Yoga Visa: India now lists yoga courses under permissible activities for e-Tourist Visa
As the International Day of Yoga nears, the Indian Government has made an announcement that will make every yogi crack a smile.
Foreigners can now apply for e-Visa not only for sight seeing, recreational and visiting purposes, but also for short-term yoga courses and for taking short-term medical treatment under Indian systems like Ayurveda.
“Realizing the spread and importance of yoga in the world today, the government has decided to include ‘attending a short-term yoga program’ in the list of permissible activities under e-Tourist Visa,” a Ministry of Home Affairs statement said.
This move makes coming to India to learn yoga hassle free. Now, the students need not visit the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO) at the city police headquarters. Technically, the “Yoga Visa” is similar to a student visa except that it specifies that the student has come to learn yoga for a specific period of time.
Check if you’re eligible to use the Yoga Visa:
- Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
- International Travellers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
- International Travellers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may please apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
- Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders.
- Not available to individuals endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport i.e. each individual should have a separate passport.
- Not available to International Travel Document Holders.
General instructions for applying
- Applicants of the eligible countries/territories may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. Example: If you are applying on 1st Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 5th Sept to 4th Oct.
- Recent front facing photograph with white background and photo page of Passport containing personal details like name, date of birth, nationality, expiry date etc. to be uploaded by the applicant. The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded document and photograph are not clear / as per specification.
- E-tourist Visa fees is country/Territory specific (min $00 and max $60). Bank transaction charges of 2.5% will be charged additional on applicable e-Tourist Visa fees. The fee must be paid at least 4 days before the expected date of travel otherwise application will not be processed.
- eTV fee once submitted is non-refundable as the fee is for processing of the application and is not dependent on either Grant or Rejection of VISA.
- The fee being paid is only towards the application and doesn’t in anyway guarantee issuance of the visa by the Government of India. The application fees once paid is non-refundable even if the application for visa is rejected.
- Applicant should carry a copy of eTV along with him/her at the time of travel.
- Biometric details of the applicant will be mandatorily captured at Immigration on arrival in India.
- The validity of visa will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.
- eTV is valid for entry through 16 designated Airports i.e. Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi. However, the foreigner can take exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India.
- This facility is in addition to the existing Visa services.
- e-Tourist Visa (eTV) is allowed for a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.
- e-Tourist Visa (eTV) once issued on arrival is Only single entry, non-extendable , non-convertible & not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas.
- Applicants can track the status of their application online by clicking visa status.
- Please be careful while making payment of the eTV fee. If the number of unsuccessful attempts is more than three (03), then the application id would be blocked and the applicant would be required to apply afresh by filling the application form again and regenerating a new application id.
- Before re-applying, the applicants are requested to wait for 4 hours for payment status updating, after final submission of the application form and payment of the fee. The payment status updating may take up to 4 hours.
- Nationals of Yellow Fever affected countries must carry YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CARD at the time of arrival in India; otherwise they may be quarantined for 6 days upon arrival in India.
The ministry of AYUSH will be celebrating the 2nd International Day of Yoga on 21st June 2016 in Chandigarh. The Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi is expected to attend the event.
For more details, log onto https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html