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Current Affairs

Government liberalizes e-Visa regime to make it more tourist friendly

Date: 16 February 2019 Tags: miscellaneous

Union Government has made series of amendments in e-visa regime to liberalize it further and mak it more tourist friendly. Union Ministry of Tourism has been working very closely with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for easing of the Visa Regime in the country over a period of time. e-Tourist Visa was introduced in September 2014 with applicability to 46 countries and now it has expanded to 166 countries.

Important modifications

  • Duration of stay of e-Tourist and e-Business Visas increased from 60 days to 1 year with multiple entries subject to stay stipulations.
  • Existing restriction of allowing foreigner for maximum of three times has also been removed.

Changes in e-Tourist Visa

  • Continuous stay under this vis during each visit cannot exceed 90 days in case of nationals of all countries eligible for e-visa except nationals of US, UK, Canada and Japan.
  • In case of nationals of US, UK, Canada and Japan, continuous stay limit during each visit is 180 days. In all cases no registration will be required.

Changes in e-Business Visa

  • Continuous stay during each visit cannot exceed 180 days in case of nationals of all countries who are eligible for grant of e-visa.
  • No registration is required if stay is for period of less than 180 days.

Other changes:

  • e-Visa is valid for entry through two more designated Airports (Port Blair and Bhubaneswar). It raises total number of such airports to 28.
  • Now there is no separate category of Destination Wedding Visa as it has been covered under normal e-Tourist visa or Tourist visa.
  • Foreign nationals need not convert their visa in medical visa if they fall sick during their stay in India to avail medical treatment. This will take care of sudden medical emergencies.
  • Visa-on-Arrival facility extended to nationals of South Korea.

e-Visa scheme

  • It electronic authorization for foreigners to travel to India for business, tourism, or medical visits.
  • It provides pre-authorization of visa to foreigners prior to travel to India. It covers tourist and business categories.
  • It is implemented by foreigner’s division of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It aims to improve efficiency and transparency of various services being provided to foreign nationals.
  • To avail it, applicant need to submits online application. On approval applicant receives e-mail authorizing him or her to travel to India before departure.
  • On arriving India, actual visa is placed inside passport of applicant at the immigration checkpoint.