Since 15th August 2015 Britons can now apply for India’s e-Tourist visa, making the process of obtaining the correct entry documents to the country cheaper and quicker.
Before, UK passport holders had to book an appointment at the outsourced visa application centre or complete a postal application. Now it is possible to apply and pay for an online visa using the Indian government’s India Tourist Visa website.
Assuming you’ve met the criteria, and subject to conditions, the new visa process is easier, cheaper and faster than the old system. You also don’t have to send off your documents and passport — a massive benefit.
Cheaper costs for buying an India visa online
The non e-visa/traditional visa process has recently increased in price and is currently £102 before service charges. The e-visa costs $60 (around £40) and applicants can now upload documents, pay the balance and track their application online.
You won't get your visa immediately, but can expect to receive your entry documents via email within four days after submitting an online application. Previously, a postal application could take up to two weeks.
The new process enables travellers to apply from 30 days in advance of their trip for their visa. We would however recommend applying as soon as possible.
Qualifying airports for the e-visa
Travellers entering India on an e-visa must arrive at one of sixteen designated airports, which include Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Conditions around the e-visa
There are still a few constraints with the new e-visas. According to the Indian government's visa website, they may only be used for a maximum of two visits a year, are single-entry only, and their 30-day validity cannot be extended.
The visas are only valid for travellers visiting India for recreation, sightseeing, meeting friends or family, short duration medical treatment or a casual business visit. Further conditions apply — please speak to your country specialist.
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