Filling in Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf

Filling in Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf

Filling in Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf advice.  Leaving it too late to apply for a normal visa I applied instead online for the new e-tourist visa.  I was disappointed that there is only an option for a one month visa for online applications whereas if you apply via you can get a 6 or 12 month multiple entry visa.

Prepare before applying !

It took over 3 & 1/2 hours to complete the appliction.  Uploading photo and copy of passport in pdf format – which had to be under 300kb – was time consuming. I’m in my 50’s so thought perhaps it was just me not being very tech savvy but have asked around and it’s not just me . In hindsight I could have completed in stages – and had the photo and passport pdf ready before i started filling in the form.  Hopefully the info below in this blog will help you.

How easy is it to fill in the form ?

The form itself is relatively straightforward to fill in – but uploading pdf and photo not so easy. Give yourself a good couple of hours to do this so you are not rushing. When you are assigned a temporary application number write it down as it is likely you will not finish the application in one go and need to log back in – note the number starts with the letter I for India , not the number 1.  Note where it asks for ‘referee in India’ I have filled in the name of hotel where i was first travelling to. I have filled in Indian visa application forms before and this is acceptable. If you are staying with someone you know that is obviously better. I have previously asked and if you are travelling around and not sure where you’ll be staying it is perfectly acceptable to just write that you are doing that.  Just enter roughly where you are heading first. However – when travelling to India it is actually quite a good idea to book ahead online somewhere to stay for the first couple of days at least.  This also makes filling in the ‘referee in India’ easier.  After you get your bearings look for alternative accommodation when you are there. Often other travellers will give you great advice.

Laptop or phone best ?

I filled in the form using my laptop – on my phone the text is tiny and large form which needed to be  moved around the screen to view) and used apps on my iphone to take passport photo in required square format and also take photo of passport and convert to required pdf size. See snapshots of the apps below.  Then I sent both to myself via facebook messenger from my phone and opened messenger on laptop and downloaded the photos. There is very probably an easier way but i was mid form and had to work this out as i went along.

Passport photo 

The square passport photo was reasonably easy and straight forward – just follow the instructions on the free app – pictured below.  Search your App Store for ‘passport photo ID’ .   You will be given the option to take a photo with dimensions specific for India.

Filling in Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf
Snapshot of Passport Photo APP

PDF photo

The PDF shot of the passport not so easy. I used the Free APP in the photo below. It took several attempts – each time sending the photo to myself from my phone to my laptop  via facebook messenger and then saving in documents where i could then see how big the document was.  The first was 876 kb , far too big and was rejected by the e-visa website . Several attempts later I managed to get it to the correct size by moving the camera further and further away from the passport ( the app will flash up a message to move the camera closer – ignore it , you will need to move it further away) and then crop the photo of any background stuff. Eventually you will get a pdf copy of the photo under 300kb.  This will then be accepted by the e-visa website. If you have problems uploading try renaming the file with a shorter name.  Make sure no full stops “.” before the file extension .pdf ….   ie not exam.ple.pdf … it needs to be example.pdf . If you cannot see your PDF and photo after you have successfully uploaded – try clearing your cache or alternatively view using a different browser ie google chrome or firefox – as internet explorer doesn’t always display properly.


Filling in Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf
Snapshot of Adobe PDF converter APP

How much does e-tourist visa cost ?

My online visa cost me £49.37 and a 99p non-sterling transaction fee ( cost variable I guess due to currency conversion ). It arrived very quickly via email taking about a day and a half which was good news.  A friend received hers quicker than that.

Don’t forget to pack these top ten items for IndiaREAD HERE

Remember to print copies off

I forgot to print the email and attachment off ( thinking I could just show the email )and had do do this at Heathrow as Emirites will not let you check-in without a hard copy – had to email it to them at the desk and they printed it off for me. Time consuming – luckily had time to do this otherwise would have been a major issue.

Passport storage tip

Now that you’ve solved the problem re Filling in Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf why not purchase a neck pouch passport holder.  I have one similar to the one in the link above.  I was constantly showing my passport at the airports.  It’s a lot easier to have it easily to hand rather than in a bag. I chose a RFID blocking passport holder for extra security. I strongly advise you do too.  Radio Frequency Shielding Material blocks any attempts to steal passport data from the microchip in your passport.  For extra security you can also store debit/credit cards in there for the same reason. Contactless  cards have RFID chips embedded in them which can be read by fraudsters standing next to you with RFID readers. The last thing you want to have happen to you at any time but particularly when you are off on your travels.

And lastly !

On arrival in India you will have to head for e-tourist visa queue and have your biometrics taken. Be prepared for a long wait ! For more info read my blogpost Indian e-tourist e-visa biometrics problems

Why not check out this pack of two plugs if travelling from uk.  Confusingly some sockets have 2 holes and some 3 so this two pack has one of each – you’ll really not want to leave home without at least one pack – and FAR cheaper than buying at the airport.

Thank you if you purchase anything from Amazon on this page. I get a small commission which helps towards the cost of hosting this website.


For great advice on choosing your backpack click here








32 thoughts on “Filling in Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf

  1. Hi i am trying to upload my passport to my Indian visa application. Can you tell me is it both pages or just the one with the photo and info on it.

      1. I did the two. Or rather it was done for me in the internet cafe. The two seemed larger than the required size – I asked the evisa team if they were happy because I could rectify the situation. But they said they are. So fingers crossed for a visa. I guess they can delete the other page… Do you think i’ll be rejected? Together it seemed to be 886kb…. but he stressed all was fine.

        1. I’m not sure I understand what you’ve done or who you contacted but would be interested to know how you got on so do cone back and tell us

  2. Uploading the passport detail page in a particular size – was very hard. If not impossible for someone with basic knowledge of uploading. Plus the threat that if you get things wrong your money will not be returned. I phoned the Indian help desk and got a dead phone instead of help – out of hours?

    1. Thank you for your comment Jaso – yes I agree it’s very difficult – I had huge problems myself when I applied. The notes in the blog describe how I managed it in the end with the help of an App on my phone. My advice is to do this BEFORE you start the application. I hope you’ve managed to get your application in successfully.

  3. Also Camscan app lets you take pictures on your phone and immediately send them as a Pdf (or text or jpg). The good thing is, before you send it, it tells you the file size, so if it is too big you can take the picture again without having to send/open/check size and then repeat the whole process. Saves time.

    1. Thank you. It’s been a couple of years since I applied so maybe it’s fairly new. I found CamScanner but not CamScan. Eventually worked out you had to ‘share’ the doc to find out the size but useful thanks. I will update the post at some point. The only hesitation I have is that Adobe is a trusted name and I’m uploading my passport via them – I’ve never heard of camscan before.

  4. If you intend on travelling to India on a regular basis, make sure you keep your pdf’s For next time, you know they worked and so don’t have to go through the rigmarole for next time

  5. Hi. Really helpful site. We managed to get passport scans to required size after fiddling – I took photo of passport page, pasted it into Word and then saved that document as a pdf. We uploaded my husband’s but when we pressed ‘view’ it didn’t show so don’t want to submit in case it isn’t there. Any tips?

    1. Sometimes it’s your browser – if you use google chrome or Firefox you shouldn’t have this problem.

    2. This seems to be a common problem. Try clearing your cache and if it still doesn’t work try using google chrone or Firefox – you should be able to see it is indeed there

  6. We’ve had problems when we tried to view uploaded pdf of passport page. We took photo of page, pasted it into a Word document then saved that as a pdf – was under 100mb. As we couldn’t see it was there were reluctant to submit application only to have it rejected. Any clues?

  7. Feeling very frustrated with the uploading experience, spent hours today and still not working. If I had known it was so difficult then I wouldn’t have chosen to go to India, why make it so difficult. I have applied for numerous visas and never had such issues with other countries,

    1. I totally understand your frustration – I felt the same way – but it will be so worth it !

      Have you tried using a different browser – google chrome and Firefox are good. And clear your cache. Not sure why that helps but it does.

      Good luck

    2. Sorry to hear you’re having problems . Try clearing your cache and if that doesn’t work try a different browser internet explorer isn’t the best with this form. Try google chrome or Firefox or just try using someone elses computer. Hope it works and enjoy India !

  8. Can I use a photo scanned from photo? The uploaded photo fits the smaller box on right of big box. Is this correct? Thanks

    1. I’m so sorry I don’t know the answer to that one. I guess if it’s clear enough and it’s cropped to be square. I’ll try and find out for you

  9. How you made the payment for the e-visa in that portal it only shows 2 banks that is SBI and Axis bank that I don’t have please help

  10. yes I know that two are Indian bank that’s y im asking how you did the payment im located in Australia and trying to get e-visa for my friend.

    1. According to the vfsglobal website you should be able to pay online using an ‘Australian issued Visa or MasterCard Credit Card or by bank cheque / demand draft / money order / postal order marked VFS Services Australia Pty Ltd or you can go in person to an application centre and pay via credit or debit card ‘

      There is a phone number you can call – 03 8593 9124 ( 9-3.30 working days ) or email

      Sorry I can’t see the visa process from an Australian point of view to be of much further help.

      Good luck & let me know how you get on

  11. Thankyou so much for this page i leave for india in 3 weeks and its taken me nearly a week to find any info on visas even the company im going with were not helpful this has been amazing!

  12. Preparation is everything, don’t start before you have the photo and passport images ready and when you need to pay, click on axis bank. It’s quite an illogical form to fill in but I managed to do it and I’m in my 70s.

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