Visas for Indians: 4 countries working to introduce simpler processes for Indian passport holders

These nations are introducing schemes to make it easier for Indian nationals to receive entry permits for both work and tourism purposes

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Published: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 12:17 PM

Last updated: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 10:07 PM

Countries all over the world are working to make visa application process simpler for Indians.

From UK to Russia, nations are keen on providing ways for Indian passport holders to get entry permits easily - be it for tourism or for work purposes.

Here are four countries that have announced schemes or intentions to make visa processes easier for Indians wishing to obtain entry permits:

1. UK

The UK and India have introduced the Young Professionals Scheme (YPS), which allows Indian and British nationals aged between 18 and 30 can apply to live and work in either country for a period of up to two years.

There are certain set criteria for applicants applying for a visa under the scheme, including a graduate degree and sufficient funds to support their stay.

The Indian High Commission’s website has been updated with details for applicants, at a fee set at 720 pounds. The application is to be made under the E-1 Visa through the VFS Global visa service provider, indicating the purpose as “application under the India-UK YPS programme”.

Each applicant would be required to show funds equivalent to Rs250,000 held for a minimum period of 30 days at the time of submission of the application.

2. USA

Addressing the long wait times for US visas in India, a US official said that the country is "committed to getting out of (the) situation."

It was announced that later in the year, the US will start the visa stamping programme domestically within the US for visa renewals, including H-1 and L-1 Visa. The Department of State representative told reporters that initiatives are in place to speed up domestic visa revalidation in certain categories on a pilot basis.

Acknowledging that the difficulties are still being experienced, the officials said the department was also expanding its interview waiver process for some temporary workers, students, and academic exchange visitors.

The officials said Indian applicants who happen to be travelling for business to another country can go and apply for a US visa. Citing the example of countries like Thailand and Germany, the official noted: "We've also opened up other missions and this is actually unprecedented. We've asked other US embassies to take on India visa applicants specifically if they choose to travel there."

3. Germany

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a trip to India in February that his government wants to make it easier for information technology experts from India to obtain work visas in Germany as the country struggles with a shortage of skilled labour.

Scholz said improving the legal framework so Germany becomes more attractive for software developers and those with IT development skills is a priority for his government this year.

“We want to make the issuing of visas easier,” he told reporters during a visit to India's high-tech hub of Bengaluru.

“Aside from the legal modernisation we want to modernise the entire bureaucratic process as well,” Scholz said.

Asked about workers who don't speak the language when they come to Germany, he said it should not be seen as a hurdle if people arrive in the country speaking English first and then acquire German later on.

4. Russia

Russia is working on easing visa procedures for six countries, including India, Syria and Indonesia, the state TASS news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Evgeny Ivanov as saying on Sunday.

"In addition to India (procedures simplification) ... is being worked out with Angola, Vietnam, Indonesia, Syria and Philippines," Ivanov said.

Earlier, Ivanov said that Russia is also preparing intergovernmental agreements on visa-free trips with 11 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Barbados, Haiti, Zambia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico and Trinidad, TASS reported.

(With inputs from agencies)


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