In 2014, India introduced a flexible policy for issuing visa, whereby citizens of most nations around the world started to receive an ESTA type validation to enter India and they no longer had to wait or turn up at an embassy/consulate to get a Visa stamped.
However the fee for most countries was set as per the reciprocal fee arrangement, and most citizens of most countries would end up paying between 80-100 US Dollars for the visa. In the whole scheme of things it is not very expensive as compared to finding an agent to do it for you and letting your passport go for a few days.
Now that the system seems to have stabilised, the Indian Government is taking a re-look at the pricing of the e-visa. In an announcement made by the Government of India yesterday, the Minister for tourism in India announced that the e-tourist visa will now follow two sets of prices, significantly lower, depending on the time the person gets admitted to India.
In lean season, which has been defined as April – June, people will only pay 10 US Dollars towards Visa fees for a 30-day e-tourist visa, and between July and March, this fee will go up to US Dollar 25, still considerably cheaper than the prices right now.
India is also working on a 5 year e-tourist visa for fee of 80 US Dollars and a 1-year visa for a fee of 40 US Dollars.
This would be wonderful as soon as it is in effect. The timeline is not set for this yet, but it won’t be long before this goes live.
What do you make of the new pricing for eVisas to India. Would it make it significantly more attractive as a destination with the lower fee?