INDIA – Government warns applicants of fake e-visa websites

False e-visa websites may advertise faster application processing times with additional charges. These offers are scams and should be disregarded.

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Ministry of Tourism has issued an advisory reminding e-visa applicants to only apply for e-visas through the official Government of India website. The notice is in response to reports of false e-visa websites that compromise personal information and seek false payment for e-visa services.

Key points:

  • The Indian government does not appoint any authorized agents to apply for e-visas on behalf of any applicant. No facilitation is required by an intermediary or other such agent.
  • False e-visa websites may advertise faster application processing times with additional charges. These offers are scams and should be disregarded.
  • E-visa applicants should only apply for e-visas through the Government of India website at www.indianvisaonline.gov.in and https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html.
  • Foreign nationals from any of the more than 160 countries covered by the e-visa program may apply for e-tourist, e-business or e-medical visas, depending on the purpose of their visit. Travelers must be sure that their specific activities are permitted.

Background: India introduced visa subcategories for tourists, business travelers and medical visits to its e-visa program in April of 2017. While these changes may have made the e-visa program a more attractive option, travelers must be sure that their specific activities are permitted on the visa on which they are traveling. Those with any questions about their travel to India should contact their BAL attorney about what their best options are before traveling or applying for a visa.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals who believe they have been targeted by a scam should contact their BAL professional or the the Visa Support Centre at: 011-22560198, 011-22560199.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in India. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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