India adds eVisa channel

MUMBAI, 20 March 2017: Mangaluru will be the second airport in India’s Karnataka state, after Bengaluru, to offer an eVisa immigration lane, effective 1 April, according to the Hindu a leading daily newspaper in India.

Currently, eVisa travellers visiting Mangaluru have to pass through immigration in Bengaluru, or  at other gateway airports that have eVisa immigration facilities.

The airport has installed two immigration checkpoints  for eVisa holders separate from channels that process traditional visas.

According to the Hindu report immigration officials take the fingerprints of travellers using an eVisa, which slows the process when compared with traditional visa holders.

Immigration officials take three seconds to check a traditional visa, while separate counters for eVisa holders take three to four minutes to check e-visa as fingerprinting is required.

Officials said eVisa travellers should print out the visa approval document to speed up the process. The alternative of showing the immigration official a smart phone reference slows the process further.

At present, foreign nationals who have eVisas and are travelling to Mangaluru need to pass through immigration at  Mumbai,  or Bengaluru, where the airports have eVisa channels and then connect with a domestic flights to Mangaluru.

Mangaluru has direct international flights from Dubai, Dammam, Doha, Kuwait, Muscat and Abu Dhabi.

India introduced its Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility in late 2014 for citizens of 40 countries, including travellers who were eligible for visa-on-arrival. It was extended to 113 countries in August 2015 after the scheme was renamed e-Tourist Visa (eTV).

The ETA is issued for tourism, visiting friends and family, short duration medical treatment and business visits.

An application must be filed online at least four days in advance of the date of arrival in India. If approved it is valid for a single entry of a maximum stay of 30 days (non extendable). The maximum number of eVisas allowed per person is two in a single year. There are three fee bands depending on nationality; USD25, USD48 and USD60, plus a bank fee of 2.5%.

There are currently 16 airports where eVisa travellers can enter the country: Ahmedabad; Amritsar; Bengaluru; Chennai; Delhi; Gaya; Goa; Hyderabad; Jaipur;  Kochi; Kolkata; Lucknow; Mumbai; Thiruvananthapuram; Tiruchi; Varanasi.

Citizens of all 10 ASEAN nationals are eligible for India’s eVisa.