Tag: visa on arrival

Quite burial for ‘Visa on Arrival’, now called ‘e-Tourist Visa’

visa-on-arrival-counter

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 22 April : After much hue and cry over the ‘Visa on Arrival’ not being as the name sounded, the Indian government has now christened it ‘e-Tourist Visa’. The ‘Visa on Arrival’ was announced with much fanfare recently by India for 45 countries including Australia. But it was later realised by many applicants the scheme was actually nothing but an ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ which one got by advance applying etc. and the visa was later stamped at an Indian airport. Many travellers were misled and faced hardship on the issue.
Last month Australia based newspapers South Asia Times (SAT) and Indian Subcontinent Times (IST) had raised the issue and quoted Mr. Girish Shankar, Additional Secretary as saying, “to obtain the ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival’ at an Indian airport, one has to carry an ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ (ETA). One has to in advance apply online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/tvoa.html with a recent photograph and the photo page of the passport uploaded and pay $ 60 fees.”
A later story by prominent Indian journalist Karan Thapar where he described a person known to him was denied a visa on arrival and was deported from an Indian airport seems to have moved the authorities to rename the ‘Visa on Arrival’ as ‘e-Tourist Visa’.
A media release from Mr. Sunil Nirbhavane, Tourist Information Officer India Tourism, Sydney, says, “Govt. of India has changed the name of Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled by ETA (TVOA-ETA) to e-Tourist Visa (eTV) w.e.f. 15th April 2015. This scheme will be now known by its new name e-Tourist Visa. However, all the other conditions and procedures for seeking the e-Tourist Visa remains the same. More information and online application is available on https://indianvisaonline.gov.in”

- SAT News Service

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