Tag: India visa on arrival

India to extend visa-on-arrival facility for 180 countries

visa-on-arrival-counter

By News Desk

New Delhi: India has taken a major step to boost tourism in the country. From next year (October, 2015) it will extend visa-on arrival to tourists of all nations barring eight countries. The barred countries are Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia. No reasons have been given for the countries exempted from the scheme.
“We have decided to extend the visa-on-arrival facility to tourists from 180 nations. It will take 5-6 months for the respective departments to put the required infrastructure in place. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October,” said Planning Minister Mr. Rajiv Shukla.
India currently offers visa-on-arrival to tourists from 11 countries like Finland, the Philippines, Singapore and Japan. This facility is now being extended to 180 countries.
Following a high-level meeting with representatives from various ministries, the Minister said the electronic visa would be valid for 30 days from the date of the tourist’s arrival in India.
The scheme is still to be approved by the cabinet and the notification from the Home Ministry is likely at an appropriate time, the Minister said.
A separate website would be set up for extending the facility to foreigners intending to visit India as tourists. To get visa, they would need to apply in the designated website along the required fees. They would be granted an electronic version of the visa within three days.
“Visa-on-arrival can be availed in all 26 major domestic airports from where international flights ply,” the Minister said.
BIOMETRIC DATA FROM VISAS
Meanwhile, the Parliament was told by the Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry Preneet Kaur in reply to a question that the Government has launched a pilot project in the Indian Consulates to collect the biometric data of all foreign nationals applying for visas to India.
Biometric procedures have been started in a phased manner in Indian Missions and Posts abroad.

Presently enrolment of biometric data for visas has been introduced in 32 Indian Missions and Posts abroad. Remaining Missions and Posts are expected to be covered in the course of the current year.

The biometric identification system will eliminate the possibility of fake visas and strengthen security aspects of visa issuing system.
Biometric data is a general term used to refer to any computer data that is created during a biometric process. This includes samples, models, fingerprints, similarity scores and all verification or identification data excluding the individual’s name and demographics.

- SAT News Service

Indian ‘Visa on Arrival’ for 40 countries including Australia

India-tour

New Delhi, 6 Oct : India has initiated the process to extend visa on arrival facility to tourists from 40 more countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, a move which will make the country a more tourist friendly and promote foreign exchange earnings.

The consensus was brought on these issues during a high level meeting convened here today by the Planning Commission.

“There was a consensus about initiating the process to make India a tourist-friendly country and extending the on-arrival visa facility to around 40 more countries,” Planning Minister Rajeev Shukla told PTI.

The minister said: “All officials, including the National Security Advisor (Shivshankar Menon), were of the view that India should do this as it would help in garnering more foreign exchange when government is battling the problem of burgeoning current account deficit as it would help in earning foreign exchange.”

Besides Commission’s Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, others who attended meeting include, Foreign Secretary (Sujatha Singh), Tourism Secretary (Parvez Dewan), Additional Home Secretary and representatives from the Intelligence Bureau and the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office).

According to the minister, India’s visa regime has deflected foreign tourists from the US, Canada and Europe to Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal.

The other countries for which this facility can be extended include Germany, France, Italy, Swedan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Norway, Ireland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Israel, Mauritius, Czech Republic, Oman, Argentina and Kazakhstan. .

In 2012, India received 6.58 million foreign tourists, up 4.3 percent over the previous year. India’s foreign exchange earnings in 2012 from tourists were USD 17.74 billion, showing an increase of 7.1 percent year on year.
Under the visa on arrival system, India has agreement with different countries, including Japan, Finland, Singapore, Indonesia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos and Myanmar.