Can UK nationals get an Indian e-visa?

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  • MarkCymru
    Participant

    I saw that travel to India had restarted — and was very relieved as I’m due to be at a conference there from the 24th of April

    However, UK nationals are not on the list of (more than a hundred countries) who can apply for an Indian e-visa. It looks as if you have to apply in person. Theoretically, I can apply at the Embassy in Dublin, but it directs me to an online form before applying. That form only allows me to apply at a consulate or the High Commission in the UK — which is awkward, as I live in Ireland.

    Does anyone know what’s going on here? The result of another triumphant visit by the Foreign Secretary?


    Gold-2K
    Participant

    Looks like you are out of luck:

    India Visa for UK Citizens


    EasternPedlar
    Participant

    I’m afraid it looks like UK passport holders are not presently eligible for e-visas. The UK was on the list earlier, and I wonder if this is a reciprocal measure. China is another country that’s been taken off the list, and that’s definitely a reciprocal act. Your best bet would be to use the services of a visa agent. There are quite a few around, and they know how to steer applications quickly through the Indian High Commission!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MarkCymru
    Participant

    The UK did used to be i the list and I’m sure it’s reciprocal. The UK makes it a nightmare for Indians to get British visa — a colleague had to produce six months of bank statements although he owns several businesses and travels to Europe and the US regularly. I can’t really blame India for giving us a taste of our own medicine.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Malachi1
    Participant

    I have purchased Indian e-visa’s online thrice, and have applied for a business visa’s through their appointed office in London in the past.

    Right now, UK applications must go through the main office (in-person, by appointment) in Central London or Hounslow.

    I just received my latest Indian business visa last week from London, since I am in town. Here are the steps. A regular e-visa should be much easier but will detail the steps for a business one. A conference visa might also require some additional info.

    (1) Apply online – have the 2×2 size photo ready to upload.
    (2) Select an appointment at the end – and it will direct you to the nearest office.

    (3) Print out the application

    Print out declarations and ALL other forms. For biz visa, I needed a letter from my company and an invite from a company in India. (please check what is needed for a conference).

    These all have to be printed out – with precise language, as per the website.

    Have 2x copies of your passport ID page

    Have 2x 2×2 inch size passport size photos. MUST be 2×2 inches India size.

    Having ALL of the correct paperwork submitted, and printed out properly, will save one a massive headache.
    If unsure, DO IT!

    If paperwork is correct, the process takes 10 mins once called to the desk. Wait time in London: I arrived at 11am, was seen around 3 hours later on a Thursday.

    Monday and Tuesdays are less busy.

    PASSPORT was mailed back to me 7 calendar days later.

    Good luck.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    MarkCymru
    Participant

    Thanks. I applied at the (very helpful and very efficient) Embassy in Dublin. Although the website wouldn’t let me request a conference visa when I filled in the online form, they were happy to do it in person. No booking in advance is necessary, I was seen in 15 minutes and they offered to get me my passport back in two days, if I wanted. British visa officials could learn a lot from their Indian counterparts!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ImissConcorde
    Participant

    A friend is applying for an Indian Visa. His appointment today was 10.40 to 10.50 Arrived at 10.20 and left at12.15.This was the first part to have his application accepted. His form was rejected and had to be reprinted. Then he was told that his passport photo was the wrong size and had to queue to have it retaken. Doesn’t seem anyone’s forms were accepted. Chap behind him on his 4th attempt. Photo copies of his children’s birth certificates required. About 200 people waiting!!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    frustratedflyer
    Participant

    Until COVID for 15 years I regularly appplied for a business Visa for India. Every year I applied (and paid for) a multi year visa. Every year bar one (when I was issued a 2 years visa) I recieved a one year visa (despite paying for multi-year). It really used to frustrate me as apart from the waste of time and money I am a shareholder in a business in India and my Indian colleagues would come to the UK on a 5 year UK Visa! I just saw it as a money making exercise by the Indian Govt.


    EasternPedlar
    Participant

    @frustratedflyer, I’m sorry about your experience but I can assure you that the UK visa office in India is no less obnoxious. Friends have applied for 10 year visas (current cost £837 plus extras) and been given as little as two years with no explanations whatsoever, and no refund. These are all frequent travellers and have been getting visas for decades, as in your case, so one wonders what is going on.

    Visas used to be mutually inexpensive in the 80s and 90s. The UK was the first to jack up rates sharply. I knew the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in London at the time. He said that they were initially quite upset, but then the visa fees started rolling in and covered the entire cost of running the High Commission so they changed their minds. The Home Office makes an 800% profit on visa services as per press reports (the Guardian). Everyone is busy milking the poor traveller!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MarkCymru
    Participant

    When I used to apply in London (before e-visas and before we fled Brexit), I always used to get the two-year multiple entry visa I applied for. As I understand it, British nationals who are not of Indian descent cannot get more than a two-year visa for India from the High Commission in London, but I can’t remember who told me that

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    If changes are reciprocal, there may be movement on this (Times paywall)

    Boris Johnson hints at easier visas amid hopes of India trade deal

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    EasternPedlar
    Participant

    If changes are reciprocal, there may be movement on this (Times paywall)

    Boris Johnson hints at easier visas amid hopes of India trade deal

    In Parliament a few days ago Boris said that there was going to be no easing of the visa policy. Today he’s said the opposite. Hard to know what’s going on, but hopefully some clarity will emerge soon! It would be nice to see a reduction of visa fees if nothing else. Visas are overpriced on both sides.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    It would be nice to see a reduction of visa fees if nothing else. Visas are overpriced on both sides.

    About 10 years ago I went into Jordan. The fee for the visa was extortionate (I can’t recall now the amount). Talking to fellow travellers I heard that their’s were free or tiny amounts. A Jordanian official told me that they just charged whatever the passport holder’s country charged.

    The UK charged Jordanians an extortionate amount to come to the UK so the Jordanians just matched it.

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