Apply for a Tourist E-Visa (Single 60 day entry into India)
There are a few ways to apply for an India visa and the easiest is through the new E-visa process which is now available to applicants in the UK. Holders of passports endorsed ‘British citizen’ who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for an e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) to enter India at certain designated airports. You can apply online a minimum of four days before your arrival, with a window of 120 days. For example, if you’re applying on 1st Sept, you can arrive from 5th September to 2nd January. The visa costs US$ 75 per passenger (excluding credit/debit charges which must be paid at least 4 days before you travel). It will be valid for 60 days from the date of arrival in India and double entry is permitted on E-Visa for tourists. One last thing, your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months after your return date to the UK.
Please note: To be eligible for an E-visa, you must be entering India at one of the following 24 airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum and Varanasi.
As British subject, British protected person, British overseas citizen, British national (overseas) and British overseas territories citizen passport holders aren’t eligible to apply for an e-TV, we suggest carefully checking you’re eligibility for an e-TV before you apply.
For more info about this new e-visa process, simply visit Indian Visa Online. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to have your visa before you travel you can follow the process below.
Longer length/ Multiple Entry Visas for India
If you are travelling through India for more than 60 days, or need to depart and re-enter India during your trip, you will need to apply for your tourist visa in person by scheduling an appointment to visit an Application Centre in the UK, or you can apply by post. For more information on applying, you can visit the India Visa Information website.
Both of the above methods are quite long-winded, so we’ve teamed up with the Visa Machine, who will guide you through the form-filling process, attend the regional centre on your behalf, collect your passport & visa for you when it’s ready and send it back immediately. The whole process can be turned around in just a week or two.
Please note: Due to the very changeable nature of visa rules in India, we recommend seeking further information about how to apply for India tourist visas on the Indian High Commission website.
The Indian currency is the Rupee and as it can’t be imported or exported, you won’t be able to pre-purchase it in the UK. Instead you’ll need to get them when you arrive. Currency can only be changed at banks or authorised money changers in India, including hotels. Both US dollar and GB sterling travellers’ cheques can be exchanged and we suggest obtaining low denominations for small purchases and tips. Don’t accept any torn bank notes if you are given them as change, as most Indians won’t accept them as payment. This applies to Rupees (INR or Rs), Euros or GBP notes, and you can exchange any damaged Rs notes in banks.
Credit and Debit Cards
ATMs are plentiful in India and they accept most international bank cards, however you’re unlikely to come across many cash points in more rural areas so it’s worth taking some extra cash with you.
Tips and Haggling
We’d recommend tipping for good service when travelling in India. This is generally expected, however how much you tip is totally up to you. You should tip in Rupees and we we’d recommend 200-800 Rs per couple per day for a day tour with a guide, or 200-500 Rs for a local driver. A 10% tip is the norm in restaurants and hotels when no service charge is added to the bill.
Obviously this is very much a rough guide and you are completely free to give whatever you feel is appropriate.