The immigration service recently pushed through various changes in the validity of the e-visa India. Read this page carefully so that you are aware of the current period of validity, the maximum length of stay and other restrictions of the Indian visa.
The new validity term of one year
Starting early 2019, all newly issued tourist and business e-visas for India are valid for 365 days. Within this period, the visas are valid for an unlimited number of trips to India.
However, this does not mean that you can stay in India for one consecutive year. There is a difference between the total validity duration of 365 days and the maximum length of stay of each stay in India. The maximum length of stay depends on the visa type; business (eBusiness), tourist (eTourist) or medical (eMedical). Read below about the maximum duration of the visa type chosen by you.
Validity of the Indian tourist visa
As mentioned above, tourists can use a single visa to travel to India multiple times, within the 365 days the visa is valid for. This also applies to travellers on a cruise. However, each port that is visited needs to be in the list of permitted arrival locations. With an electronic Indian tourist visa, each stay in India can last a maximum of 180 days for holders of a UK, USA, Canada or Japan passport. For example, you can travel to India three times, with each stay lasting 180 days. Other nationalities can only stay for a maximum of 90 consecutive days.
Apply for Indian tourist visa
Take note: the tourist visa is only valid for holidays and visits to friends and/or family. Are you combining a holiday with business in India? Then you need to apply for a business visa. With a business visa, it is also allowed to perform tourist activities.
Validity of the Indian business visa
The business visa also has a validity period of 365 days. The maximum length of stay, however, differs from the tourist variant. Business travellers can also travel to India an unlimited number of times within the 365 days that the visa is valid. Each individual stay can last a maximum of 180 consecutive days. However, all of the days added up (of each individual trip to India with a single business visa) cannot exceed these 180 days. Do you want to stay in India for longer than 180 days in a single year? Then you need to report at a FRRO / FRO office in India before your 160th day. There, you can have the validity of the visa extended.
Apply for Indian business visa
Validity Indian medical visa
The validity period of a medical visa (eMedical Indian visa) is 60 days. This begins on the first day that you arrive in India with this visa. The first date of arrival cannot differ more than 30 days from the expected date of arrival filled in on the application form for the medical Indian visa. Within the validity term of 60 days, you can arrive in India three times. Take note: the final date of departure must lie within 60 days after the first date of arrival.
Apply for Indian medical visa
When does the validity period of the Indian visa start?
Submitting an Indian visa application can be done as early as desired. If the arrival date filled in on the application form is less than 180 days away, then the application is processed right away. Right after approval (normally in 4 workdays, with urgent applications on average within 48 hours), the validity period of 365 days begins.
If in the application form an arrival date is filled in that is more than 180 days away, then the application is put on hold. The application will automatically be processed 180 days before the filled in date of arrival.
Can I still change my travel plans?
In the Indian visa application form, the expected date of arrival is asked for. As expanded on above, the application is processed a maximum of 180 days before this date, and the visa is valid as soon as the application has been approved. From that moment on, it is allowed to travel to India. Putting off the trip is also possible, as long as the date of departure from India lies within the validity term of the visa. It is not necessary to provide any changes to the travel plans.
Not only the arrival and departure dates can differ from the information filled in on the application form; the location of arrival and departure from India can also be changed. Keep in mind that arriving is only allowed at one of the locations in this list. Leaving India is also allowed from those locations, as well as at all border crossings where an Immigration Check Post is located.
Are there other things I need to keep in mind?
In order to be able to travel without problems, the itinerary must comply with the validity restrictions as mentioned above. Also check whether the trip meets the Indian visa requirements. Finally, the validity of the visa can expire early due to a number of reasons, namely:
New passport? Then also a new visa!
If after applying for the Indian visa, or during the validity period, a new passport is taken into use, then the validity of the visa expires right away. This is because it is inseparably linked to a single passport number. The only way to solve this problem is by applying for a new visa as soon as you receive a new passport.
Filled in information no longer up to date?
In the application form, the traveller is asked if they have ever been to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka or Nepal or if the traveller has ever violated visa rules (for India or another country). All of the filled in answers must remain the same for the entire validity period.
Are you for example travelling to Nepal in the period between applying for the visa and your trip to India, while you indicated that you had never been there? Then the immigration service can deny you access to India. Any changes in answers to any of the other questions in the application form also lead to an expired Indian visa.