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India Visa on arrival: all you need to know

Foreign visitors who wish to visit India must obtain a visa to enter the country. The only countries that do not require a visa or passport to enter India are citizens of Bhutan and Nepal. In 2014, India launched an electronic visa system that simplified the process of obtaining a visa to visit the country. Currently, citizens of over a hundred countries can easily obtain their e-Visa for India by completing an online form and providing some biographical details.

What is the visa on arrival?

The visa on arrival is part of the Indian eVisa valid airports program. Every traveler that arrives in India with a valid India e-Visa will also receive a visa on arrival in the form of a sticker. The sticker is placed on a page in the passport when going through immigration control. In order to receive the visa on arrival for India sticker, the traveler must show their printed copy of their e-Visa for India along with the passport. Be mindful that there are three main categories of e-Visa for India: the e-Tourist visa, e-Business visa, and the e-Medical visa.

It is important to know that foreign citizens cannot obtain their visa on arrival sticker unless they have already applied for the India e-Visa. All holders of the Indian electronic visa must print a copy of their approved visa, which is sent directly to their email address.

However, it should be noted that citizens of Japan and South Korea can arrive for a visa on arrival (VOA) when entering India through Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata or Mumbai. Japanese and South Koreans can also apply online for their e-Visa, as it can be used at 28 airports and 5 sea ports.

How to apply for the India visa on arrival?

Eligible citizens for the India visa on arrival are in fact eligible for the Indian Visa requirements. To get the electronic visa for India, applicants need to have a passport with a minimum validity of at least six months from the expected date of arrival in India. Besides the passport, applicants need a debit or credit card to pay for the visa fee and an email address where the approved e-Visa is sent to.

All travelers who are able to apply online for their India e-Visa must fill out several details. An India e-Visa applicant must provide the following information on the form:

  • Passport details: number, place of issue, date of issue and expiration date
  • Port of arrival and expected date of arrival
  • Date of birth and place of birth
  • Full name as it appears on your passport
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Address

At the end of the application it be will necessary to answer a series of security questions. After being submitted, most applications are processed within four days. If approved, the e-Visa will be sent directly to email address the applicant provided on their application.

Upon arrival in India, holders of the e-Visa for India will receive the on arrival sticker on their passport. The India e-Visa grants a stay of up to 60 days in India, from the date of first entry in the country.