India starts e-visa facility for UAE, 42 other countries

India starts e-visa facility for UAE, 42 other countries
NEW DELHI, 23/06/2010: The IGI airport's Terminal 3 - T3, an integrated terminal for International and Domestic which can handle 34 million passengers annually ahead of the Commonwealth Games, the management of the airport was passed over to Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a joint venture led by the GMR Group expected to cost US$2.6 billion in New Delhi, on 21 June, 2010. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Under the scheme, tourists will be able to pick up their visas from nine Indian airports. Tourists can apply twice a year for 30-day visas which cannot be extended.



By Afp

Published: Fri 28 Nov 2014, 9:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:37 AM

List of countries

Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kingdom of Tongo, Laos, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Papua & New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Korea (i.e. South Korea), Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam and Vanuatu.

New Delhi: Tourists travelling to India from 43 countries, including the UAE and the US, will no longer have to queue at their local consulates to obtain visas after New Delhi announced on Thursday a long-awaited easing of border controls.

Tourists from countries including Australia, Brazil, Germany and Japan will now be able to apply online and then receive the green light within four days, before getting their visa at an airport on arrival.

Most foreigners currently have to wait several weeks before learning whether they will be allowed to enter India after submitting their applications at visa processing centres, a major deterrent for potential visitors.

“This scheme... is a dream come true for the entire tourism industry of India and is bound to positively impact the economy,” tourism minister Mahesh Sharma said in a statement.

“The government’s objective is to boost tourism and this scheme’s implementation will send out a clear message that India is serious about making travel to the country easy.”

Plans for the overhaul were announced by the previous left-leaning Congress government which was thrown from office at elections in May.

The minister said the scheme would eventually be expanded from the list of 43 countries that also includes Russia, Singapore and South Korea. Britain, India’s former colonial master, is not included on the new list.

Under the old scheme, citizens of 12 countries were eligible for a visa on arrival.

Despite its cultural attractions, beaches and mountains, India attracts relatively few holidaymakers -- 6.58 million in 2012, a fraction of those who go to popular Asian destinations like Malaysia and Thailand.

India came 65 out of 140 countries in a World Economic Forum ranking on travel and tourism competitiveness conducted in 2013.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing government has pledged to boost tourism numbers since his party stormed to office on a pledge to create jobs and revive the economy.

Under the scheme, tourists will be able to pick up their visas from nine Indian airports. Tourists can apply twice a year for 30-day visas which cannot be extended. Tourists must also have a return ticket.

“The facility is available to foreigners whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, short duration medical treatment, casual business visit... and not valid for any other purpose, activities,” a tourism ministry statement said.


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