HOW TO GET A $40 ONE YEAR E-VISA FOR INDIA – 2020
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO GET YOUR ONE YEAR E-VISA FOR INDIA IN 2020 FOR JUST $40
This is how to get a one year e-visa for India.
Yup! You read this right!
You don’t need to go through that long, expensive process to get your 1 year visa for India! There is no longer a need to go to your home country’s Indian embassy and pay £100 for your visa. Happy days!!
We read, and were told, you had to get your visa issued in your home country. For us, that’s the UK (or we could allegedly do it in Kathmandu, which was our plan as we were in Nepal before planning the trip to India). But that’s WRONG! For us this was great news, as we didn’t want to hand over our passports and be stuck in Kathmandu for 5 additional days.
One of the great benefits to the e-visa is that it can be done from anywhere in the world. You’ll just need access to the internet and a few other things (like a camera and a computer – more on this below). There is no need to fly back to your home country, or plan your visit so far in advance that you can go to the Indian embassy in your home country before you leave (if you’re going on a long backpacking trip, like us!).
Before you get too excited, there are a few requirements. You’ll need to be of eligible nationality, and you’ll be limited to certain points of entry into India. These are most international airports (including Delhi, Goa, Mumbai any most other popular entry airports), and 5 seaports (Chennai, Mangalore, Cochin, Mumbai and Goa).
But, it can be done for less money, less time and you can also get the same duration of stay in India (we got 1 year). So, here is the step by step guide on how you can do it yourself. No need to pay an agency!
Some agencies will charge you up to $60 USD to submit your application for you. There is no need to use oe of these agencies. The website you need works perfectly fine, and by following our simple instructions, you should receive your e-visa in no time at all. So, let’s get started.
ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES: 169 AS OF 2020
WHAT YOU WILL NEED: PASSPORT DETAILS, PERSONAL DETAILS, ONE DIGITAL PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPH (2 X 2 INCH), ONE DIGITAL PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR MAIN PASSPORT PAGE (PDF FORMAT)
PROCESSING TIME: UP TO 72 HOURS (OURS TOOK LESS THAN 24)
WHAT IT COSTS: $40 FOR MOST NATIONALITIES (FOR UP TO ONE YEAR)
THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE: **LINK**
IS MY NATIONALITY ELIGIBLE FOR AN E-VISA?
I’d be surprised if you are reading this and you are not on the list. It’s pretty extensive. Here is a link to the website.
Once you are there click on ‘countries/nationalities who are eligible to avail E-visa’ and you’ll be able to see if you’ve made the list.
**this information is correct as of January 2020**
You can also only enter India through certain entry points (as mentioned above). Please see the link to make sure this works for your travel plans. It is most international airports. We flew into New Delhi from Kathmandu, so it was fine for us. However, if we wanted to take the land border crossing, we wouldn’t have been able to use an e-visa (it actually worked out almost the same price for us to fly, and we didn’t have to spend days on buses and trains! Result!).
This is the option we went for (so the only one we can really honestly comment on – however the process is exactly the same for other durations). So, the visa starts from the date of issue, not the date of arrival in India, like some other visas. So don’t try and be super organised (and apply months in advance) if you want to stay for the whole duration of the visa. We applied for our E-visa one week before the flight was due to land in India. Luckily we had no issues!
The 1 year E-visa is actually broken down into two 180 day (6 month) visas. You will have to leave India after 180 days, and then you are able to return and stay until 1 year after the issue date of the E-visa confirmation. You cannot stay for 365 days consecutively.
E.G: Say we applied for our e-visa on the 26th December 2019, and our flight into India was on the 7th January 2020. Our first visit to India lasted 3 months, and we flew into Sri Lanka. We spent another 6 months in Sri Lanka, before flying back into India. Our visa would expire on 26th of December 2020 regardless, and we would have to leave the country by then. We would not be able to stay until 180 days after our second (and final) visit to India (from Sri Lanka). So, we wouldn’t TECHNICALLY get one whole year in India in total.
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET THIS E-VISA?
Luckily, everything you need for your one year e-visa for India can be obtained from the comfort of your hotel room (or bedroom/living room/kitchen/living quarters, if you’re doing this from home). No need to pay someone else to do any of this for you (unless you want to of course).
So, it’s super simple! You just need one passport size photo of your face (in digital version) that you can upload to the website. This should be 2 x 2 inch in dimensions, and no more than 1MB and no less than 10KB. You’ll also need a scanned copy of your passport in PDF form. This also must not be more than 300KB and no less than 10KB. To be honest with you, getting these things was the hardest part of the process for us, but it wasn’t exactly hard.
Brenna took my photo and I took Brenna’s. We just stood against a white(ish) wall in our hotel room, and Brenna was able to resize the files on her Macbook.
HOW TO RESIZE YOUR PHOTO ON A MAC:
To resize your passport photo to fit the 2 x 2 inch dimensions required for your one year e-visa for India, just open your photo in ‘preview’.
NOTE: you’ll need to crop your original photo into a square using a photo editing software (such as Lightroom) before resizing.
Right click on your photo, and select preview.
Once your photo is open in preview, go to the toolbar on the top of your screen, and select tools. Then go down and select ‘adjust size…’.
Once the box has opened, go to the ‘width’ box. Make sure the padlock on the right of the box is in the closed position, and ensure ‘inches’ is selected in the drop down to the right. Input ‘2’ into the ‘width’ or ‘height’ box, and then select ‘OK’.
Voila! Your photo is now the correct dimensions. Exit preview to save your changes, and your photo is now ready to upload.
HOW TO CHANGE A PICTURE OF YOUR PASSPORT INTO A PDF FILE THAT IS THE CORRECT SIZE:
First, you’ll want to open the photo you have taken of your passport page in an editing software (such as ‘Lightroom’), and crop to the desired shape, as well as change it to black and white (and save as jpg.).
Then, you will need to drag your jpeg file into a blank ‘pages’ document.
Use the corners to drag the photo out to cover the entire document. Then, select ‘file’, ‘export to’ and ‘PDF…’.
Ensure the top tab is on PDF. You’ll want to select ‘good’ image quality. Select ‘next…’.
After you’ve saved the file, find it in finder and right click, ‘open with preview’.
Once it is open in preview, select ‘file’, ‘export as PDF…’.
At the bottom of the box, select ‘show details’,
I found that the only way to fit the file size requirements (less than 300kb, but more than 10kb) without distorting the quality of the image (if your file isn’t legible, they will not accept the application), was to select ‘small photo’. This may not be the case for you, so play around with a few different sizes. To view the file size before attempting to upload, you can just right click on the file in finder, and select ‘Get Info’. This will show you the file size as well as a lot of other information on the file.
We always carry a photocopy of our passports (you never know when it might come in handy), so we just took a photo of the paper copy that we already had (and again, Brenna changed the format to PDF and reduced the size on her laptop). Now we were good to go. If you don’t have a copy of your passport, don’t panic! You can get it done in plenty of places: a computer Café, library, a shop that offers printing, your home? Or, you can just take a photo of your passport on a white background (a bedsheet?), and turn the image black and white, to make it look like a copy.
You’ll also need your passport to hand to fill in your details: passport number, issue date, expiry date, ect.. They do also ask for your mother’s and father’s name and place of birth, during the application process.
They also asked us to name all the countries we’d been to in the last 10 years. So it might be an idea to have that written down before hand, if you’ve travelled a lot. We were frantically skipping through the passport pages, scared the session would time out. Thankfully it didn’t.
WHERE DO I APPLY?
So, how to apply for your one year e-visa for India? Now that you have everything ready (and you know you are eligible), it’s time for the easy bit: just filling in your personal details. There is nothing on there that you won’t be expecting. Just the standard questions.
Information you will need for your one year e-visa for India:
Your full name, date and place of birth, permanent address and contact information, passport details, nationality, marital status, profession or occupation, details of your stay (just a simple list of all the places (names of cities) you expect to visit on your trip), expected port of entry and exit (we didn’t have this checked, and we booked our inbound flight after receiving the visa), religion, educational qualifications.
We applied through the Indian gov website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa
Follow the link to this page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘apply here for E-visa’.
That will take you to this page, where you just fill in all the relevant fields. If you need to stop filling in the form for any reason, it will create an account for you, and you can come back to it at a later date.
If you have all of the information to hand, filling in the forms should only take about 15 minutes.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME?
You will be asked to make a payment once the form is fully filled in. The visa will not be sent for approval/ processing until this payment is made. This can be done by PayPal, or through an Indian bank. We used the bank option as we didn’t have paypal setup on your currency cards. The fee was in USD. For us it was $40 (residents of the UK). They also include a very small processing fee $1 – $2 USD (I can’t remember exactly how much it was, but it was less than a few dollars).
It was super easy. You just fill in the relevant fields (card number, expiry, name on card etc.). Once they receive the payment – which can take up to two hours to process – you’ll be added to the list of eagerly awaiting visa applicants.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
They say you’ll have a response within 72 hours.
We got an email less than 24 hours later saying we had been approved. Super easy!
IS IT SAFE?
We thought the website looked super dodgy. But trust us, it works! We had absolutely no issues with it. Just make sure you have a good internet connect when you make the payment. You don’t want it to cut out half way through the payment process. You can pay other agency sites to do it for you. But this costs so much more money and I’m sure they use this site. One site added on a $50 fee, which is just crazy (and technically doubles the cost of your visa overall). You can totally do it yourself, it’s easy and it safe!
A lot of the sites that came up high on our original search for the Indian e-visa were agency sites. They made it seem as if the official website was unreliable and it was almost impossible to obtain the e-visa by yourself. In our experience, this was completely wrong. And, we didn’t have any issues with payments going through, or the website crashing. Everything was just hunky dory.
DOES IT WORK?
**When applying for the E-visa, we were asked a lot of questions about Pakistan: if we had been, if we had family from there. The answer was ‘no’ to all of the questions surrounding Pakistan (we haven’t got there yet! But we will soon I’m sure). If you have been there before going to India, you may want to allow extra time when you apply, as you may have more of an issue entering India (we aren’t 100% sure, but we were asked a lot of questions about Pakistan. Better safe than sorry right?)***
So you’ve got the E-visa and a flight booked. You just need to print off the E-visa confirmation they will have sent to your email address. Then, you just hand it over to the immigration officer when you land (with your passport) and they will stamp you into the country. Simples!
Now you can think about all the tasty curries and breads you’ll be eating! And all the amazing landmarks you’re going to see!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog for more guides, inspiration and advice on India!
OUR PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR
LAPTOP – Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
SMALL CAMERA – Olympus OMD- E-M10 Mark II
ZOOM LENS – Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm Lens
DSLR BODY – Canon 60D
WIDE ANGLE LENS – Sigma 10-20mm Lens
DRONE – DJI Mavic Pro
ACTION CAMERA – GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition
MICROPHONE – Rode VideoMicro
CAMERA BAG – Lowepro Fastpack 250 AW II
If you’re headed to neighbouring Nepal, see our inspiring photography of Everest Base Camp here, and the ultimate Everest Base Camp guide here.
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