India. e-Visa. Advice for Backpackers and Tourists booking their e-Visa online. 2020 Update

The Government of India provides an online e-visa service to more than 150 countries.

It is a fast and efficient service. The e-visa allows a stay of 30 days in India, not a minute longer. There is no extension on this e-visa. There is also a one year e-visa. Please read carefully the guidelines.

Here are some points of information. The advice list below is all relevant for the UK but much will also apply in other countries.

  1. Do not leave it late to order your e-visa. Latest is four days before departure to India.
  2. If you cannot depart within 30 days of receiving the eVisa, then you apply for a new evisa. You will lose your $25.00 on first payment.
  3. You can ONLY apply for your eVisa up to 30 days before ARRIVING in India. YOU must fly to India with the set dates on the visa that comes by email.
  4. Have pen and paper to write down ID number at top of page after completing first page.
  5. Have a current passport.
  6.  Have a passport photo on your computer. Make sure photo is not too big. (My passport photo is 222kb. My passport page photo is 176kb). You cannot go over 300 kb.
  7. A photo of your main passport page on your computer.
  8. A hotel, tourist bungalow or family/friend address with a telephone number in a place in India where you expect to stay.
  9. Have your  VISA or Master Card for payment
  10. Make sure you use the Government of India website. In UK, this is:
  11. The cost of the Government of India e-Visa for 30 days is $25.00.
  12.  Be mindful. There are other similar looking websites. They charge double or more for the same service and can take two weeks or more to secure your e-visa
  13. Go to home page of website address above if you are in the UK. Read e-visa information.
  14. Click on e-tourist visa application .
  15. Start filling in form. Allow 30 to 60 minutes or more to complete the form-filling process. Double check what you enter.
  16. If you have been to India before, your last visa number is in your passport.
  17. By the second page, you will see an ID number at top of page. Please write it down. The website will save every page you complete.
  18. If you cannot complete or you lose website connection, the ID number with your name, passport number will allow you to continue where you finished.
  19. Make sure you only click on Tourist visa in list of various kinds of visas on the form.
  20. You may have difficulty logging in a second or third time, even with the correct ID number etc. Don’t panic. If necessary, simply start the whole process all again and try to finish in one go.
  21. Make sure you check all your details are correct on each page. You do not want the hassle of a delay on your visa.
  22. You may only see your first names, and not surname, before payment. Don’t panic. Your surname will be on the e-Visa. Europeans click on AXIS at foot of payment page. US citizens click on SBI ePay.
  23. Write down the last ID number that you are given at the end of the whole process.
  24. Indian visa office will inform you by email that the office is processing your application.
  25. You will receive a confirmation of your successful application within three days.
  26. Remember to PRINT your e-visa to take to airport and have in your hand with your passport when you arrive in India.
  27. Enjoy Mother India. City India is challenging – to put it mildly. Travel as much as you can in India. Mountains, beaches, deserts and rural landscapes make India remarkable. Conventional tourist India consists of tourists on the beach or on a quick stop air conditioned tour.  The spirituality, diversity of religions and cultural heritage reveals itself in countless ways – despite the poverty, pollution and hassles. Taj Mahal is probably the most beautiful building on Earth.
  28. Spiritual India is alive and well. Varanasi, Tiruvannamalai, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Rishikesh, Varanasi, Vrindaven and Dharamsala etc.
  29. Spiritual India shows itself with the Gods, the temples, ashrams, Motilal and other spiritual bookshops, acts of devotion, karma yoga, courses, retreats, Who am I? meditation, Yoga, vegetarian diet, Ayurveda medicine, amazing conversations with Indian citizens and much more.
  30. Use hand cleanser before eating. Take a warm sleeping bag for the cold nights.
  31. Be mindful. Be patient. Be kind.  And all will be well.
  32. India has the capacity to open your consciousness to a fresh sense of life.. That’s how you know you have been to India.

Final Words. Namaste. OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI

PS.  I first arrived in India in 1967. I have returned for a short visit, mostly three or four weeks annually since 1974. I have spent around 10% of my life in India.

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