Ties between India and Russia dates back to the cold war era. India and Russia enjoy a strong strategic, economic and military relationship. Tourists from Russia contributes around 7% of the total number of tourists to India. The government of India introduced E-Visas in 2015 making it easier to get India E-Tourist Visa for Russian citizens.
India has seen a steady increase in the number of tourists after implementation of E-Visas. E-Visas made the entire visa process a lot easier than how it was before.
This article will be a guide for Russian citizens on applying for India E-Tourist visa.
Do Russian citizens need a visa for travel to India?
Yes, all Russian citizens visiting India must possess a valid travel authorization before arriving in India. Foreign citizens arriving at Indian ports without a valid visa will not be given permission to enter the country, therefore it is mandatory to have a visa before arriving in India.
Is it possible to get Visa on arrival in India for Russian citizens?
The government of India replaced its existing visa on arrival system with ETVs in 2015 so it is not possible to get the visa on arrival. E-Visas cannot be applied offline. The online application takes a minimum of 2 days to be approved, therefore the application has to be made at least 4 days prior to your journey to India.
How to choose the right Indian Visa for you?
Choosing the right visa suiting your need is as important as having a valid visa. India provides basically two kinds of visas
- E-Visas- These are electronic visas with shorter validity. Foreign citizens who want to visit India for short duration medical treatment, business purpose or for tourism can avail this visa.
- Regular visas- These visas are also called sticker visas as the visas are stuck on to your passport. Sticker visas hold multiple entry benefits along with a validity of up to 10 years. Unlike E-Visas, sticker visas cannot be applied online. One has to fix an appointment with the concerned Indian embassy and apply in person.
Regular visas include Conference Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Employment Visa, Emergency Visa, Entry Visa, Journalist Visa, Medical Visa (for long-term treatment), Missionaries Visa, Tourist visa, Permit to re-enter within 2 months, Research Visa, Student Visa Transit Visa, Intern Visa, and Film Visa.
Russian citizens who want to visit India for tourism and who do not wish to stay in India for not more than 60 days can apply for E-Tourist visa.
What are the documents needed to apply for Indian E-tourist visa for Russian citizens?
Russian citizens need to provide two documents while applying,
A scanned copy of the first and last page of your passport (PDF format)
Passport size photograph with white background in JPEG format.
It is advisable to keep details of your parents’, spouse’s, work-related information and the port of entry handy as you may need these to complete the application
If you plan on applying through a visa agent, they accept photos and scanned copies in any format or size. The India visa agent with whom we do business with accepts photographs shot on your mobile phones. They will later edit the photos and scanned copies to the needed specification.
However, if you wish to apply for an India E-Tourist visa on your own you need to keep all the documents ready for the required specification. Even a slight variation from the said specification will result in rejection of your application. You need to be very careful while uploading the documents.
Beware of fake India Visa agents and scammers
Online scams have been rising exponentially over the past few years and sadly there is nothing much we can do about it. Lately, the visa processing sector to has been infected by them. You need to be very careful when you choose an agent. Make sure that you do not fall victim to a scam.
You can easily identify the scammers just by seeing the fancy offers they give like “express visa for 300$”. You need to know that the Government of India has not authorized any agents to issue a visa. By default, it takes a minimum of 2 days to approve your visa.
Most of the scamming agents ask you to remit more money as an advance payment or may even charge you a lot and disappear altogether. The safest thing you can do is to make an advance payment of less than 50% and make the rest of the payment after you get your visa.
The safest websites we suggest to you are-
indiavisainfo.com: The Dedicated and expert agent with whom we have worked with in the past. They charge $50 for processing you India visa. If you need help with only completing the payment for your application, then you need to pay only $25. They are very professional and dedicated who always strives to give their customers the best in the class service.
indianvisaonline.gov.in: This is the official website of Indian immigration department. Frequent server crashes and poor maintenance make this site unreliable. There will be absolutely no customer support from them and you will have to figure out each and every process on your own
How much does it cost Russian citizens for Indian E-Tourist Visa?
It costs Russian citizens $75 ( 4242RUB) for an Indian E-Tourist visa. This does not include the service charge of your credit card companies. If you decide to process your visa through an agent they charge $50 as their service charge.
Applying for India E-Tourist visa
Applying through the official website is a very difficult task as the website is very poorly maintained and designed. The servers crash very often resulting in the website becoming unresponsive almost everytime. Keeping this in mind we would recommend you to process your E-Tourist visa through a reliable India visa processing agent who can handle the entire process with minimum hassle for you.
Can you recommend any reliable visa processing agents?
With years of experience in the visa processing industry, the only reliable agent we would recommend is indiavisainfo.com. We have been doing business with them for quite some time and they have always kept very good standards. The dedicated and expert agents working with them always strive to give the best possible service to their customers.
Unlike other agencies, they charge only a mere $50 as a service charge for handling the entire application process and only $25 if you need their assistance with making a payment. Customers have to make an advance payment of 50% of the service fee in advance and pay the rest amount when they get back to you with a valid visa ID (which can be verified at the official website of the Indian government).
Applying for India E-Tourist visa with agent
Visit indiavisainfo.com (click the link to open in a new tab).
While submitting the form you need to make an advance payment of $25. The agents from the agency will call you within 2 hours after you submit the form. These agents have very good command over the English language so taking with them will be easier. Once you give them all the required details the agent will start processing your application. You will be contacted by the agent after they get your visa approved. You can verify the Visa ID they give you from the official website of the Indian government and make full payment to get your visa.
Applying for Indian E-Tourist visa on the official website
Applying for E-Tourist visa is not as easy as it sounds because of the issues with the website. If you still wish to apply by yourself please follow the following steps.
Step 1: Visit the official Indian e-visa website and select “e-Visa Application” on the top left corner
Enter the details about your passport, personal details and the port of arrival. Make sure that you have all the required documents in scanned PDF format and photograph in jpg/jpeg format.
Step 3: Fill in your personal details and click submit. Note down the temporary application ID generated.
Step 4: Make the payment (Visa Fee)
Problems with the Indian E-Visa website
There are a lot of issues with the Indian E-Visa website which are persistent. As a matter of fact, even after 3 years of implementation, the issues still persist. We will discuss in short about the 2 major issues.
- Website crashing
This is one of the main issues the users face. You can find people complaining about this in almost all question and answer sites. The website was very poorly designed and implemented thereby making it very difficult to handle traffic. The servers are not properly maintained making this website an abysmal one.
The only feasible solution to this issue other than keeping on trying after clearing cache is to hire an expert visa agent who can do the job for you. These agents have a lot of experience in this field and patience is their virtue.
2. Payment Portal Crashing
This is another issue that troubles the users very much. The payment portal is so unreliable that it takes a lot of luck to get the payment done on the first go. The banks are not capable of accepting online payments from international customers because of the lack of good server maintenance.
Things won’t be easy, you will only get 3 attempts to make a successful payment. If you fail to make a successful payment in 3 attempts they will block your application ID and you will have to start filling in the part 1 application from scratches.
Can I enter anywhere in India with my valid E-Visa?
With a valid visa, you can enter India through the following airports-
or through the three designated seaports: Kochi, Goa, and Mangalore.
FAQ’s on India visa
Does India provide visa on arrival?
No, India replaced the earlier existing visa on arrival system with E-visas in 2015.It is mandatory for foreign citizens to have a valid visa before arriving in India.
What is the validity of E-Tourist visa?
E-Tourist visas are valid for a period of 60 days from the date of arrival in India
Can I extend my E-Tourist visa from India?
No, It is not possible to extend the validity of your E-visa as none of the E-Visas are extendable or convertible. For visas with longer validity, one can apply for sticker visas.
If I cancel my e tourist visa application, will the fee be refunded to me?
The visa fee is non-refundable in other words, you will not get a refund if you cancel your visa.
Is the E-Tourist visa a single or multiple entry visa?
E-Tourist visa holds double entry benefits.
Is the e-Tourist Visa valid for cruise ships?
India E-Tourist visa is valid for cruise ships docking at the following designated seaports: Cochin Goa Mangalore If you are taking a cruise which docks in another seaport, you must have a traditional visa stamped inside the passport.
Is it mandatory to get vaccinated before traveling to India?
Vaccination is not mandatory before your trip to India.