In the year of 2017, nearly 13% of the total visitors that visited India were from the United States of America. With the increasing number of visitors that are travelling every day from the United States, there is an ever-increasing queue in embassies. This has caused an increased amount of workload on the employees and people have started to look at other options. India has become quite a favourite country to travel to among the US citizens, since it is quite affordable to visit and India has become quite popular among the people who are looking for a relaxing vacation.
e-Visa stands for electronic visa, and it is a simple document that is applied for and granted online. It is different from the regular visa, since the applicant does not have to worry about visiting an embassy of the issuing country to receive the visa. The entire process of acquiring the visa takes a few simple steps and after it is approved, an email with the e-Visa is sent to the applicant within a matter of one or two days. The e-Visa is usually used by people who are visiting the foreign countries either for business, or a medical purpose.
Many of the flights to India start from New York City. For the people waiting for their visas in the city can breathe a sigh of relief since there are many types of visa to India from New York, and the whole United States too. Following are the various types of e-visa that are available:
However, for the US Citizens visa to India, the e-visa is currently valid only on the tourist visa.
Since everything is online, the process is quite simple and does not require any involvement of talking to a person. There is no involvement of any bureaucracy either, and everything is run through an algorithm. The process is quite quick and the following few steps have to be followed in order to receive an e-Visa to India for US Citizen:
1. Choose India from the list of countries that you wish to apply for and select the type of visa that you want to apply for.
2. Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button.
3. Fill out the details in the form that is displayed and click on ‘Next’.
4. Select the desired payment method, and fill out the details of the payment that are required by the website.
5. Wait for the email that will be received after all the details have been confirmed and approved by the authorities.
The E-Visa, though being an online process, cannot be presented in a digitallyThe email that you receive has to be printed out on a blank sheet of paper. The size that has been standardized by the official department is A4 sized paper, and the printing has to be done on one side only. Do not print on both the sides, and print it in full size. Apart from the e-visa, the other documents that you would want to take with you when you reach the airport are the passport and a picture ID that is provided by the government.
The process that has to be handled by you should not take more than a few minutes. All you have to do is fill in the details, and select the type of visa and the urgency that you require it with. After that, it is just a matter of completing the payment. After that the ball is in the court of the officials, and the processing time that is taken by them depends on the country that you are visiting. Other factors which weigh in for the time of processing time include your personal circumstances, and the type of visa that you have applied for.
To reduce the workload on their already overworked employees, countries have started to opt for the E-Visa as a viable option. They have also taken into consideration the ease and comfort of the people applying for the visa. The queues for the visa applications have also reduced as a result of the process being introduced online. Taking into consideration all the above benefits, more and more countries have started to offer e-visas. The number of applicants for the e-visa is also increasing, since people do not have to leave the comfort of their homes and stand in lines at the embassy. Following are the countries that are currently offering the e-visa option:
There are two parts of the total fee which you have to pay in order to apply for the e-visa. These include the visa price and the service fee . The service fee can be upgraded in order to gain a better service from the government. The total price of the E-Visa can range between $121.5 to $147.5, and the change in the price is mainly due to the change in the service charges. If due to any reason, the visa is not approved, all the fees, including the service charges will be refunded.
Yes, the process of the approval of the documents from the official side, can be quickened if you pay the extra fee for the service, or depending on special circumstances. If you pay the extra fee, you can get the approval within a day. Otherwise, the process of the approval of the e-visa can take up to 72 hours.
There are two main types of points of entry that accept the e-visa as a valid document, namely airports and seaports. The airports that accept the e-visa are the following:
The seaports that accept the e-visa as a valid document when you arrive to India by cruise or ships or ferry are as follows:
Since you will be uploading a picture of yourself as an applicant, there are some specific requirements that you must follow in order to keep in line with the official regulations, which are as follows:
There are professional photographers who know about all the above guidelines, and can take the picture for you.
There is a limit to which you can enter under the e-visa. There is no multiple entry available under the visa, but you can enter India twice on a single e-visa in one calendar year. You will have to apply for a regular multiple entry visa from the Indian Consulate if you are looking to enter India more than twice in one calendar year. People of all ages have to apply for a visa if you are a US citizen visiting India.
There are government portals, as well as private service providers who can help you with the e-visa. When you go for a private service provider, you will get additional benefits. The other option is the government portal where you are going to apply on your own. Here are the benefits that you can avail when you apply for an e-visa:
Apart from the instructions regarding the applications that are mentioned above, there are some things which you might have to pay special attention to, in order to secure the approval of the e-visa.
No work is free from the phishers and scammers who are trying to make a fool out of people in exchange for a quick buck. This problem may not be prevalent if you are pushing the application on your own through the government’s portal. However, when the paradigm shifts to the private sector, you will notice that there are many scams that have been reported over the years. There are fake websites and agents who make big claims about getting you a fast visa approval at a cost that is lower than the one which is present on the official website of the government.
If you ever come across such a claim by someone in the private sector, the first thing that would come to your mind is wonder about why someone would pay for the rest of the service charges that have to be paid to the government in any case. You should always ask for the proper credentials of the person, since in nine out of ten cases, the person is trying to get some money out of your pocket. Even if the person is genuine, he or she would be not working for any profit, rather going for a loss, and you should ask yourself why any sane person would do something like that on purpose.
You should always try to avoid websites that do not have the proper credentials. Since digital marketing has gained quite a traction, these fake websites try to push out their banners through sponsored advertisements and try to lure the people to avail their service. Make it a point to go through the proper channels and ask for a record and testimonial of the people who have gone through the same process
Even if you are going through the channels of a private company who has passed all the criteria of checking for a fake, never pay the whole fee upfront. Pay a portion of the fee in order to initiate the process, usually somewhere between 25% to 50%. The rest of the fee should be paid only after you have received the email with the approval from official government channels. When you receive a validation number from the agent for your e-visa, always cross check it with the official website, where you would have otherwise gotten the e-visa. Since the whole fee is refunded in case of a non-approval, the companies in the private sector usually keep a small percent of the token amount for their efforts to get your e-visa.
The process, which is otherwise quite smooth and simple, can sometimes face a problem during the application for the e-visa. This can be due to one of two reasons which are discussed in detail below:
1. Failure during the payment: This is one of the most common problems that people have faced over the years. India, still being a developing country, does not have quite an extensive online system for the visas. Numerous cases have reported that when they were trying to pay for the fee, however, they could not go through the portal. After three attempts, the application ID that you would have generated will get blocked and you will have to start the whole process again by generating a new application ID.
2. Crashing of the Website: This is yet another persisting problem. Even though the current Indian government is highly promoting a Digital India, the website which accepts the e-visa applications has been reported to crash quite oftenly. The website crashes when you are trying to get to the payment portal. After it crashes, you will have to do it all over again, and in case of three unsuccessful attempts, you will have to generate a new application ID and then repeat the whole process.
Quite a simple solution for the above two problems, is to go private with the process and get the whole thing done through an agent. Agents handle such issues on a daily basis,. The entire headache for the repeating the process falls on the shoulders of the agents. You might have to pay a bit more than the official fee, but you will receive your visa if there is no irregularity with your documents. Even if there is an irregularity, the visa experts will guide you through the proper process to get it rectified.