Travelling to India for tourism or business reasons? Here’s your visa application guide

young woman visiting Naida Caves Diu in India

Planning on going to India for tourist or business purposes?

Whether you want to explore the delicious cuisine, unique culture, colourful celebrations and spectacular architecture – we know millions of tourists do so every year!

OR go over for business meetings or conferences

Either way, let’s talk about the visa you’ll need – the Indian E-visa!

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Indian E-visa, including:

What is an Indian E-visa?

Let’s take a step back. What do we mean by an E-visa?

E-visa is an acronym for electronic visa and is simply an electronic authorization to enter India.

People from over 160 countries can apply for the India E-visa.

There’s three subcategories of the E-visa for India:

  • Business
  • Medical
  • Tourist

This article will cover the E-visa for business and tourist purposes!

You’ll need to apply for this visa from your home country – before travelling to India.

The Indian business and tourist E-visas are valid for one year since it has been granted to you.

Note: once you arrive in India with any of the subcategories of the E-visa, it cannot be extended.

However, if you would like to stay longer in India, you can apply for a traditional Indian visa, which means you’ll have to go to the embassy near you.

Visa First can help you to register even for a traditional visa and what’s more, if you’re in Dublin they can help you through the entire process!

What’s the difference between the business and tourist E-visas?

Tourist E-visa

If you want to explore India, visit friends and family or if you want to go over for a yoga retreat you can apply for the E-visa for tourist purposes!

But there are some exceptions:

  • No Tourist E-visa needed if you’re from Nepal or Bhutan
  • No Tourist E-visa needed if you’re from Maldives and are visiting for 90 days only
  • Can obtain a Tourist E-visa on arrival if you’re from Japan, South Korea or the United Arab Emirates

Your tourist E-visa will be valid for 90 days,

Or 180 if you’re from:

  • Canada
  • Japan
  • UK
  • USA

Business E-visa

young businessman waiting at an airport

You can travel to India on a Business E-visa for:

  • Business meetings
  • Carrying out tours
  • Delivering lectures under the Global Initiative for Academic Networks
  • Recruiting
  • Working on a project
  • Purchasing, selling or trading
  • Starting a business
  • Partaking in business, trade affairs or exhibitions

The Business E-visa is valid for 180 days and you can enter India up to two times.

Ready to apply for your E-visa?

You can apply for your Indian E-visa easily with Visa First.

They will take care of the entire application process and increase your chances of a successful outcome!

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Visa Application Requirements

There are a couple of things you’ll need to apply for any subcategory of the E-visa:

  • Copy of your personal page of your passport
  • Passport formatted electronic photo (a different one to your passport)
  • Completed application form
  • Email address
  • Credit or debit card for application fees
  • Return ticket
  • Show adequate funds at the port of entry

 
Note: your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months after your arrival in India.

Business visa requirements

As well as the above information and documents, a business visa will also require you to have:

  • Name and address of the host or company in India
  • Invitation letter or Business card
  • The Indian’s company website
  • Business card or email signature

How much does an Indian E-visa cost?

Visa First can help you to obtain your Indian E-visa starting from €139.

How to apply for your e-visa for India?

You can apply yourself, but why go through the stress of dealing with the paperwork?

That’s why Visa First is here for you!

You can begin by checking your eligibility on our website by selecting your nationality, current location, where you are travelling to and the purpose of your visit.

Once you know you are eligible you can complete the application form and leave the rest of the paperwork to us!

Now you’ll have to wait and see if you have been granted or refused an E-visa.

How long does it take to get an Indian E-visa?

It takes approximately two to four business days to have your E-visa processed and sent to you by email if your application is successful.

If you have been granted an E-visa, you’ll receive an email with it. You then have to print a copy of it and bring it with you when travelling to India.

On your entry, you’ll also need your passport with a minimum of two blank pages so that you can get a stamp on your arrival and departure.

Biometric information will be collected from you when you arrive at an airport in India, i.e. fingerprints.

Moreover, if you are from one of the countries affected by Yellow Fever, India requires that you have proof of vaccination at the port of entry – a Yellow Fever Vaccination Card.

What airports in India accept E-visas?

airplane at an airport

Not all airports in India accept an E-visa, but you can enter through the airports in:

  • Ahmedabad, Amritsar
  • Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar
  • Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore
  • Delhi
  • Gaya, Goa, Guwahati
  • Hyderabad
  • Jaipur
  • Kolkata
  • Lucknow
  • Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai
  • Nagpur
  • Port Blair, Pune
  • Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum
  • Visakhapatnam, Varanasi

 
If you would like to travel to other airports, you’ll have to apply for a traditional Indian visa.

Travelling by a cruise ship? You can enter through the following seaports:

  • Chennai
  • Cochin
  • Goa
  • Mangalore
  • Mumbai
  • On your departure from India, you can leave through one of the authorised Immigration Check Posts (ICPS).

    landscape of Varanasi, India during sunset

    Has your visa been rejected? Here’s why and how to prevent it

    Not all visa applications are successful and here are some of the reasons:

    1. You haven’t provided your full name as it’s presented in your passport

    A lot of visas are rejected for this reason! This is an easy mistake you want to avoid.

    So make sure you provide your full name, including your first, last and middle name (if it applies).

    Ensure you write your entire name out fully – no initials!

    2. Not double-checking

    Another simple mistake to avoid is making small errors. So double-check everything, whether that be your date of birth, place of birth, passport number, etc.

    It’s better that you take your time to check over rather than have your application rejected. You’ll save more time in the long run!

    3. Not applying for the correct visa

    Double-checking will also save you from this error.

    Make sure your intent for visiting India matches the visa type you select!

    For example, if you are going over for a yoga retreat, select the Tourist E-visa, whereas if you’re going over for a conference, select the Business E-visa.

    4. Your passport expires sooner than required

    Your passport has to be valid for six months after entering India, so make sure you have this sorted out before applying!

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    5. You don’t have an ordinary passport

    On the topic of passports, you have to have an ordinary passport to enter India on an E-visa. By that we mean not having a Refugee, Diplomatic or Official passport as they won’t be accepted.

    Although some of these might look similar, they’re not the same thing!

    Diplomatic passports are issued to government officials, refugee passports to refugees, whereas an ordinary passport is issued to citizens of a country.

    So make sure you’re aware of that when applying for your E-visa.

    6. Your passport scan isn’t clear

    You also have to provide a photo of the personal page of your passport – the one which has your name, date of birth, passport number, expiry date, etc.

    Make sure that this is clear, otherwise, it might result in a rejected application.

    Indian flag and skyline

    7. Your face is blurred in the electronic photo

    Firstly, you can’t use the same photo you have in your passport and that’s where the problems arise because you still have to provide a passport-style photo.

    You should ensure that the photo has:

    • JPEG style
    • Same width as height
    • Head (from top of head to bottom of chin) showing in the middle of the photo
    • A white or light coloured background
    • No shadows
    • No border

    8. You’re from Pakistan

    Unfortunately, if you’re from Pakistan or you have relatives from Pakistan, you probably won’t get approved for an E-visa and will have to apply for a traditional Indian visa.

    9. References from your home country aren’t correct

    To go to India on an E-visa you need to provide references of family or friends in case of emergency.

    The reference you provide has to be from your home country, for example, if you’ve been living in Ireland for a couple of years but you are Romanian, you’ll need to provide references from Romania.

    10. Not providing part of the information required for a Business E-visa

    You need to provide information about both the company you work for and also the company you are travelling to in India.

    You’ll also need to provide a business card or an email signature.

    It’s important to fill these parts out correctly, or else you risk not being granted a Business E-visa.

    11. Inadequate funds

    Make sure that at the port of entry you don’t forget to provide proof of sufficient funds to support your stay in India.

    Otherwise, you’ll have to return home which would be the last thing you’d want after all the preparation!

    These are some common errors that you can easily avoid!

    To sum it up, educate yourself and double-check – checking over cannot be stated enough!

    Apply for a visa

    Who can help me apply for my E-visa?

    Want to ensure that you have the best shot at securing your visa? That’s why Visa First is here!

    We’ll ensure that you have the best chance at a successful outcome!

    Our visa experts process more than 9,000 visas yearly, so we know exactly what we’re doing.

    All you have to do is fill out a form, provide the correct documents and make the payment.

    The rest will be taken care of!

    Why apply with Visa First?

    • Over 96% of our customers are satisfied with our service
    • We’ve been preparing visas for people all over the world for more than 17 years
    • The entire process is online, so no long queues at the embassy!
    • Your application will be taken care of from start to finish

     

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