India’s e-Tourist Visa scheme has been extended for travellers from the UK.
From today, “casual” business travellers holding a British passport can apply and pay for an online visa via the Indian government’s tourist visa website.
This should make the process of obtaining a visa easier and cheaper. Travellers will not have to make an appointment at the embassy and the cost has been reduced from £89.44 to £39.
Visas are not issued immediately – once an online application is submitted, travellers can expect to receive entry documents via email within four days.
An application must be submitted four days in advance of arrival and the visa will only be single entry, valid for 30 days, and cannot be extended.
The arrival of e-visas comes months after the Indian government backed down on plans that would have seen travellers make appointments at application centres across the UK for “biometric data collection”, where fingerprint data and facial imagery would have been a “mandatory requirement” for all visa applicants.
Travellers entering India on an e-visa must arrive at one of 16 designated airports, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. Biometric data, including fingerprinting, will be collected on arrival at the border.
The Indian government said e-Tourist visas are only valid for recreation, sightseeing, meeting friends or family, short duration medical treatment, or for a casual business visit.
The UK joins 77 other countries that are eligible for e-Tourist visas.