Indian E-Tourist Visa – help!

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Our volunteers visit Agra and the Taj Mahal on one of their weekends by overnight train journey

The new Indian e-Tourist visa has made the whole visa application experience so much easier and also much cheaper!  The website is very clear and easy to navigate.

The Indian e-Tourist visa can only be applied for 30 days or less before you travel!

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Ladies from the village where the volunteers teach in the school collecting water from the water tap

Before you start, you need to do a few things:

  • Go to a photo booth that does Indian visa photos and take 2.  Don’t try and pass off ordinary passport photos as they will not be accepted.   These photos are square with no white rim around the edge.   Plus, you must not smile (which means you will look really miserable…)  You then need to scan this photo and make sure it is more than 10 KB (but less than 300 KB)  playing around with the dpi until you get it right.  The visa photo must be a jpg.  I got mine from Snappy Snaps and at the time of taking the photos, asked them to email me the jpg which I could upload onto the passport form in the right format.
  • Scan a copy of your passport main page showing your photo, passport number, date of issue, date of expiry, etc.  The copy of the passport must be a pdf.  Don’t scan both pages of your open passport, just the page with your photo and details on.  You then have to crop it to size when uploading.
  • Know what your parents’ full names are and also the town where they were born.
  • You will also need to give the address of where you are staying in India as well as a contact and telephone number.  If you are travelling with us, we will give you this information.
  • You will need to give a reference name, address and telephone number in the UK.  I am sure a neighbour will do.
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Volunteering during the Holi Festival – be prepared to get messy!

Now you go online to:

At the bottom of the page, there are various boxes.  Click on the second one starting on the left side called “Apply here for e-visa”.

Make sure you ask for an e-tourist visa for the right duration and click on the Recreation and Sight Seeing option.

Start filling in the form, it will take a while – a good half hour if all goes well and make a note of any Application id numbers or when you have finished the forms, saving each page, you will be asked to load up your photo (crop to fit in the box) and then your passport copy. 

The next option is to pay so have a credit card handy – the cost is just US$25 now and I was charged extra charges of US$0.73 – much cheaper than doing it the other way.  ***I spent days trying to pay via the first option of the three offered on the web page – was pulling my hair out literally – then tried paying by AXIS Bank, the third option,  and it worked first time!!!  So that is the way to pay if you are using a debit card!

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Teaching and Health promotion in the village school

Within 72 hours, you should get an email back from the Visa Office confirming that your visa has been GRANTED (Yey!).  Print this off and take with you to India:

  • Your passport
  • A copy of the actual Visa application form which will have a copy of your photo on
  • A copy of the above Visa application which has been granted
  • your two photos
  • Anything else that refers to the visa.

And “Hey Presto!”  you have done your Indian e-visa in a stress-free manner and saved a few pounds at the same time!

Enjoy your time there!

Volunteer Vacations

(retweaked November 2019)

+44 7833 208 158

(We have volunteer placements based with a social enterprise on the outskirts of Udaipur for those who are 18+ and interested in teaching in a remote village school or pre-school centre, in a home for destitute boys, street children project or school for disabled children.  Other options are working for an animal charity helping take care of the cows, donkey and dogs that have been injured and need medical treatment and some TLC.     This placement is also suitable for families and older volunteers)