• The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has restored electronic visa (e-visa) facility for foreigners from 156 countries, who intend to visit India for the purposes of business, conferences, and for medical reasons, including in the case of medical attendants.
  • E-visa for tourists is yet to be restored.

Important points:

  • Launch: The e-visa system is an innovation introduced by the government in 2014. The facility was expanded in 2017-2018.
  • The process has its roots in the 2010 Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme for Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand.
  • The government merged the TVOA with Electronic Travel Authorisation, thereby creating the e-visa.
  • Five Categories: An e-visa also called Electronic Visa is provided in five categories—tourist, business, conference, medical, and medical attendant.


Under the arrangement, a foreigner can apply online four days prior to travel.

  • After the details are verified, an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is generated, which has to be presented at the immigration check post on arrival.
  • Entry through e-visas is allowed only at 28 designated international airports and 5 major seaports in India.
  • Nodal Ministry: The Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal ministry that issues visas to foreigners.
  • The facility is not available for the citizens of Pakistan and they are expected to apply for regular visas from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
  • E-visas are not valid for foreign diplomats which are dealt separately.

Current Status:

  • Though the facility is available to 171 countries, after restrictions were announced in 2020, it has been restored only for 156 countries.
  • China, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are excluded from the current restoration.


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