News report | | 20/04/2022 | ±3 minutes reading time

Although applying for an India e-visa has again become possible since October 2021, the e-visa for India is still not available to people from the UK and Canada. It remains unclear when and if this will change.

Sanctions against certain nationalities

Even though most nationalities can again apply for their India e-visa, for travellers from certain countries it is still not possible. This includes Canada and the United Kingdom, two countries from which India normally welcomes many tourists. The Indian government has excluded these countries from their e-visa system for specific reasons.

Canada, for example, is being accused of rejecting Indian visa applications on a large scale. Moreover, numerous visa applications from Indian citizens are kept on hold for a long time, sometimes even up to nine months. As long as this does not improve, Canadians will not be able to apply for an India e-visa, according to the Indian government.

In turn, the UK government applied extremely strict rules for travellers from India during the Covid-19 pandemic, since India was considered a high-risk country. This made is very difficult for Indian people to travel to the UK. As a response, the Indians excluded the British from their e-visa system.

Travellers from more countries currently do not have the option of applying for an e-visa for India. The following is a list of the temporarily excluded countries:

  • The United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kirghizia
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Qatar
  • Saudi-Arabia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan

Alternatives to still travel to India

Not being able to apply for an Indian e-visa, does not mean that travellers with these nationalities are completely unable to travel to India.

Paper visa

Travellers from the above-mentioned countries can resort to the paper visa. The application process, however, is much longer than for the e-visa, for reasons such as the need to make an appointment at the embassy for an interview. It can sometimes take weeks before someone can go to the embassy. Only after this interview, can the visa be granted. Furthermore, the price of a paper visa is higher.

Travelling with a different passport

The sanctions of the Indian government apply to the passport that is used for travelling and therefore is not based on the country of origin. This means that a British passport cannot be used to apply for an e-visa, but travellers with multiple nationalities can submit their visa-application with a passport from a country to which the sanctions do not apply. A traveller with both the British and Irish nationality, cannot use the British passport for the e-visa, but can very much use the Irish passport.

Travelling with an OCI-card

Travellers of Indian origin without an Indian passport can in some cases travel to India without a visa. They need an OCI card (Overseas Citizen of India) or a PIO card (Person of Indian Origin).

Expiry date of visa sanctions unknown

It is still unclear when and if the government of India will lift the visa sanctions for these countries. The United Kingdom, for example, has already eased the coronas rules for travellers from India for some time, but the country remains excluded from the e-visa system. The Indian government indicates that the sanctions will remain in place as long as the countries do not meet the set conditions.