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 www.vfsglobal.com 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.
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.
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.
How much does e-tourist visa cost ?
My last online visa cost me £49.37 and a 99p non-sterling transaction fee ( cost variable I guess due to currency conversion ). However the cost has gone up now to £54. 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 India – READ 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.
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For great advice on choosing your backpack click here