• Indian Visa Application | How To Get India 30 Day E-Tourist Visa On Arrival The Easy Way

Indian Visa Application | How To Get India 60 Day E-Tourist Visa The Easy Way

If you’re wondering how to get an Indian visa from USA or many other countries, I’m here to help! The Indian Visa application process is always changing and can seem complicated. It’s also complicated because there are many sites which look “official” offering the Indian visas. In this post, I share how to get the

UPDATE APRIL 4th 2017: 60-day evisas can also be for medical and business! You can read more about that here.

If you’re looking for a visa for MORE than 60 days, you need to do another process and cannot do the e-visa. I have complete guides for this, though, don’t worry! Here’s how to get a visa for India from the USA and how to get a visa for India from the UK. Each are complete guides with screenshots that take you through the entire process.

tawang monasteryTawang, India

How to Get a Visa for India (specifically an e-visa for tourists staying less than 60 days)

The first thing you need to keep in mind is this is an “” NOT a visa on arrival. Visa on Arrival is often used when talking about this Indian visa and even is on the signs in Mumbai airport BUT you do not get your visa on arrival in India like you do in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Jordan and many countries.

You MUST get this visa sorted BEFORE you come to India.

Trust me, people get this confused. I get many e-mails from people who didn’t realize until the night before and have had to change their flights. Even if you rush it for an “emergency visa” it’s going to take 24-48 hours. Typically, this visa takes a week to get but sometimes you can get it faster. I’ve had people tell me they were approved the very next day even though they didn’t “rush” the visa application.

Visas are valid from the DATE OF ARRIVAL but there is a very specific window for this. That means you should NOT apply for this visa too far ahead of time. Here is how they explain it:

  • Applicants of the eligible countries/territories may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. Example : If you are applying on 1st Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 5th Sept to 4th Oct.”
  • Update: BUT as of April 1st 2017, they now say you can apply within 120 days of your arrival date to India. Great news!

Most countries are eligible for the e-tourist visa, but not all. Check this list of to see if your country is.

Surfing in VarkalaSurfing in Varkala, India

How to apply for the Indian E-Visa Online Before Your Trip

There are two ways:

  1. . You do it yourself and follow the instructions they lay out. If you mess up or forget a piece of paperwork, they will not give you a second chance for free, you must pay again. You need to remember to do this exactly FOUR days before you are leaving.
  2. . This is the easiest way as they have a “zero frustration policy”. You just tell them the date you are flying in and they take care of it for you. If you’re rejected for an error they pay to try again. The biggest benefit of iVisa is you can apply to them anytime and they will be the ones who get the visa for you four days before, so you can cross that off your to-do list and not have to be worrying about it right before you leave for India.

munnarMunnar, India

What you need to know ahead of time about Indian e-visa for tourists:

  1. Your passport must have at least 6 months expiration left on it from the date of arrival.
  2. You must have a return ticket or onward journey booked. This is a serious part of the Indian visa application process and they take it quite seriously. You will often be asking by the airline before you can even board your flight to India.
  3. You should print a paper copy of this E-visa once it’s issued to show the immigration officers when you land in India.
  4. This used to be a single entry visa. But now you can enter TWICE. As in you can go to Nepal or Sri Lanka, etc, and come back to India.
  5. The E-Visa is NOT valid for restricted and protected areas which includes my favorite place NE India, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, and parts of Himachal among others.
  6. With the E-Visa you could only fly into these 16 airports:Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi but they are slowly adding more, now up to 24 airports.
  7. You can only apply for TWO E-tourist visas in one year.

Varanasi Journey Tips Ghats IndiaVaranasi, India

These are pretty much the only things you need to know before coming to India for a one month or smaller trip. Make sure you do not forget to get the visa. SO many people somehow do! I recommend as soon as you’ve booked your flight so that it’s going to 100% be taken care of.

The Indian visa application process has always been daunting. The paperwork visa for longer than 1 month is very difficult and you have to mail in your passport to the embassy which is why I wrote a step by step guide for getting a longer Indian visa. The 30-day e-visa was meant to be hassle-free but it’s still not really. Hopefully, in the future they will have a true visa on arrival where you can just buy it in person when you land.

PS: If you’re coming to India, check out my India Guide eBook. After 6 years living here, my experiences from backpacking to luxury travel have been put into this 100,000-word book which will plan you the most amazing trip in India. Read what’s inside and reviews here.

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2018-05-12T20:34:13+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

47 Comments

  1. Brooke November 16, 2016 at 1:31 am - Reply

    If only you had posted this a few days ago. I have been researching it for a few weeks and literally just went through the whole process yesterday. It was so damn painful! The website itself was constantly redirecting me back to the Indian visas online home page before the form was complete. I eventually found that it is better to use internet explorer over google chrome.
    On the side I received approval the next day.
    One thing that you have stated which may mislead some readers is that the visa IS Valid from the date of ARRIVAL. As you have stated, applicants are given a 30 day window period from the date of approval in which they can enter the country however the 30 days in which you can be in the country doesn’t commence until the date you physically enter. Therefore applicant should apply no more than 31 days and no less than 4 days before entry. I hope that makes sense
    Much love :)

    • Rachel Jones November 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      You’re so right, I wrote that totally dumb! lol I’ve changed it now :) The e-visa is meant to be easier than the paper one, but man the paper one is SUCH a pain! I did my parents a couple years ago and was so annoyed the whole time.

      • Ray Stoddard November 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm - Reply

        Hi Rachel: My wife and I will be arriving in Cochin just before Christmas 2017 and leaving just after January 1, 2018. What I have read seems to indicate that the eVisa is good for a calendar year that begins in January and ends in December. Does that mean that we need to apply for 2 eVisas each?

        Thanks for your assistance.

        Ray

        • Rachel Jones November 26, 2017 at 3:45 am - Reply

          Ray, no that would be just one E-visa. I think it just gets lost in translation how they worded it!

  2. lauren November 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    I just applied for an evisa for a friend who is arriving in goa in a few days. I used the india government site. It is a bit time consuming ( but nowhere nearly as painful as applying for a regular tourist visa!)
    You definitely need a laptop or desktop as you will need to upload a photo of your passport and passport sized photo. And also you may need a bit of photo editing skills because the photo has to be a certain size and megabytes. The passport copy will need to be in PDF format. If you upload a scanned copy of your passport to your computer, it may be in a JPG file. You can google JPG to PDF and there are numerous sites that will convert the file from jpg to for free!
    The beneficial thing about the government evisa site is that it is cheap. You don’t have to pay a middleman. It was $48 . It says they will grant the visa within 72 hours. In this case it was granted by the next morning.
    Good luck to all!

  3. roy November 19, 2016 at 7:55 am - Reply

    can i attain an evisa, stay in india for a month, and then gain another e visa while I’m india to extend it to two months?

    we will be there in 2 months for HOPEFULLY 2 months

    • Rachel Jones November 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      No, you cannot do that. You have to exit after your evisa is over.

  4. Margaret December 14, 2016 at 9:35 am - Reply

    My flight arrives in Mumbai at 11:55PM, so must I count that as 1 day? Unfortunately, if I count that as Day 1, then I fly out of Delhi on the 31st day and must use the mail to embassy Visa.

    • Rachel Jones December 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Hello Margaret,

      I am not sure. I wouldn’t think so, as by the time you are at immigration it will be the “next” day. You will need to call and double check this.

      • Margaret December 15, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Rachel. My thinkng exactly. I sent an email to india.gov with specific days and flight times. Waiting to hear back, and will also call them if I do not get a response. Thank you, also, for posts regarding demonetization. Arriving in India in mid-Feb., and hoping much will be resolved by then. I am not finding local banks that carry Rupees here in Southern Ohio. Will do further checking.

        • Rachel Jones December 15, 2016 at 7:51 pm - Reply

          Hmm I think my parents got them at our small local bank but if not there than you can check with AAA if you have a membership with them – I’m pretty sure they can order the money in.

          • Margaret December 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm

            Here is an update to share from AAA. Stopped by yesterday and was told AAA is no longer getting Rupees. Not any available currently nor will they have them in the future. I will check with the banks after the new year since they don’t seem to have any now either.

          • Rachel Jones December 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

            wow :( thank you for sharing that update! I have been following the news very closely here and it seems in the north it’s still quite unstable.

  5. Irene Lal January 12, 2017 at 2:18 am - Reply

    I will be taking a flight into Jammu and Kashmir from Delhi. What would I do for a visa in this case?

    • Rachel Jones January 12, 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      I think you have to have the paper visa – it should be listed on the site if the region is restricted.

  6. KIRRILY ARMOUR May 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    I am in india on an employment visa which is about to expire. I’m booked to fly to Thailand for 2 days, purely so I can return to India on the 60 day evisa as a tourist. Can I apply for the evisa online whilst still in India? (so I have it in hand before I leave India for 2 days and then return) I’m concerned about what address to leave and if they see I’m already in India they may reject my application? Also I’m only in Thailand for 2 days so not enough time to apply from there I think.

    • Rachel Jones May 22, 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Yeah you can’t put an Indian address on there – but you can use a VPN anytime online to change where you “are” in the world so they wouldn’t know you are applying from India. I don’t know how much time you have to wait to come in after an employment visa expires or the rules on that front. You need 4 days technically but you can rush with ivisa and do it in 24 hours.

      • KIRRILY ARMOUR May 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm - Reply

        Thanks Rachel! I spoke to the ivisa people last night who said the same – will look to use their 24hr service! And fingers crossed there’s no waiting period between visas…. PS Being an India freak, I love your blog :)

  7. debra May 29, 2017 at 2:41 am - Reply

    Thank you for this. I applied and got an email saying “Granted”. Is that email the document/evisa I print out and bring? I was expecting something a little more official looking than a basic email. If something more official was supposed to be attached, I certainly want to know sooner rather than later. Thanks again.

  8. Won June 18, 2017 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Hi, Rachel. I have been trying to the support center, but I have not been able to reach its customer rep. I am wondering if you have an answer for my question. I was granted the first double entry e-Tourist visa which allows me to arrive in India between 08/May/2017
    and 09/Sep/2017. I made my first entry to India on 21/May/2017 and departed India on 30/May/2017. The stamp indicated the visa expiry
    date to be 19/July/2017. Now, I plan to return to India on 12/July/2017 and depart on 02/August/2017.

    I am wondering if my current e-Visa is still valid for this trip, or
    do I need to re-apply for the second e-Visa?

    I’d greatly appreciate your feedback! Thank you!

  9. Emmy Young September 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hello Rachel,

    I am going to India in November (flying into New Delhi), I am going to be applying for my visa from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Is it possible to get the 60 day evisa even though I am not in my own country (USA)? Is the whole thing online or do you need an appointment with the embassy?

    Any help would be greatly greatly appreciated..

    Thanks!

    Emmy

  10. shelley September 11, 2017 at 1:01 am - Reply

    I have brought the 60 day visa, and need something to be clarified if possible! I know entry must be at one of the designated airports (we are flying to Delhi). But does the second entry have to be at one of the designated airports? I.e can we leave india after 3 weeks and enter again across the border from Nepal? We have tried ing support but they are not giving us straight answers!

    Thanks :)

    • Rachel Jones September 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      It’ll still need to be an airport that is listed for e-visa as when you re-enter you’ll go through immigration exactly as before and will be separated evisa line or regular visa… if there is no e-visa line you would be SOL!

      • Rachel Jones September 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm - Reply

        & about crossing the border – no I don’t think you can with evisa and I know sharell from tripsaavy also wrote something about this saying that she also didn’t think you can as they don’t have the facilities. the evisa is quite new so there are few places that can take it

        • Judi Kloper December 21, 2017 at 2:01 am - Reply

          I’ve tried getting an answer to this for months from various blogs and from the Indian Embassy and ministry in India itself–The Indian Embassy folks wrote me an email and said check its website. I wrote back and said that it’s not addressed there and repeated the question. They never wrote back, nor did the ministry I wrote to. I’ve traveled to India extensively since 1987 and lived there three years ago. This trip, however, a group of us are traveling to NE India and crossing by land into Myanmar. While I have a regular visa, the others got an E-visa because our travel guide in India checked it out and said we should be fine once we get the stamp in Delhi on the first entry. I read on one blog that one person had no problem re-entering. But this is India and what one person does at immigration may be different than what a person at another counter at immigration does (i.e. as long as our first entry is in Delhi, for example, we can leave to Myanmar and re-enter by land).

          • Rachel Jones December 21, 2017 at 11:17 am

            Judi, from what I understand you cannot reenter by land with an e-visa – you can only enter India at specified places that accept e-visa (they have to have a system set up) which doesn’t even include all the airports in India, only the major ones. They may be relaxed about it and just let you in as it’s a valid visa, but I think technically they are not allowed to.

          • Judi Kloper December 21, 2017 at 10:30 pm

            HI Rachel…It’s so confusing that even my Indian counterparts were having trouble getting an answer to this question for the group of us. I posted on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum on India a few months ago and was told that a few people had crossed into India from Myanmar on an E-visa that they used to enter India previously by air. And then, this post was answering someone else’s similar question two days ago: “Yes. We’ve had this confirmed by a handful of posters. Your first entry must be by air; the second entry can be by land.” I guess we’ll find out in January! We cross into Myanmar around the 14th or 15th of January (I can’t remember when) and we’ll be there just under two weeks, crossing back into India and then flying back down to Delhi. By the way, I’ll be returning to visit my friend in South Goa; he has a B/B there. I have been traveling through India since the 80s and lived in AP a few years ago. The most beautiful beaches in India are in Goa!

  11. Jewels Bertrand September 27, 2017 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your post Rachel. I am here in India on a 60 day e-visa. My visa ends mid Nov. I would like to stay for another 30 days. Is it possible to get another visa and do a visa run in Nepal or Sri Lanka?

    • Rachel Jones September 27, 2017 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      Hey – I think you have to wait a certain time in between visas. It should be on their website!

  12. Sal October 21, 2017 at 2:42 am - Reply

    hi Rachel,

    My Boyfriend will be travelling from USA to India on e-visa; however after staying for 2 weeks we plans to got to thailand for a week and come back to India. can he still use the same e-visa if the validity is still there?

    • Rachel Jones October 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      Hey Sal, yes you can – it’s mentioned in the post here “This used to be a single entry visa. But now you can enter TWICE. As in you can go to Nepal or Sri Lanka, etc, and come back to India.”

  13. Ashley bousquet October 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel! I don’t know how long I’ll be in India for- maybe 3 weeks, maybe 3 months! If I book an outbound flight is that just money wasted?

    • Rachel Jones October 23, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Hi Ashley, I’ve only ever had them ask me once for proof of an outgoing flight so you could risk it but if they do ask you’ll have to book one on the spot. You can book on a site that allows 100% money back on cancellations within 24 hours so you can cancel it after.

  14. Katrina Murray November 2, 2017 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Hi, thanks for the great article! have you personally used the iVisa website? just checking its 100% trustworthy :)

    • Rachel Jones November 3, 2017 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Hey Kat, yes I have and so have hundreds of readers from my site! :)

  15. Andrew November 9, 2017 at 3:13 am - Reply

    Hey Rachel,

    My partner and I are looking at booking a 60-day visa at the moment. Unfortunately we booked our trip for 63 days – thinking that going into Nepal wouldn’t count towards the 60-day India passport. We were wrong.

    Now, during the application process, we’ve been told that visas are valid from the time of issue (rather than being valid from time of arrival). Do you have any advice on how we should organise our application then? (e.g. it takes exactly 30 days to arrive, so apply 31 days prior to arrival.. etc?)

    Also – do you know whether it’s possible to apply for two distinct 60 day e-visas? (so we would use the first for our first 2 weeks, then coming back from Nepal we’d use our second)?

    Thanks for any assistance!

    kind regards,
    Andrew.

    • Rachel Jones November 9, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

      The mail-in visa can take various amounts of time so it’s almost impossible to say when to shoot for, but 30 days would be a pretty good guess. I think my last one took only 2 weeks to come back.

      For the second question, no you cannot do two back to back e-visas – there is some time limit between applying and a max of two a year but I don’t remember the limit off the top of my head. I think it’s in this article, though!

  16. Sylvia January 11, 2018 at 3:04 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for creating this awesome site!
    I just want to make sure I have this right. I just applied for my eVisa. If my application gets approved, does this mean I will print out the eVisa, show it to immigration officials in India upon arrival, and then receive my actual Visa upon landing in India?

    • Rachel Jones January 11, 2018 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Syliva, yes you should print it and take it with you then follow the signs for the evisa line. I haven’t done an e-visa myself so I don’t know once you arrive what they do but I imagine they see your paper visa in your hand and just stamp your passport?

  17. Renee January 23, 2018 at 4:15 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel, do you know any more about the “restricted areas” that you cant enter on an e-visa? Im struggling to find info on where this is, its the first ive heard about it! Somewhere said Jaisalmer is that correct? We have a 2 month trip planned around Rajahstan and a little bit of Northern India so need to make sure nowhere is on the restricted list

    • Rachel Jones January 23, 2018 at 9:44 am - Reply

      No the restricted areas are like NE India, Jammu & Kashmir and some others, but not Rajasthan.

  18. Judi Kloper January 29, 2018 at 8:07 am - Reply

    HI Rachel, I just want to update you and your readers on something I posted a month ago in response to the e-visa and multiple entries. I’m in Goa now, having brought a small group of friends to India almost a month ago. They entered on an e-visa in Delhi (very simple) and a week later we entered Myanmar from India via the border crossing in Moreh/Tamu. We then re-entered India almost two weeks later at the same border crossing and had no problems. So, this hopefully will help readers who are hoping to come to India first on an e-visa and then re-enter one time via a land crossing. E-visas are not applicable for a first time entry to India at a land crossing because there is not the wi-fi connections that are necessary to process these visas. But if you enter India on an e-visa at the regular entries, you should have no problems leaving and re-entering from Myanmar. It just takes time because there are time-consuming checkpoints on both sides. And everything is done by hand, not computers.

    • Rachel Jones January 29, 2018 at 11:40 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing Judi – I remember you asking about this in the FB group and we couldn’t find an answer so that’s really helpful! :)

  19. Derreck March 4, 2018 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Can you apply for the visa and if you receive it in under 4 days use it before the fourth day?

  20. Fiona Jamieson March 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    I hope you can help me. We’ve travelled to India a few times and the last time Dec17/Jan 18, we obtained e visas and start from the wait to have then checked and exit the airport – it was 100% easier, cheaper and quicker than anything previously undertaken. We’re looking to travel to India again at the end of the year, and as we star far south and use Trivandrum airport we thought a trip to the Maldives would be lovely and relatively hassle free. I’ve checked the visa status for the Maldives (don’t need one before arrival) but I can’t see if the e visa is single entry? I’m assuming a visit to the Malduves would be classed as leaving India?

    Can you help.

    Thank you,
    Fiona ❤

    • Rachel Jones March 5, 2018 at 7:09 am - Reply

      Maldives is not part of India so yes you need multiple entry – e-visas allow two entries now during valid time of visa which is just 60 days and also look that your old visa wasn’t too close to the timing of the new one as you can’t come in back to back on a new visa

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