All you need to know about visas and India

Are you planning a trip to India? If so, you will need to apply for a visa. Most European travellers use the e-visa. However, things are a bit different for UK travellers, who find themselves facing an extra hurdle.
The e-visa India: what exactly is it?The e-visa India: what exactly is it?
The e-visa India: what exactly is it?

The e-visa India: what exactly is it?The e-visa for India is an electronic travel authorisation linked to your passport in the form of a pdf document. The e-visa succeeds the physical/paper visa you previously had to apply for at the Indian embassy or consulate, where the visa was affixed to the passport with a sticker. This is of course still possible, but because the procedure for the physical visa can easily take many months, most travellers staying in India for 30 days or less decide to go for the e-visa. For longer stays, a paper visa is still required.

The validity of the visa is 30 days, which starts from the date it is granted. This means you need to ensure the validity of the visa does not expire before you arrive in India by filling in the correct date of arrival. Once the visa is approved and you have received it, you can always decide to arrive in India later than the specified arrival date but it must be within the overall validity period. Once you have arrived you can stay for 30 days from the day you you disembarked from your flight.

Variants of the e-visa IndiaSeveral variants of the e-visa are issued for India. The most frequently applied for variant is the e-Tourist visa. This visa is suitable for travel to India with a tourist purpose, such as a holiday or a visit to family or friends of up to 30 days. There is also an e-Business visa, suitable for travel with a business purpose, including visiting contacts such as potential clients or trading partners, or to attend trade fairs, conferences and other business engagements. People travelling to India for medical issues can apply for an e-Medical visa or e-Medical Attendant visa, which are also suitable for accompanying a person travelling to India for a medical reason.

UK nationals still unable to apply for e-visa IndiaIn response to the British government implementing strict rules for travellers from India wanting to travel to the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic, India barred UK nationals from applying for e-visas for India. It was expected that this would be a temporary measure. While the UK has long since dropped the rules for incoming travellers from India, India has not yet made the e-visa accessible again for UK nationals. This means that UK nationals are still forced to apply for a physical visa to travel to India.

When can UK nationals apply for an e-visa for India again?This is currently unknown. While the Indian government has said they will re-evaluate the situation in the near future, no exact date has been given yet. The British government has been pressuring India to reinstate the e-visa for UK nationals as soon as possible, since travellers from the UK make up a large portion of overall visitors to India.

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