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Discussion in 'Visa and Passport' started by Jani, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Jani

    Jani New Member

    A friend of mine who was travelling from Germany to the US found out a little too late (at the airport) that he needed to get an ESTA, and then had to cough up $80 for it on on the spot. Are there any 'surprises' that one needs to be aware of when travelling to India? Are there any special stamps or papers required to enter the country?
  2. DhongiBaba

    DhongiBaba Active Member

    Whatever fees you pay for the visa is all listed on government website and you can have a look at the visa on arrival procedure here.
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Jani! Welcome to the forum!

    So first of all, ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. It is an online application system required for travellers going to the US. This way, the US Government can pre-screen applicants going to their country.

    With regards to India, they have a similar version and it's called ETA. It stands for Electronic Travel Authority and the visa is called the e-Tourist Visa or Visa on Arrival. Do not be confused as the traditional Indian Visa can still be applied for. The e-Tourist Visa is for short-time travellers to India as the validity is just for 30 days. If you're just going to be visiting the cities, then you can opt for this visa. The e-Tourist Visa, in this regard, is handled by the ETA of India.

    Eligible applicants for the e-Tourist Visa are:
    • Travellers whose sole purpose for visiting India are the following: recreation, sightseeing, visit of friends, medical treatment or business visit.
    • Passport should be six months valid and has spaces for stamping.
    • Applicant should have return and arrival ticket as well as sufficient money to fund his travel to India.

    You are required to bring the following documents:
    • Your passport with a photocopy of the first and last pages.
    • Passport sized photographs of you on white or plain background.
    • Copy of your ETA printed on white paper.
    • Copy of your return or roundtrip tickets.

    Keep in mind that the visa on arrival is technically not just on arrival. You still need to apply online in order to get your visa on arrival in India. Here are the steps you need to take:
    • Go to the Government of India website.
    • Apply online by uploading your scanned passport and passport sized photographs.
    • Pay the visa fee online via debit or credit card.
    • Receive your ETA online and print it.
    You can then bring your copy of your ETA on your departure for India.

    You can apply for this visa as early as 34 days before your scheduled departure or as late as 4 days before your departure. You cannot visit restricted or protected areas with this type of visa though. Plus, you can only arrive in designated airports:
    • Bengaluru (Bangalore), Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Trivandrum.
    • Recently, 7 more airports were added into the list: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Gaya, Jaipur Lucknow, Thiruchirapalli & Varanasi.
    So in total, you can arrive in one of these 16 airports to be eligible for the e-Tourist Visa. You can also only apply for this type of visa a maximum of two times in a calendar year.

    Here are the fees for the e-Tourist Visa:
    • The fee for this e-Tourist Visa is at $60 per person for countries of: US, UK, Ukraine, Mozambique and Russia.
    • The fee for this tourist visa is at $25 per person for countries of: Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
    • The fee for this tourist visa is free for countries of: Argentina, Fiji, Jamaica, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Palau, Nauru, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Seychelles, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
    • The remaining countries have to pay $48 for the e-Tourist Visa.
    Your e-Tourist Visa is usually cleared within three business days.

    I hope this helps!
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