India to offer online visas to 45 countries
Posted on November 24, 2014
NEW DELHI: India will offer online visa facilities for 45 countries including US, Australia, Germany, Israel, Japan, UAE, Palestine, Jordan, Thailand, Singapore and Russia. The facility will be announced on November 27 by the ministries of home affairs and tourism.
Elaborating on the Modi government’s focus on tourism and culture, Union minister Mahesh Sharma told TOI, “The PM has given a vision for the importance of Indian tourism. We will take the country’s rich heritage and culture via tourism and aviation to the world. We propose to propagate to the four corners of the world. This will create employment for youth whether it is medical tourism, adventure or rural tourism.”
Countries that already have visa on arrival and will be able to apply under the electronic travel authorization scheme include Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Phillippines, Laos and South Korea.
Once implemented ETA will allow foreign travelers to apply for a visa and receive an online confirmation within three to five working days. ETA will be available for a 30 day period from the date of the tourist’s arrival in India. The government plans to establish a separate website to extend the facility to foreigners intending to visit India as tourists.
To get the visa, they would need to apply in the designated website along with the required fees.
The e-visa scheme — received the PMO’s nod in June — and is expected to be implemented in the coming months.
The countries that are unlikely to be on the list include SAARC and countries that are on “prior reference” list which include Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Afghanistan.
This is the first time that electronic visas will be implemented in the country. Officials said plans were afoot to include all 109 countries in a phase-wise manner.