your passport to the embassy which is why I wrote a step by step guide for getting a longer Indian visa. The 30 day e-visa was meant to be hassle-free but it’s still not really. Hopefully in the future they will have a true visa on arrival where you can just buy it in person when you land.

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2017-05-03T18:19:25+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India almost four years ago where she is now a travel writer. Her website gives advice on the 35+ countries she's been to but has become the go-to site for India travel, focusing on offbeat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine, Tripadvisor, and Thomas Cook. Her blog is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world based on traffic. She also enjoys writing for BravoTV.

15 Comments

  1. Brooke November 16, 2016 at 1:31 am - Reply

    If only you had posted this a few days ago. I have been researching it for a few weeks and literally just went through the whole process yesterday. It was so damn painful! The website itself was constantly redirecting me back to the Indian visas online home page before the form was complete. I eventually found that it is better to use internet explorer over google chrome.
    On the plus side I received approval the next day.
    One thing that you have stated which may mislead some readers is that the visa IS Valid from the date of ARRIVAL. As you have stated, applicants are given a 30 day window period from the date of approval in which they can enter the country however the 30 days in which you can be in the country doesn’t commence until the date you physically enter. Therefore applicant should apply no more than 31 days and no less than 4 days before entry. I hope that makes sense
    Much love :)

    • Rachel Jones November 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      You’re so right, I wrote that totally dumb! lol I’ve changed it now :) The e-visa is meant to be easier than the paper one, but man the paper one is SUCH a pain! I did my parents a couple years ago and was so annoyed the whole time.

  2. lauren November 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    I just applied for an evisa for a friend who is arriving in goa in a few days. I used the india government site. It is a bit time consuming ( but nowhere nearly as painful as applying for a regular tourist visa!)
    You definitely need a laptop or desktop as you will need to upload a photo of your passport and passport sized photo. And also you may need a bit of photo editing skills because the photo has to be a certain size and megabytes. The passport copy will need to be in PDF format. If you upload a scanned copy of your passport to your computer, it may be in a JPG file. You can google JPG to PDF and there are numerous sites that will convert the file from jpg to pdf for free!
    The beneficial thing about the government evisa site is that it is cheap. You don’t have to pay a middleman. It was $48 . It says they will grant the visa within 72 hours. In this case it was granted by the next morning.
    Good luck to all!

  3. roy November 19, 2016 at 7:55 am - Reply

    can i attain an evisa, stay in india for a month, and then gain another e visa while I’m india to extend it to two months?

    we will be there in 2 months for HOPEFULLY 2 months

    • Rachel Jones November 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      No, you cannot do that. You have to exit after your evisa is over.

  4. Margaret December 14, 2016 at 9:35 am - Reply

    My flight arrives in Mumbai at 11:55PM, so must I count that as 1 day? Unfortunately, if I count that as Day 1, then I fly out of Delhi on the 31st day and must use the mail to embassy Visa.

    • Rachel Jones December 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Hello Margaret,

      I am not sure. I wouldn’t think so, as by the time you are at immigration it will be the “next” day. You will need to call and double check this.

      • Margaret December 15, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Rachel. My thinkng exactly. I sent an email to india.gov with specific days and flight times. Waiting to hear back, and will also call them if I do not get a response. Thank you, also, for posts regarding demonetization. Arriving in India in mid-Feb., and hoping much will be resolved by then. I am not finding local banks that carry Rupees here in Southern Ohio. Will do further checking.

        • Rachel Jones December 15, 2016 at 7:51 pm - Reply

          Hmm I think my parents got them at our small local bank but if not there than you can check with AAA if you have a membership with them – I’m pretty sure they can order the money in.

          • Margaret December 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm

            Here is an update to share from AAA. Stopped by yesterday and was told AAA is no longer getting Rupees. Not any available currently nor will they have them in the future. I will check with the banks after the new year since they don’t seem to have any now either.

          • Rachel Jones December 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

            wow :( thank you for sharing that update! I have been following the news very closely here and it seems in the north it’s still quite unstable.

  5. Irene Lal January 12, 2017 at 2:18 am - Reply

    I will be taking a flight into Jammu and Kashmir from Delhi. What would I do for a visa in this case?

    • Rachel Jones January 12, 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      I think you have to have the paper visa – it should be listed on the site if the region is restricted.

  6. KIRRILY ARMOUR May 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    I am in india on an employment visa which is about to expire. I’m booked to fly to Thailand for 2 days, purely so I can return to India on the 60 day evisa as a tourist. Can I apply for the evisa online whilst still in India? (so I have it in hand before I leave India for 2 days and then return) I’m concerned about what address to leave and if they see I’m already in India they may reject my application? Also I’m only in Thailand for 2 days so not enough time to apply from there I think.

    • Rachel Jones May 22, 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Yeah you can’t put an Indian address on there – but you can use a VPN anytime online to change where you “are” in the world so they wouldn’t know you are applying from India. I don’t know how much time you have to wait to come in after an employment visa expires or the rules on that front. You need 4 days technically but you can rush with ivisa and do it in 24 hours.

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