COVID-19 Impact on Indian E Visa: Information under a Glance
The government of India was one among several nations to impose an international travel ban due to COVID-19. Read more to know visa related details.
The outbreak of a never-heard-before pandemic paused the entire world alike. As a result, air travel and the aviation industry was majorly impacted. Some major travel bans were imposed internationally and some updates were also made regarding Indian Visa. This helped India keep the death toll relatively low at the start, but the situation got out of hand as the outbreak become uncontrollable.
Although some air bubble agreements have been made by India with several nations but travellers still lack clarity on new rules being introduced.
Before we get further on the new arrangements made by Govt. during the pandemic let’s a have on the basis of who can apply for an Indian Visa.
Anyone can submit their application form for the Indian visa on the official website of the Indian govt. However, there will be some delay in the processing of submitted applications. Due to various uncertainties, the govt. has put on hold processing for some time. These applications will be processed again once the immigration service of India starts issuing e visa India.
Besides e-visa, people can also apply for physical visas. All physical visas (except tourist visas) can easily be applied. In case, you need a physical business visa, you would require an invitation from an Indian business partner.
For the physical visas, the validity of which has not expired are accepted to travel to India (except tourist visa and medical visa). However, a re-confirmation by the Indian High Commission is required.
Just having a visa is not all that is required to enter a country, which is still battling the pandemic, a negative Covid-19 report is a nessecity to be produced by the travellers before the authorities. The test should not be more than 72 hours old.
The travellers are also provisioned to be quarantined for at least 14 days. This quarantine is mandatory for every traveller. The cost of this quarantine has to be paid by the traveller. Additionally, the travellers will have to install the “Arogya Setu” app in their smartphones. This is compulsory for travellers.
Different states in India have different quarantine rules. And therefore, it is advised to check the advisory of the state government before travelling to any destination. Due to the outbreak of a new highly contagious strain, travellers from the UK and the EU may have to come across additional quarantine measures.
However, the Indian government has signed an air bubble agreement with various nations. The list includes the UK, the US, the UAE, Bhutan, France, and Kenya.
The air bubble agreement allows two countries (nations between which air bubble agreement has been signed) to continue the air travel by following all the precautionary measures agreed upon by both the nations. There are some pacts to be followed by both the nation making the treaty.
Let’s have a look at the new policies announced during COVID-19
- Under the Vande Bharat air bubble mission, the following categories of travellers are allowed to enter india:
- OCI cardholder or Overseas Citizen of India and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) holding the passport of any country are allowed to enter India
- Foreign nationals intending to visit India (by following all the regulations as mentioned)
- In case, any existing visa has expired, foreign nationals can obtain a fresh online visa India under the required category from a relevant certified Indian institution.
- The two nations whose residents are allowed to enter India are Nepal & Bhutan.
- COVID-19 protocols and health guidelines issued by the Indian government are subjected to be followed by every foreign tourist coming to India. Incompliance with any protocol is subjected to harsh action against the culprit.
For more updates on COVID-19 measures by the Indian government, Visit here.
Updates on e-visa India
The format for e visa India very much resembles a visa on arrival. However, it is not the same. For e-visas, the applicant needs to submit the visa forms along with the necessary payment. In case the online visa is granted to the applicant, he/she gets the information through mail only.
In case of electronic or e-visa, you don’t need to visit or courier your passport to an Indian Embassy. Once visa is issued, authorities stamp the category (tourist visa, medical visa, student visa, etc.) on the passport on arrival.
Obtaining e-visa India is a convenient process. Unlike gaining physical visa, which would require you to visit an India Embassy/Consulate, applying online is a hassle-free process and requires less time and efforts.
The eligibility for Indian tourist visa
Mentioning a total of four reasons is sufficient for obtaining an Indian tourist visa, which are:
- Recreational and sightseeing
- Visiting friends or family
- Medical treatment for a short duration, and
- Conducting short and casual business trips
Application requirements for electronic tourist visa for India
- Travellers need to submit scanned copy of their passport’s information page once the application form has been filled up
- A digital copy of the traveller’s passport sized photograph is essential to upload on the official website
- Proof of departure is also required for the confirmation of a round trip
- The e-visa fee varies in different countries. Currently, citizens from 169 countries can apply for a e-visa
Details of e-tourist visa to India
Travellers need to submit their application four days ahead of their journey and no earlier than 34 days of the arrival date. The duration was 30 days earlier, which is now 60 days with a double-entry. This new rule has been taken in effect from April 01st, 2017.
The government has also made it easier to apply for business or student visa online. However, the rules and regulations differ a bit and that is why it is advised to check all the details before applying for Indian e visa.
Additionally, plenty of airports in India offer visa-on-arrival and therefore, the tourists can pick up the same from the following airports. These airports include Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bagdogra, Cochin, Chennai, Calicut, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gaya, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, & Varanasi. These also include seaports of Kochi, Goa, and Mangalore.
At last, it is also necessary to carry a copy of ETA or Electronic Travel Authorization while travelling to a country on e-visa. Once a traveller arrives at an airport, authorities will have to stamp the e visa India on the passport after cheking all the details and doing the required formalities. This also includes impressing another stamp on the passport by immigration counter at another window. The procedure will take longer at busy airports like the ones in metro cities.