Context: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has restored the electronic visa (Indian e-visa ) facility for foreigners from 156 countries, who intend to visit India for the purposes of business, conferences, and for medical reasons, including in the case of medical attendants. E-visa for tourists is yet to be restored.
- Though the facility is available to 171 countries, after restrictions were announced in 2020, it has been restored only for 156 countries. China, the U.K., Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are notable exclusions.
- The relaxation for foreign visitors comes in the wake of a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- An e-visa to India is provided in five categories — tourist, business, conference, medical, and medical attendant.
- Under the arrangement, a foreigner can apply online at least four days prior to travel.
- After the details are verified, an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is generated, which has to be presented at the immigration checkpost on arrival.
- Entry through e-visas is allowed only at 28 designated international airports and 5 major seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Chennai and Mumbai seaports). in India. 5 designated seaports.
- You may depart from any of the Indian Immigration Check Posts (ICPs).
Who is eligible for Indian e-Visa Services?
- The following are the eligibility conditions for availing e-Visa services:
- Nationals of countries specified by the Government of India.
- Foreigners whose sole objective for visiting India is:
- (a) Recreation and sightseeing
- (b) Casual visit to meet friends and relatives
- (c) Attending short term yoga programme or short-term courses on local languages, music, dance, arts & crafts, cooking, medicine etc. which should not be a formal or structured course/programme (courses not exceeding 6 months duration and not issuing a qualifying certificate/diploma etc. to the participants)
- (d) Voluntary work of short duration (for a maximum period of one month, which do not involve any monetary payment or consideration of any kind in return)
- (e) Medical treatment, including treatment under Indian systems of medicine
- (f) As attendant to e-Medical visa holder
- (g) Business purpose
- (h) Attending a conference/ seminar/ workshop.
- The foreigner should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
- Foreigners of Pakistani origin or having Pakistani Passport are not eligible for e-Visa.
- Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders or Laissez-passer/ international travel document holders.
- For e-Tourist Visa (01 year / 05 years), e-Business Visa, e-Medical, e-Medical Attendant and e-Conference visa, applicants of the eligible countries/territories may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival. Such application can be made 120 days in advance from proposed date of travel.
Can I enter India using Land border even if I am having valid e-visa for any other airport or seaport which is not listed for the e-Visa?
- No, You can only enter through the designated airports/seaports which are listed on the e-Visa website.
Can I get Visa on Arrival (VoA) at Indian Airports/ Seaport?
- The Visa on Arrival facility is only for the nationals of certain countries.
- For the nationals of all other countries eligible for e-Visa, the e-visa application has to be filled online and the applicant must wait till the confirmation/Grant of ETA for travelling to India.
Is the Indian e-Visa allowed for Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) activities and journalism purposes?
- e-Visa is not allowed for NGO activities and journalism purposes. However, Voluntary work of short duration (for a maximum period of one month, which do not involve any monetary payment or consideration of any kind in return) are allowed.