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INDIA – e-Tourist Visa extended to 36 Countries

The Indian government has extended its e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme to include applicants from a further 36 countries effective Saturday 15 August, thus bringing the number of eligible nationalities for the eTV scheme to 113. It has also added seven more Indian airports as designated entry airports for this immigration status.

Who is Eligible?

The eTV is now available to nationals of the following additional countries (unless they are of Pakistani origin or holders of Diplomatic or Official passports): Andorra; Argentina; Armenia; Aruba; Belgium; Bolivia; Colombia; Cuba; East Timor; Guatemala; Hungary; Ireland; Jamaica; Malta; Malaysia; Mongolia; Monaco; Mozambique; Netherlands; Panama; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Seychelles; Slovenia; Spain; St Lucia; St Vincent & the Grenadines; Suriname; Sweden; Taiwan; Tanzania; Turks & Caicos Island; United Kingdom: Uruguay and Venezuela. A full list of eligible nationalities can be found here.

Which Airports are participating?

The airports that were already part of the scheme were Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Trivandrum and they have all been successfully issuing e-TVs since the launchof the scheme on 27 November 2014.

Seven more airports have now been designated as additional ports of entry for the eTV, bringing the total airports that issue the eTV on arrival to 16. The new airports included in the scheme are Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Gaya, Jaipur, Lucknow, Tirchy and Varanasi.

Permissible Activities and Duration of Stay

The visa is available to those traveling on leisure, for short duration medical treatment, for a "casual business visit" or to meet friends and relatives. Travellers must show proof of onward travel and sufficient funds.

As mentioned in previous alerts the definition of "casual business visit" is not clear and if there is any uncertainty over whether the activities to be carried out qualify as a business visit or not please contact us.

The eTV is valid for 30 days from the date of arrival in India, is non-extendable, non-convertible and allows a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.

How Does it Work?

This visa applicant must apply online, at least four days before the intended date of arrival to India, for an e-TV. The visa fee (about US$60) should be paid at this time. A digital photograph and copy of the passport information page must be uploaded as part of the application.

The successful applicant should receive their eTV within 72 hours, which they must carry at the time of travel. On arrival in India at one of 16 designated airports, the traveller will go through biometric registration.

Action Items

  • Review upcoming trips by qualifying nationals and bear in mind that the e-Tourist Visa may be a suitable route in some business travel cases.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.