Understanding Indian Tourist Visa on Arrival Policy


Tourist Visa on Arrival and Electronic Travel Authorisation

Tourist Visa on Arrival and Electronic Travel Authorisation

TVOA – Indian Tourist Visa on Arrival Policy & ETA – Electronic Travel Authorization System

Travel and tourism is the largest service industry in India and it provides heritage, cultural, medical, business and sports tourism. With the ever growing demand of tourist visa, the Indian government introduced the Indian tourist visa on arrival (TVOA) policy on January 1, 2010. It initially included citizens of five countries, but a year later it was extended to include a total of eleven countries and from April 15, 2014 it was extended to include nationals of South Korea also taking it to a total of 12 countries. The main purpose of the TVOA policy was to invite more foreign tourists and to encourage them to travel to India at a short notice.

Just recently this visa on arrival scheme has been replaced by an online Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system, effective from November 27, 2014.  This system is being implemented in phases and has initially been made available to citizens of 43 countries, including the 12 countries previously eligible for a tourist visa on arrival.

The TVOA enabled with ETA will enable foreign visitors to apply for an Indian visa from his/her country online without visiting the Indian mission and pay the visa fee online. Watch a short video related to the process:

Who is eligible for an ETA and TVOA?

In the first phase, citizens of the following 43 countries: Australia, Brazil, Cook Islands, Cambodia, Djibouti, Finland, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Germany, Israel,     Indonesia, Jordan, Japan, Kingdom of Tongo, Kenya, Luxembourg, Laos, Mexico, Myanmar, Mauritius, Norway, New Zealand, Niue, Oman, Papua & New Guinea, Palestine, Philippines, Russia, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, South Korea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Singapore, Tuvalu, Thailand, USA, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Who is not eligible for an ETA and TVOA?

Citizens of the following countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Sudan.
Citizens whose parents or grandparents were born in or lived in Pakistan will not be eligible to get an ETA even if they are citizens of the 43 listed countries.

What activities are permitted under the TVOA policy?

The TVOA facility is available to foreigners whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, short duration medical treatment, casual business visit, casual visit to meet friends or relatives etc.

What is the course of action for obtaining an ETA?

  • The application has to be made online on this webpage
  •  You must apply no less than 5 days and no more than 30 days before the date of travel.
  •  While entering your travel details, you will need to upload a latest photograph of   yourself with a white background that meets the specifications listed on the website.
  • Also upload the photo page of your passport that shows your personal details.
  • Passport must have a minimum validity period of 6 months.
  • Pay the visa fee online with your credit or debit card.
  • You will then receive an Application Id and the ETA will be sent to you via an email within three to five days.
  • The status of your visa application can be checked on this webpage
  • The ETA will now remain valid for 30 days from the date of approval.
  • Carry a copy of the ETA, when you travel to India and present the copy at the immigration counter at the airport.
  • An official at the immigration department will then stamp your passport with your TVOA for entry into India.
  • Make sure you have a return ticket and sufficient money to fund your travel and stay in India.

How much is the visa fee?

U.S $ 60, this amount must be paid at least 4 days before your date of travel. Please note this fee is non refundable.

For how long is this visa valid?

This is a single entry visa and is valid for 30 days from the time of entry to India. This visa is non extendable and non convertible.

In India, which are the airports that acknowledge ETA?

The nine international airports where you’re ETA will be valid: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Kochi and Trivandrum.

How frequently can a tourist obtain an ETA and VOA?

This facility can be availed no more than twice in a calendar year.

For any further assistance on your application tourist can

Call: 91- 11-24300666
Email: indiatvoa@gov.in

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