India to Issue e-Visas to UK Nationals Again
India is to resume the e-Visa facility for citizens of the United Kingdom.
The online visa service was restored by Indian authorities for nationals of almost all countries around the world earlier this year except for a few nationalities, including UK and Canadian citizens.
Last month, the country decided to lift all remaining COVID-related restrictions, including the Air Suvidha Declaration Form.
In the latest Tweet (from 5th Dec.), the Indian High Commission in London confirmed that the e-Visa facility is to be available to UK nationals planning to travel to India soon.
The electronic visa system is being upgraded, and applicants from the UK will soon be able to apply for an Indian visa online. The exact date will be announced soon.
Indian international arrivals before the COVID-19 pandemic
Before the pandemic, in 2019, the number of international arrivals in India was 17 mln, of which 11 mln were foreign tourists, while the remaining 6 mln constituted NRIs coming home to visit relatives and friends in India.
According to government data from 2018, the top five countries visiting India included:
- Bangladesh (21.4%)
- UK (9.7%)
- US (13.8%)
- Canada (3.32%)
- Sri Lanka (3.35%)
Some of these nationalities were not allowed to apply for a visa online. Enabling UK nationals to apply for the India e-Visa is expected now to boost inbound tourism.
Indian electronic visas for UK nationals
UK nationals can choose between 5 different electronic visa types depending on their traveling purpose. The India e-Visa is issued for the purpose of tourism, business, or medical treatment.
Tourist e-Visa can be granted either as a single-entry visa enabling a 3-day stay and remaining valid for 1 month from the date of issue or a one-year multiple-entry visa.
Additionally, applicants from the UK may apply for an e-Business, e-Medical, and five-year visa.
The application should not take more than a couple of minutes and can be completed entirely online without visiting any diplomatic mission of India.
One only needs to fill out a short online form, upload a bio-data passport page and face photo and cover the processing fee, while the e-Visa will be delivered via email once approved.