India has adopted a new expedited electronic application procedure for many foreign visitors, including those from the United States, to obtain a travel visa.
According to every report I’ve heard, the procedure for obtaining a visa for a visit to India is a royal pain in the butt. In recent months, there has been a lot of buzz, followed by eager anticipation, that India will soon allow United States citizens to obtain a visa on arrival in India instead of requiring American visitors to go through months of consulate rigmarole.
Since I will be traveling to India in early 2015, I have been keeping an eye on this, fearing the worst. Well, today Quartz India reported that now, nearly half the world can visit India without queuing at an embassy!
Quartz reported that:
The [Indian] government on Thursday launched a “tourist visa on arrival” scheme for nationals of 43 countries traveling to India for 30 days or less—and only for “recreation, sightseeing, short duration medical treatment, casual business visit, casual visit to meet friends or relatives.”
The procedure is not a visa on arrival, but a 4-day expedited electronic procedure. Quartz states:
Applications must be made online at least four days before arrival, complete with a photograph, a scan of a passport’s photo page and a $60 fee. Subsequently, an Electronic Travel Authorisation will be issued, which is valid for entry through only nine airports in India. Only two such visas will be granted in a calendar year.
This is the map of countries included in this new electronic visa scheme are:
Of course, this is all great news if the procedure works as predicted. I would assume one should start the application as early as possible in order to avoid any last-minute snafus.
The step-by-step procedures are described HERE.
Thanks to Jonathon, the author of the wonderful blog, Wanderlusty, for telling me of this new development.