Who Is Eligible for India’s E-Visa?

When you travel to a foreign country, having a visa is potentially a must. Fortunately, India has made the process of obtaining a travel visa easier than many would expect. Through India’s E-Visa program, many travelers can complete the process entirely online, and it works for five different types of travel.

What Is India’s E-Visa?

India’s E-Visa program is an electronic alternative to traditional visa processes. It allows travelers coming to the country to handle any visa requirements entirely online, an approach that can be far more convenient than managing the process in person at a consulate or embassy office.

Who Needs India’s E-Visa?

Generally, anyone who’s not an Indian citizen or from specific countries will need a visa to enter India. U.S. citizens are not exempt from the requirement, so securing a visa is a necessity.

Technically, no one needs to use the E-Visa program specifically, as there’s always the option of securing a visa from an embassy or consulate. However, the E-Visa option is faster and more convenient, so it’s a solid choice for aspiring tourists, business travelers, conference attendees, and individuals seeking medical care in India or acting as a patient caregiver.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

The eligibility requirements are multi-faceted. First, the applicant must be a national of one of the countries covered by the program. According to the Government of India website, there are more than 150 eligible nations, and the United States is among them.

Second, travelers need to fall into one of the five outlined traveler subcategories. Those include the following visa subprograms:

  • E-Tourist
  • E-Business
  • E-Medical
  • E-Medical Attendant
  • E-Conference

Tourist visas are intended for travelers coming to India for recreational or sightseeing purposes, as well as visiting family and friends living in the country, attending specific short-term courses, or engaging in similar activities. Medical-related E-Visas are for patients seeking treatment and their caregivers. Business E-Visas are for business-related activities, while conference E-Visas are focused on conference, seminar, or workshop attendance.

Travelers do need to have a valid passport, and they’ll have to upload an image of the biographical page that shows the applicant’s name, birth date, and citizenship details. Other documents that support the reason for traveling to India are also potentially required, such as conference invitations, letters from a medical facility, or letters outlining the nature of the business being handled while in the country.

Steps for Getting an Indian E-Visa

Generally, the process of getting an Indian E-Visa is simple. According to the Indian Consular Services website, it’s essentially a four-step procedure.

First, you complete the application online, including uploading the requested documents. Next, you pay the required fee using a credit card, debit card, or compatible payment wallet. If it’s all handled correctly and approved, you’ll receive your electronic travel authorization by email. Print out the authorization and present it when crossing through the immigration check post.

When you need to submit the application and pay the fee does vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for. For E-Tourist and E-Business visas, you must apply at least four days in advance of your arrival date. For the E-Medical, E-Medical Attendant, and E-Conference visas, the minimum is also four days, but the maximum is set at 120 days.