India now offers an alternative to the ‘classic’ Tourist Visa for most travellers – the e-Visa for when you arrive at one of 24 Indian airports (including Goa, Mumbai and Delhi) and 3 seaports (Cochin, Goa and Mangalore), available upon actual arrival in India. You apply at home and get emailed an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) within a couple of days for flying with. The rest is done at the airport! And it is considerably cheaper (at the most, 75 US dollars, so well under 60 UK Pounds or 65 Euros) than a full Tourist Visa.
It now covers just about all potential Casa Susegad guests from outside India – as long as a trip is for “recreation, sight seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or a casual business visit” and a trip lasts no longer than 60 days. You can now also apply well in advance as it doesn’t start to be used until the day you land.
You can use a single e-Visa for two seperate trips to India within that 60 days (three trips if it is for medical treatments) and you are now allowed to apply for an e-Visa twice per calendar year as well.
From memory, the Casa has not had any guests staying who would not have been eligible to apply for an e-Visa, but here is the full current list for reference.
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameron Union Republic, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China-SAR Hong Kong, China-SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger Republic, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda,Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
More details (and e-Visa application) at this Indian Government webpage.
This section, following on from the introduction of the new e-Visa, only applies now to travellers needing a standard Indian Tourist/Business/Employment Visa.
A few years back, a lot of confusion arose over the introduction and then withdrawal of biometric visas.
It is the Casa’s understanding now, at least for UK passport holders, that ‘Biometric Enrolment’ is only mandatory if you are applying for a five year standard Tourist or Business visa’, although all Employment visas are covered (and, of course, if you are a journalist then you have your own personal world of pain!).
Traditionally, Casa Susegad has requested that you pay deposits etc by a standard bank transfer. This is, of course, not cheap, has hidden fees, causes many unforeseen headaches and takes time and a tedious visit to your bank. Sometimes this is the only solution though.
Recently, more and more of the Casa’s guests have been successfully using a service called Transferwise, as backed by Richard Branson. It aims to undermine the complacent banking sector by making cross-border money transfers a lot cheaper, a lot faster and a lot more transparent; and, of course, you can do all of this from your laptop by linking your bank account or debit card to your Transferwise account. Seems to be a no-brainer!
Once you are staying at Casa Susegad then cash is always welcomed! There is a cashpoint in the village and others only a short distance away. Remember to tell your bank in advance that you will be using your card in India to avoid any nasty surprises! And if all else fails, the Casa now has the facility to accept credit/debit cards.
With only one exception, you can be absolutely certain that no website has details of Casa Susegad’s availability!
Some websites (MakeMyTrip/Tripadvisor, Ixigo, ClearTrip) falsely claim that they know – don’t believe them! – and then try to give you other, less suitable, alternatives to stay. These are the bad guys!
Other major agents (iescape, MyIndianStay, AirBnB etc) and some specialist websites (LifeIsOutside, HighOnTravel, itsagreengreenworld.com etc) do have a trading relationship with Casa Susegad, but they always email and ask whether the Casa has availability first before taking a booking from you. These are the good guys!
And that only exception is booking.com. The Casa has a trusted relationship with them and does share its diary with these guys for your benefit.