The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Indian eVisa 2017

The Indian eVisa is notoriously difficult to understand. We walk you through the process so you can travel confidently.


India continues to be a destination that calls to travellers year after year. India has moved from a “Visa on Arrival” in 2010 to an “eVisa” program in 2014 to make the process of travelling easier for many citizenships. While the system is a good start, the application process, and the Indian eVisa itself still cause many travellers a great deal of confusion. We’ve put together the ultimate guide that covers what travellers need to know to travel to India on an eVisa with confidence.

This Indian eVisa Guide is divided into 6 Parts:

  1. Basic Information on How to Get an Indian eVisa
  2. Indian eVisa Details: Validity, Types, Entry Points
  3. What you Need to Know Before Applying for your Indian eVisa
  4. The 5 Steps to Apply for an Indian eVisa
  5. Technical Details of Documents/Photos
  6. Additional Questions and Information for Travel to India

If you’re ready to begin your journey to India, here we go!


1. Basic Information on How to Get an Indian eVisa


Do I need a visa to travel to India?

Almost every country requires some form of visa to enter India. You can find out what visa type you require on Sherpa’s home page.


What is an electronic visa (eVisa)?

The eVisa (or e-Visa, or evisa) is the easiest visa that travellers can get to enter India. Travellers can obtain their visas electronically before they arrive in India by sharing their personal and passport information and making a payment. The eVisa is granted by the Indian Government and is delivered to the traveller by email. You can print out the eVisa and present it at the border on arrival in India.


Who can apply for an Indian eVisa?

Passport holders of 162 countries can apply for an eVisa to travel to India. Please note that if you hold a Pakistani passport, or you have relatives of Pakistani origin, you’ll need to apply for a tourist visa to India at your nearest Indian embassy or consulate.

Check if your Citizenship is on the List

Albania Andorra Angola
Anguilla Antigua & Barbuda Argentina
Armenia Aruba Australia
Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas
Barbados Belgium Belize
Bolivia Bosnia & Herzegovina Botswana
Brazil Brunei Bulgaria
Burundi Cambodia Cameron Union Republic
Canada Cape Verde Cayman Island
Chile China China- SAR Hongkong
China- SAR Macau Colombia Comoros
Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’lvoire
Croatia Cuba Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti
Dominica Dominican Republic East Timor
Ecuador El Salvador Eritrea
Estonia Fiji Finland
France Gabon Gambia
Georgia Germany Ghana
Greece Grenada Guatemala
Guinea Guyana Haiti
Honduras Hungary Iceland
Indonesia Ireland Israel
Italy Jamaica Japan
Jordan Kenya Kiribati
Laos Latvia Lesotho
Liberia Liechtenstein Lithuania
Luxembourg Madagascar Malawi
Malaysia Mali Malta
Marshall Islands Mauritius Mexico
Micronesia Moldova Monaco
Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat
Mozambique Myanmar Namibia
Nauru Netherlands New Zealand
Nicaragua Niger Republic Niue Island
Norway Oman Palau
Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea
Paraguay Peru Philippines
Poland Portugal Republic of Korea
The Republic of Macedonia Romania Russia
Rwanda Saint Christopher and Nevis Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines Samoa San Marino
Senegal Serbia Seychelles
Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia
Slovenia Solomon Islands South Africa
Spain Sri Lanka Suriname
Swaziland Sweden Switzerland
Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania
Thailand Tonga Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Caicos Island Tuvalu United Arab Emirates
Uganda Ukraine United Kingdom
Uruguay United States of America Uzbekistan
Vanuatu Vatican City-Holy See Venezuela
Vietnam Zambia Zimbabwe


What do you need to apply for an Indian eVisa?

To apply for an Indian eVisa, you will need:

  • A valid passport. Your passport should have at least 6 months validity from the date of arrival in India. Additionally, the passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by an Officer at Immigration.
  • A scanned copy of the information page of your passport (details for the scanned documents are in a chart below – see Section 5).
  • A recent passport photo of your face (details of the photo are in a chart below – see Section 5).


How do I begin my application for an Indian eVisa?

The earliest a traveller can apply online for your Indian eVisa is 120 days before you arrive in the country. The latest you can apply online is 4 days in advance of your arrival date into India – therefore, you have about a 4-month window to apply for your Indian eVisa. For example, if you are applying on January 1st, then you can select your arrival date as early as January 5th and as late as May 5th.

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Sherpa will walk you through the entire process to make sure it’s done correctly so you can focus on travelling. You won’t have to worry about document formatting or sizing. We make sure it’s correct before submitting your application. If you want to do it on your own, you can head to the government website. Just remember to check your information for errors as you will not be granted a refund if a mistake is made!


What additional documents or requirements are there to enter India?

  • Travellers should have a return ticket or onward journey ticket. Travellers are also encouraged to have enough money to cover their expenses during their stay in India.
  • Some citizenships from Yellow Fever affected countries or travellers arriving from these areas must carry a Yellow Fever Vaccination Card at the time they arrive into India. Without one, Immigration Officials may quarantine a traveller for up to 6 days. Please visit our Ministry Of Health & Family Welfare latest guidelines regarding yellow fever countries here.


2. Indian eVisa Details: Validity, Types, Entry Points


What are the types of Indian eVisas?

There are three categories of Indian eVisas to reflect the purpose of travel to India:

  • e-Tourist Visa
  • e-Business Visa
  • e-Medical Visa


How long does my Indian eVisa last for?

Your eVisa to India will be valid for 60 days from the date of arrival in India.


How many entries can I make with my Indian eVisa?

If you are travelling with an Indian eVisa for tourism or business, your eVisa is good for “double entry”. This means a traveller can come and go twice within the 60-day total validity of the eVisa. Those travelling on an eVisa for Medical tourism are permitted “triple entry”. This means that the traveller can enter and leave India a total of three times in the 60-day validity of their visa.


How often can I apply for an eVisa to India?

Travellers can apply for two separate eVisas to travel to India in a total calendar year. This means that a traveller can use one eVisa for up to 60 days on one trip, and then another eVisa for up to 60 days on another trip – and this can be done within the calendar year (January to December).


At which entry points can I use my eVisa to arrive into India?

Your e-Visa is valid for entry through 24 designated Airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh,Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi) and 3 designated Seaports: Cochin, Goa, Mangalore. However, the travellers can leave from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India.

I am on a cruise to India – what visa do I need? Can I get an eVisa?

Although the eVisa can be used to enter India at 3 seaports (Cochin, Goa and Mangalor), we don’t recommend this visa for passengers travelling to India by cruise. Our understanding of the seaports and procedures on the cruise ships is such that passengers with an eVisa still require biometric data (fingerprints, etc) to be taken. This process can take a considerable amount of time and can delay disembarking for hours. It’s been documented that cruise passengers have missed their shore excursions because of this delay. Therefore, cruise passengers heading to India are encouraged to go to their local Indian embassy or consulate and pay for a “traditional” tourist visa to India. In short, if you are on a cruise to India – an eVisa is likely not the best option for you.


Can I extend my stay in India on an eVisa?

No, your eVisa is not extendable, non-convertible, and cannot be used to access Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas. If you intend to visit these areas, you will require prior permission from the Civil Authority – please visit here.


Do I need an eVisa if I am transiting through an airport in India?

It depends. If the traveller is leaving the airport by crossing through customs and immigration (whether to sightsee or re-check their baggage to make a connecting flight) then an Indian visa is required. If the traveller if merely transiting through, with a layover of fewer than 24 hours and a confirmed ticket to the final destination, then no, a traveller does not need a visa. We advise you to do your research as we’ve read a variety of cases where the answer was dependent on the airline travelled, the passport held, and the airport of entry.


3. What you Need to Know Before Applying for your Indian eVisa


How much does an Indian eVisa cost?

The Indian eVisa cost differs depending on the passport you hold. The Government of India has laid out different price amounts based on agreements with other countries. Generally, there are four tiers of visa fees: 0USD, 25USD, 50USD ( the majority of countries), and 75 USD. Please note that the Indian Government will apply an additional 2.5% bank charge on applicable eVisa fees.

When you apply for your eVisa through the government, you’ll be responsible for entering and reviewing all your information. If there are any errors, you’ll have to re-apply, pay again, and won’t be refunded for the original fee.

When you apply for an eVisa with Sherpa, you can:

  • Save time by uploading a photo of your passport with your phone instead of sending a scanned copy.
  • Easily pay using any major credit or debit card.
  • Know we offer free resubmission in the off chance there’s an error in your application.

With Sherpa, we charge a service fee of 35USD onto the application costs (which vary depending on the passport you hold). You can find out how much an Indian eVisa is with Sherpa by using our Interactive Visa Checker. We’re in the visa space, and even we think it’s a daunting application process so don’t feel like you have to tackle it alone!


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How long does it take to process my Indian eVisa?

Most of the visas get approved within 72 hours of completing your application, but we suggest applying for your visa to India approximately 2 weeks or more before your arrival date.


Do children need an eVisa for travel to India?

Yes, all travellers heading to India – regardless of age – must apply for an eVisa. Also note that individuals who are endorsed on a Parent or Spouse’s passport are not eligible for an eVisa. Each traveller should have a separate passport to apply for an eVisa.


Can I apply for my eVisa on arrival into India?

No. You must get an eVisa before you arrive in India. In some cases, the airline may not allow you on the airplane departing for India without an eVisa.


Do I need to print my eVisa to India?

Yes, the official government website asks you to print out your eVisa when it arrives in your email. We’d also recommend you print off a second copy of your eVisa and store them in separate locations in your travel luggage. It’s better to have two copies than none at all.


What can I do if I accidentally deleted my confirmation email with my eVisa?

If you applied with Sherpa and you deleted your email that has your Indian eVisa attached, simply email us and we will be able to resend it to you.


Is my Indian eVisa fee refundable?

No, your eVisa payment fee is non-refundable after the application is submitted. The fee is designated for processing the application and is not dependent on whether the Indian Government grants or rejects your eVisa.


Things to Note with Payment

Please be careful when paying for your eVisa. If your payment is rejected three times on the Government Website, that application will be declined entirely. You will then be required to reapply from the beginning, filling out the application form again and regenerating a new application ID.

The eVisa fee payment status on the Government Website may take up to 4 hours to update for your application ID due to technical reasons/network delays. Before panicking and re-applying, travellers should wait for 4 hours for the payment status to update. In cases where the eVisa fee has been deducted from your payment card but the status on the Government Website is not updated, you are advised to verify your payment status by clicking on the ‘Verify Payment/Pay Visa Fee’ tab or by clicking this link: Verify Payment.


4. The 5 Steps to Apply for an Indian eVisa


How To Apply:

  1. Head to the Official Indian Government Website
    • The government website warns travellers to beware of scammy “lookalike” websites.
  2. Apply Online Through the Portal
    • Things you’ll need to complete your application
      • Scanned copy of passport
      • Square passport-sized photo of face (2in x 2in)
      • Additional documents for travel purposes
    • Questions you’ll need to answer
      • Basic information including Passport Information, Port of Entry, etc.
      • Detailed Questions including Parents’ Information, Your Religion, Occupation, Visible Identification Marks, etc
    • Things you might have to upload
      • Your business card
      • Invitation letters from hospital
  3. Pay for your Visa using a major Credit or Debit Card
  4. Receive eVisa by email – be sure to print out a copy. All applicants should carry a copy of their eVisa along with them at the time of travel.
  5. Fly to India! Don’t forget to bring:
    • Your printed eVisa.
    • Funds to cover your trip in India.
    • Proof of a return ticket or onward ticket from India.

When You Arrive:

  1. Have your eVisa checked by Immigration Officials.
  2. Get your passport stamped upon entry.
  3. Your biometric details (fingerprints) will be taken at Immigration on arrival. This is mandatory.


5. Technical Details of Photos and Scanned Documents


We’ve simplified the details you’ll need to know for uploading your documents and photos to the government portal. Please note: All documents uploaded including business cards, invitation letters etc. must be in English. If they are not in English, the eVisa application is likely to be rejected.


Documents Required

Tourist eVisa Business eVisa Medical eVisa
Document Type
Scanned bio page of the passport showing the photograph and details
Copy of letter from the hospital involved in India on its letterhead    
Copy of Business Card    


*For Business eVisa visiting “To deliver lecture/s under Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN)”

  1. Invitation of the host institute to the foreign faculty.
  2. Copy of the sanction order under GIAN issued by the National Coordinating Institute.
  3. Copy of the synopsis of the courses to be taken up by the faculty.


The Digital Photograph Requirements

 Format JPEG
 Size Minimum 10 KB, Maximum of 1 MB
 Height vs. Width Equal Length – 2 inches x 2 inches
 Head Position Front facing, full head in view (top of hair to bottom of chin), centre of the frame, no glasses
 Shadows None on face or background
 Background Plain light coloured or white
 Borders None
 Age of Photograph “Recent”


Digital Passport Scan Requirements

 Format PDF
 Size Minimum 10 KB, Maximum 300 KB
 Details Showing Entire Biography Page – Name, date of birth, nationality, expiry date, etc.


Other Document Requirments for Business/Medical Purposes

Additionally, one more document (invitation letter, business card, etc) depending upon the eVisa type would also be required to be uploaded. The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded documents and photograph are not clear/as per specification.

 Format PDF
 Size Minimum 10 KB, Maximum 300 KB


6. Additional Questions and Information for Travel to India


Do I need an eVisa for a holiday in India?

Yes. If you’re travelling to India as a tourist for a holiday, however short or long your stay is, you’ll need to apply for an Indian eVisa.


What if I am travelling to India on business?

If you are travelling to India for business, you will require an eVisa. You can apply for this eVisa here.


Can I get an eVisa if I travel by land into India?

No. If you’re arriving into India by land, you cannot use an eVisa. You must apply for a traditional tourist visa.


Do I need a visa for India if I’m visiting just for one day?

If you arrive by air and plan to exit the airport, you have to get an eVisa. It doesn’t matter if you plan on leaving the airport for 20 minutes to recheck your baggage or a whole day.


Do I need a visa to get out of India?

No, you do not need a visa to exit India. However, be mindful of how long you stayed in India as a single eVisa is only valid for a total of 60 days from the date of entry (can be spent across double or triple entries into the country).


Can I enter India on an eVisa with a Diplomatic Passport or a Laissez-passer travel document?

No, you cannot apply for an eVisa with a Diplomatic Passport, Official Passport Holders or Laissez-passer travel document holders.


Can I travel to India with an expired passport?

No, you cannot travel with an expired passport. You have to make sure that your passport is still valid for a minimum of 180 days past your first date of entry into India.


Is it safe to travel to India?

While no country can fully guarantee your safety while travelling, travellers to India should exercise the precautions outlined by their government branch for foreign affairs and travel. You can check for the latest bulletins and updates while travelling in India. As with any travel to a major tourist destination, exercising normal precautions. These include watching your pockets, tending to your belongings, and remaining vigilant of your surroundings.


That’s it – everything you need to know before applying for your Indian eVisa! While the process can be intimidating, it is possible to tackle on your own. That said, if you require any assistance with the application for your Indian eVisa, you can call the Indian Government eVisa support centre for assistance at +91-11-24300666 or email them directly at If you’d like more detailed help and support along the way – Sherpa is here for you. We make this application easy, make sure all your documents are formatted correctly, and answer any questions you may have! As always, Travel Easy!


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