So the state department returned my renewed passport late (over the weekend). I live in Austin. I know there is a consulate in Houston. I found out this "same day" service in Austin can't give me my visa till Thursday.

I am a US citizen. Flying to India for the wedding of a friend of mine.

I am willing to drive to the consulate. They only reply to questions about visas by email. I am getting concerned, can anyone suggest any to this?

-- EDIT!! --

[the following sounds bleak - there is a bright side, read "EDIT #2" below :)] To those of you who suggested I apply and use the difference between expected date of departure and date of the arrival of the visa, thank you but this did not work!!

In fact I'm sitting in the airport 24 hours later and nothing has arrived. My bank says they have changed me the required $60.00 for the visa, and i have an email saying it's in process, but when i take the ticket number they give me and my passport number here, I get to a page that says "Details entered by you could not be found" - in addition the website is archaic and difficult to use. Overall a very crappy experience so far. I think the moral of the story is if you're depending on something first-world, YOU ARE SCREWED. At this point I have not much recourse than to reschedule my flight.

-- EDIT #2 --

OK, so the email confirming my Visa DID come later on, but it was approximately 24 hours later. And it does in fact say I can use it immediately. I asked United Airlines to move my flight up and they did for free, so I'm leaving early next week now with no harm done. Since I'll have my passport from now on, getting a Visa can and should be done well in advance of the trip!

  • 3
    you DO NOT need a traditional visa. Simply apply for and get an eVisa. the last time I had to get one it came back in about 13 hours. you SHOULD be ok.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 10:57
  • (For anyone googling to here, there's no "rules", only an "instructions" page; which refers to the form item "expected date".)
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 12:53
  • I'm really interested to hear if Oliver makes it to the wedding! :)
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 15:13
  • 1
    "Visa on arrival" is in fact precisely the "eTouristVisa" ... ie, this form: indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html. If you quickly google "india visa on arrival" you will see indeed it refers to exactly the "eTouristVisa" process. You absolutely can and should use that line if you have a "eTouristVisa", (No clue why it was empty that day, sorry!) Confusingly and unrelatedly VERY RECENTLY India also offers truly "visa on arrival - you don't even need an eTouristVisa!" to a very small subset of nations (I think actually it is only Japan, of all places!)
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 18:04
  • 1
    There isn't an Indian embassy in Houston. There can only be one embassy per country, and it's in Washington DC with all the other embassies. There's an Indian consulate in Houston.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 18:56

2 Answers 2


I guess for your question

"How can I get a visa for India on a 2-day notice?"

the literal answer is: There is absolutely no way to definitely/guaranteed get an Indian visa within 2 days, because: the eVisa process makes absolutely no guarantees, indeed it does not even mention, in any way, how long it might take. However, as commonplace knowledge, it would appear to typically come back within 24 hours. (Two documented examples on this page!)"

Apply immediately here https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html

in the example below it took

15 hours, 2 minutes

to get an eVisa. I have never heard of it taking more than a whole day, in many examples.

Note many folks assert they are processed in one batch at the same time each day (early in the morning, USA time). That is strictly hearsay, but may be relevant to you, maybe you "missed today's batch".

Note that you enter the


date of arrival which can be any day you expect you might arrive.

Note that when you get the visa by email, you can use it from

the day (i.e., the moment) you get the visa

exactly as it says actually on the visa and on the web site.

With so much business travel to India, it's commonplace to apply (say in the evening), the visa has arrived in your email when you wake up, and you immediately get on an airplane within that hour.

OF COURSE there is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever: I am just telling you as a factual matter "everyone says" it is a same-day thing in practice, every time, and I have never seen or heard of an exception where it took more than a day. Hopefully you are not the first!

Hope it helps!

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Here's what the PDF looks like... (you get it in a separate email sent at the same instant as the second email above).

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(Interesting note - in my opinion, it is almost certainly the case that if you do NOT get it back same day, there's some problem and you just won't get it, or you'll only get it after a huge amount of time.)

  • Dude - would I lie??
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 12:59

Did you try applying for an e-visa online, even if you're technically too late? It might not work, but when I applied for an e-visa earlier this year I got it in less than a day.

If the website won't let you apply for the e-visa with your planned arrival day, try the earliest arrival day it accepts. When you get the visa, it will allow you to enter from the day it is issued, not the day you pick on the website.

When I applied and received my e-visa on the 28th of June of this year (and I had selected July 5th as expected arrival), the visa clearly said: "You can arrive in India between 28/06/2016 to 01/08/2016. Visa is valid for 30 days from date of entry." (This is direct copy/paste)


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My email time stamps are in GMT.

  • 1
    @Fiksdal I know this from first-hand experience. When I applied and received my e-visa on the 28th of June of this year (and I had selected July 5th as expected arrival), the visa clearly said: "You can arrive in India between 28/06/2016 to 01/08/2016. Visa is valid for 30 days from date of entry." (This is direct copy/paste) Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 11:16
  • There is an "Instructions" page at the URL given. (There is no "rules" page.) The only date that can be entered on the form is an "expected arrival" date. The Instructions page points out that you "can select" an arrival date of +4 dates. By all means, the OP may luck-out and NOT get a visa, or it may take longer than a half-day. There is absolutely no guarantee of when the visa will be issued. (Note that they don't even make a guarantee it will be issued within four days!)
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 11:47

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