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India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

Mountain View...
Level Contributor
5 posts
12 reviews
India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

Indian Prime Minister Modi recently visited Australia in 2014 and proudly announced a new travel scheme in which Australia joins the "exclusive" visa on arrival scheme for certain visitors to India (namely, for the purpose of tourism and visiting family/friends).

They called it TVoA or Tourism Visa On Arrival. Many Aussies including myself were thrilled at the idea of not having to line up at visa centers to apply for a visa beforehand when traveling to India. All we'd have to do is buy the ticket, land, go to customs, show our passport, and receive a 30 day clearance. I mean, this is what we're used to when traveling to many other countries including UK, Canada, USA (etsa), UAE, etc... Right?

Wrong. It turns out you actually have to "apply" for the visa through the ETA (electronic travel authority) program online. It's actually a full-blown visa application, followed by a US$60 fee.

The questions in the online application is more detailed than my recent visa application to China! So I think it's quite misleading that they call it a visa on arrival when it really isn't. Be ready to submit details of your employer and contact details, former or other citizenship status, education level, mom and pop's names and addresses, intended address while in India, across 5 pages of the online application. It does give you the option to save the application and resume at a later date, much like those intermissions you get in between a 4hr Bollywood movie.

Also you must upload a photo of yourself, not a selfie or anything, I just used the photo on my passport. This photo must be in JPEG format and less than 1MB. Then you have to upload a scanned copy of your passport in color PDF and this file can't exceed 300Kb. For this step I recommend scanning your passport using Genius Scan or any other handy app that saves scans to PDF on your smartphone. The file sizes are typically quite small yet good enough resolution to upload into your application.

Then you have to wait up to 4 days for approval, after payment of the fee of course. Basically from my recent experience (first trip for 2015), you should complete this application at least a week before traveling, or even booking your ticket.

I'm just curious though, since this TVoA for Australians just came out in December 2014, have any Australians actually booked a flight and went to India without completing the online application? I've been told this application is mandatory prior to arriving in India, but a call I placed to the Indian Consulate wasn't clear at all. Basically they just said that Australians will get Visa On Arrival.

Would love to hear of other Aussie experiences with the whole TVoA program recently introduce for travel to India. As far as I'm concerned right now, this application is far from being a true, and efficient, Visa on Arrival program. Nevertheless it's still worth it for a trip to Goa!

Edited: 01 January 2015, 20:34
68 replies to this topic
India
Destination Expert
for Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
5,745 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

Australian citizens need to have a visa or ETA (as you have described above) to enter India now. The ETA process is valid under certain conditions for citizens of 43 countries (including Austalia). If travelers do not meet the conditions, then a normal visa issued by the Indian Embassy is needed to travel to India. So the only way any Australian could have travelled to India without completing the new process, is if they already had obtained or had applied for a visa or did not meet the condition for ETA.

See this experience of some US citizens posted on TA earlier

tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-g293860-i511-k79813…

Mountain View...
Level Contributor
5 posts
12 reviews
2. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

Thanks for the info. I had previously traveled to Mumbai through the manual visa application process. Anyhow, it's a good thing we were told about this ETA before we flew! I just wasn't getting clear info from consulate regarding the process and whether we had to actually do it online before flying. Can't wait!! Thanks mumbaiguy

Mountain View...
Level Contributor
5 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

I just got my approval email! I encourage all Australians planning to make the trip to get on early and complete the process. The reply was received within 24hrs. I've been told that this TVoA can only be applied twice in 12 months and cannot be applied again within 30 days of departing the country. Another thing to keep in mind I guess.

Goa here we come!

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1 post
27 reviews
4. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

We have been attempting to pay for our visa for the last 2 days, we keep getting a message after the pay button was pressed, that our payment was not received. We have called the Indian help desk and their standard answer is to try again in 4 hours, then they hang up on you. Soooo frustrating, this is far from an easy experience. My next phone call will be to the help desk at the High Commission in Sydney.

Jaipur, India
Level Contributor
4,455 posts
7 reviews
5. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

Better to delete the cookies and then try after 5-6 hours. also clean the temp folder

Lowestoft, United...
Destination Expert
for Varkala, India
Level Contributor
11,001 posts
128 reviews
6. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

Sue, are you using one of the recommended browsers? See this link. You will need to click on "Technical Information" on the left.

https:/…tvoa.html

7. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

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Removed on: 26 December 2015, 06:35
 
San Jose, California
1 post
8. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

this is good for USA citizens as well but I will never use it again, they have a single agent processing these in a special line and the process was so slow, the standard visa processing line cleared out 2 entire flights by the time it took to process the 8 people in front of me. Total waste of time, get the standard visa and save yourself some pain.

India
Destination Expert
for Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
5,745 posts
8 reviews
9. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

@SanJoseRed

Which airport was this?

Abingdon, England...
1 post
1 review
10. Re: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...

Hi there, was your application ok through the etaindia.org website?

Edited: 26 December 2015, 06:08
Reply to: India's New TVoA (Tourist Visa On Arrival) for Australians...
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