One of my upcoming trips will take me back to India – a place where I spent a lot of time during the last decade. India always had a visa requirements for almost all nationalities.
A few years ago India introduced the e-Tourist Visa that provide single-entry visa simply by registering online and paying the visa fee. The fee is currently $60 for US passports – most other nationalities are charged $48.
This is a fine solution for anyone who wants to visit India for a vacation – and frankly just a few people come back to India all the time. However you can only get two such visas within a 365 day time frame and over the years things can get expensive (if the visa requirements stays the same).
There is another solution – US citizens are eligible for 10 year tourism visa that goes into your passport.
In order to get the visa you need to fill out the application online and make an appointment at a local ‘processing center’. There is one right in downtown San Francisco – so it was easy for me to drop by.
I printed out the application form, the document check list, the ‘particulars form’ (which is just a summary of the application) and brought my passport and a passport size photo.
The whole verification process took less then one minute and the agent prompted me to insert my chip enabled Chase Sapphire Preferred card into the reader. The processing center adds a $20 to the $100 visa fee and insists on sending out your passport via Fedex (you can’t pick it up). I had my appointment on Friday morning and my Fedex arrived th3 following Tuesday with my passport.
The visa will ‘pay off’ on my third visit to India but it’s also an added bit of convenience. Additionally you can transfer a visa to a new passport (against a $25 fee) should you passport expire or you be lost.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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