E-Tourist Visa ONLINE from UK to India - NOT EASY! ** UPDATE**
I read with interest a few reviews in the last week regarding how “easy” it is to obtain an E-Tourist Visa to India now that the State Bank of India (SBI) have opened up online to allow British tourists to make an online application possible without having to go through the weeks of waiting for a Visa to be applied, to visit India.
My phone bill is going to be particularly high next month when it arrives.
I have already paid for my flight and I am due to start packing up my stuff to go for a quick holiday during October.
Or so I thought.
The problem with the visa site found at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html is that although the online application involves a lot of time spent doing the actual application, going through the process of uploading a photo that has to fit a correct amount of KB data and then also a PDF copy of passport, is that you then have to make payment online using India’s SBIe-Pay service which occurs on a separate link. Oh yes, you have the choice of making payment using either credit or debit card payment, and it is a single payment each time.
It has just not been possible. This is the ninth time that I have tried using a different card - and I only have so many.
I am absolutely sickened by the whole process and false promise of this newer online application of being made “easy.” It certainly wasn’t this stressful when sending my passport away and getting the process done, whilst waiting for weeks for the passport to be sent back.
I am now at the end of my tether and going through the motions of having to phone the flight company to cancel my flight.
However, the website online doesn’t actually reveal the whole truth about the process.
For a start, the photos received by the company would be automatically re-sized even if the photo you send might be too big.
The whole process for their E-tourist visa process only takes a day. I, however am not the kind of person who leaves things like this to the last minute!! I am normally far too organised to even consider an official website that has the promise of a quick to release E-ticket on the basis of a single one time payment that clearly DOESN’T WORK!
The suggested helpline telephone number for SBI-epay at 1-800-221401 DOES NOT WORK OUTSIDE OF INDIA, which is frankly pointless for any international tourist to try and phone. Save yourself from the £1-35 per minute and other network charges I have incurred by phoning the international operator to even try using the number; all you will get is a long engaged “doesn’t work” phone line sound!
So in short, is the E-Tourist Visa site and process of going to India easy to use? Not really . Is it professionally designed and helpful? No. Is the whole process of making a simple payment with SBI-epay easy? Not at all. There isn't even an option for PayPal!
The excuses and the nonsense that “high volume traffic” makes in lieu of failed payment just doesn’t impress me at all. How do we know that from the UK, or from any other country for example when high volume traffic happens? Given that India is 7 hours ahead, but not in every bloody state means it is nigh impossible to judge when you can use an online payment successfully!
In short, send your UK passport away within plenty of time and go through the usual channels of applying for an E-Tourist Visa.
The online process hasn’t been all that well thought out for the rest of the world.
Not impressed at all. (c)Nar2Reviews2015.
The only way I was able to get my Tourist Visa was to eventually go to the nearest Visa Application centre in person and then visit the Consular offices to pick up the Visa in three days. My gratitude to Edinburgh services, which again reiterates that the old process is much more trustworthy!
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