As of 20 December 2022, the Indian government has decided to issue e-visas to Canadian passport holders. This can be read in a declaration by the Indian High Commission in Ottawa. In this article, you can read how this decision came to be and how you can apply for an India visa.
India e-visa resumed for Canadian citizens
After the COVID-19 pandemic, India resumed the issuance of e-visas for more than 165 countries in March 2022. The United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia were remarkable exceptions to this list. The reason Canadian citizens were still not able to apply for an India e-visa most likely had to do with the backlog in processing Canadian visa applications for Indian travellers. As the waiting times for obtaining a Canada visa for Indian citizens are decreasing, India has agreed to issue e-visas to Canadian passport holders again.
Canadians no longer need a physical visa for India
After the announcement of the High Commission in Ottawa on 20 December 2022, Canadian passport holders can again apply for an e-visa. This applies to all travel purposes, such as tourism, business, medical treatment or visiting family and/or friends. Therefore, Canadian passport holders no longer need to apply for a physical visa for travel to India. Canadians who are eligible for an India e-visa are therefore requested to cancel any appointment for a physical visa at any of the visa centres in Canada. This allows Canadians who are not eligible for the e-visa for certain reasons to visit the visa centres much faster to obtain a physical visa.
Travellers with Canadian nationality who cannot use the India e-visa, therefore, can still use the visa services of one of the Indian visa centres in Canada. This also applies to laissez-passer holders, among others.
Reintroduction e-visa boost for economy
One of the most important reasons that made India decide to issue e-visas to Canadian passport holders again is the intended recovery of the Indian economy. Indiaʼs economy is largely dependent on tourism. Logically, therefore, the country suffered major income losses as a larger number of people were unable to travel to India during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, a large proportion of tourists to India are from Canada and the UK. To boost the economy and especially the tourism sector, the Indian government has decided to reissue e-visas to travellers from these countries again.
Transport agreement between India and Canada
What will also contribute to the increase in the number of Canadian travellers to India is a transport agreement signed by the two countries in November last year. This agreement allows airlines to increase the number of flights between Canada and India. Whereas airlines were previously allowed to operate only 35 flights a week between the two countries, thanks to this agreement, an unlimited number of flights are now allowed.
India is the fourth-largest market for international air traffic from Canada. The agreement came into effect immediately at the time of implementation and therefore airlines can immediately avail themselves of the rights granted to them through this agreement. Canadian airlines are allowed to fly to numerous Indian cities, such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Indian airlines in turn have access to Canadian airports such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal, among others.
India e-visa also available again for UK travellers
With the reintroduction of the India e-visa for travellers from the UK and Canada, the restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic regarding applying for the India e-visa are as good as over. From 5 December 2022, tourists from the UK can use the India e-visa again. They can easily submit the application online through an online application form.