To boost up tourism India plans for Visa on Arrival for UK, US tourists
India is planning to offer visa-on arrival to foreigners touring the nation from different parts of the world with exception of eight, as it expects to enhance tourism prospects, Planning Minister Rajeev Shukla detailed about the objective.
“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,” he said.
India presently provides visa-on-arrival to tourists from just 11 nations like Finland, the Philippines, Singapore and Japan.
This valuable facility is now being increased to 180 nations. The only exception to this amendment will be natives of Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia, the minister said, without detailing about it anymore.
After a strategic meet with delegates from other ministries, he informed the electronic visa would be in force for a period of 30 days starting from the date of the tourist’s entry into India.
The decision, taken to enhance the nation’s tourism sector, never require the Cabinet’s approval, Mr Shukla detailed further, including that Home Ministry would inform about the same at a suitable time.
“The facility will provide a major boost to the country’s tourism sector. This is historic,” Mr Shukla said.
An exclusive website would be launched for providing the valuable feature to foreign nationals expecting to tour India in general. Exceptional response is awaited from the tourists with the gates wide opened for them with the consideration of several options in an exact manner as desired.
To obtain visa, they must consider the application in the suggested version at the new website included with the necessary fees. They would be offered an electronic format 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.
The meeting, on behalf of the Planning Commission, was arranged to straighten the issues highlighted by the Home Ministry for providing the facility to nationals of 40 more countries including the US, the UK and Germany.
Home Ministry approval was actually a prerequisite for extending the facility.
The visa-on-arrival feature would result in time savings with no costs to bear for the foreigners as they would never require visiting Indian missions to secure visas for touring India, Mr Shukla said.
Responding further about whether these countries would react in the similar fashion with Indian nationals, he said, “India needs these tourists. They may not.”
In addition to the creation of the much needed infrastructure for the facility to be extended, this would result in the provision of more than 1,000 jobs, he explained.