We live in a world where just about anything can be done online. When you can virtually bring the world down to your device screen, why should you spend all your faculties just trying to get to your dream destination?
Thankfully, e-Visa has served as a boon for us all, lazy millennials or tech-savvy baby-boomers. As an Indian, one of the biggest challenges for me while travelling, is, of course, the Visa requirements. India currently ranks 76th in the world for travel freedom, and after many decades of missing out on opportunities of complete reciprocity, trade, and diplomatic relations, we have e-Visa to help straighten out some of these.
1) What is an e-visa?
An electronic visa can refer to the application process to get a visa. It can be completed online, instead of having to appear, or mail documents, to the embassy of a foreign nation.
In layman’s terms, sometime before making your trip, you apply online for e-visa authorization. You enter your information and usually you make a payment, answer some questions, and your identity is checked and verified. Although an e-Visa procedure is relatively easy, you need an intermediate route to avoid common last-minute mishaps. It usually entails your information and photographs being uploaded as it is on your passport and being verified and scanned, after which you can make individual payments, and get your submissions approved.
However, note that e-Visa requirements, being dependent upon the embassies are subject to change. It’s important to keep yourselves updated. You can get the detailed and required procedure here. An e-Visa is as official and relevant as the stamped visa is and the applicants need not to worry about anything.
2) Difference in traditional and e Visa.
An electronic visa (e-Visa or e Visa) is stored in a computer and is linked to the passport number; no label, sticker or stamp is placed in the passport before travel. The application is done over the internet. (Source: Wikipedia.) A paper visa, however, needs the applicant to physically go to and fro and get the work done. One of the major differences is the time required to process the application. A traveller would need to fill out the necessary paperwork and then either mail or hand deliver it to the desired nation’s local embassy or consulate. Thus, receiving a visa could take anywhere from two weeks to two months. This can be very costly and time-consuming for immigration officials and can cause problems if a traveller needs to apply for a visa at last minute.
3) Is an e-Visa better for me? If yes, how so?
E-Visa allows the management of the visa application process to take place entirely in a virtual environment. Everything is done with the help of the Internet: the visa application and supporting documents are submitted online, the payment is made online and the visa approval on the application is communicated online. Thus, records can be easily procured, strictly checked and better monitored. The benefits of e- Visa are very apparent and I will not go rambling about it. There is obviously a huge convenience factor involved. At some international airports, there are special lines set up for those with an electronic visa to get through the immigration procedure more smoothly. This process can save a considerable amount of time, perhaps even hours. When you are a tourist, you need all the hours and minutes that you can squeeze in. It is forecasted that e-Visas could soon replace stamped visas. The following can be achieved with an e-Visa.
– Cost savings
– Time saving
– Easy procurement of documents
4) For which countries Indian citizens can apply for an e-Visa?
Here are the e-Visa countries alphabetically, listed below.
Armenia: Few nations have histories as ancient, complex and laced with tragedy as Armenia; even fewer have a culture that is as rich and resilient. The e-visa option for Armenia is easier.
Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan’s e-visa process wasn’t easy. However, as of 2017, they have made the visa process much easier. Now, tourists may easily apply through various tour operators and visa consultants.
Bahrain: Bahrain is the only Gulf Cooperation Country that has the e-visa facility for Indians. While it is not as snazzy as the other Arab countries it’s just as stunning a destination to visit; a mix of traditional culture and modernity. That said, the e-visa process requires you to upload multiple forms and isn’t so straightforward.
Cambodia: The Cambodian visa process is about as easy as it gets. This is especially good news for Indians who would love to ascend to the realm of the Gods.
Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast): The breath-taking Ivory Coast has its own online visa process. It may take you a while to find the website, which is based in French but also in English.
Ethiopia: Ethiopia is as beautiful as its name sounds. Covered in lush greenery, abundant flora and fauna, and a generous sprinkling of traditionalism.
Georgia: Georgia is one of the most open countries in the world. Nationals of a few countries – Cuba, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and a number of Caribbean islands – can apply for 90 days, while others – such as Indians – can apply for 30 days.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and a great travel, education, shopping, business or investment hub.
Kenya: Kenya reeks of African safaris, but is quickly advancing to making itself as the financial hub of Africa, with everything from co-working spaces to venture funds openings, thus multiple opportunities for investors. Kenya offers 90-day visa-free access to nationals of 43 countries.
Moldova: The world is finally taking note to the charms of this little nation nestled between Romania and Ukraine. Since 2007, citizens of 69 countries can apply for an e-Visa.
Myanmar: Myanmar has made surprising progress in its e -Visa facilities recently and I feel it is only fitting for you to exploit that facility.
Malaysia: Malaysia, one of the most visited destinations by Indians, fortunately, has a very efficient online visa procedure.
Oman: In 2017, Oman also announces e-Visas for hopeful tourists, investors, entrepreneurs and working individuals and students.
Qatar: Qatar is the kind of place where you can learn about the ancient pursuit of falconry or watch camels ridden by remote-controlled robot jockeys race across the desert, admire traditional dhows bobbing on the water alongside one of the world’s most spectacular modern skylines and have a magical culinary experience. e-Visa is available for Indians to be able to go as students, tourists or businessmen and employees.
Rwanda: Rwanda one of the countries with friendly visa policies. Indians, like everyone else, need an online visa. The website is a bit dated, but that has never deterred us and we can make things look better for you.
Sao Tome and Principe: This tiny and picturesque Atlantic Ocean nation of Sao Tome and Principe have wonderful e-Visa facilities. E-visas must be used within 30 days after issue, and the only option is to apply for a 30-day tourist or business visa.
Sri Lanka: A small, peaceful and pristine land, Sri Lanka is India’s most favourite international “budget” holiday destinations. Citizens of all countries other than Sri Lanka require an ETA, everyone is eligible to visit for 30 days with one of these, obtainable online.
Turkey: Turkey is much more than just Turkish towels and Turkish baths. Turkey is a tourist hub enjoyed by tourists worldwide. There are certain requirements that you need to fulfil before and while opting for an e-Visa online.
Taiwan: Taiwan has a rather unusual online process for Indians. The applicant is required to have a valid visa to the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand or Japan in order to seek an e-visa to Taiwan. However, this cannot be a viable reason to miss out on visiting it especially it being relatively close by to India.
United Arab Emirates: The UAE needs no introduction. A well-known financial, educational and tourist hub, UAE, fortunately, offers an e-visa process to all nationalities.
Uganda: Uganda’s e-visa process is replacing the formerly available visa on arrival process. As Uganda lies in sub-Saharan Africa, you are required to upload a yellow fever vaccination certificate along with your passport data page and a passport photo. All nationalities may apply online.
Zambia: Zambia is one of the more tourist-friendly countries in Africa, but their visa policy is still somewhat restrictive. An e-visa is available to all.
Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe boasts of many tourist attractions. One of the most culturally rich countries, a cornucopia of colours, visiting Zimbabwe has been made even easier with e-Visa facilities available.
5) How is e -Visa helping the world?
Apart from the fact that challenges caused by the visa application process are overcome by transitioning to an electronic visa system, which streamlines the process and ensures accountability for both governments and travellers, there are many benefits such as:
– Increase in tourism.
– Extended opportunities for investors.
– A wide market for domestic entrepreneurs; thus, an increase in global prosperity.
– Cuts in turnaround time of processing, thus customer and applicant friendly-process, encouraging applications and ultimately facilitating international travel and tourism.
6) I need help getting started. What can I do?
The team here at BTW Visas is always happy to help you, we provide expert assistance to apply for e-visa. Just contact our visa consultants and let us know where you’re trying to go. Our offices are located in Pune, Mumbai , Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Ahmedabad. We have specialized account managers and a team of friendly experts who will guide you through the whole e visa application process. Additionally, we provide you with 24/7 support and pickup & drop facility for your documents too.