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Visa-on-arrival facility coming soon for business visitors

Posted on December 27, 2014
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In a move that could make it easier for foreigners to do business in India, the Centre is considering giving visa-on-arrival for business visitors from countries that are not seen as “sensitive’’.

But business visitors from sensitive countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran, may be given e-visas, a Commerce Ministry official told BusinessLine.

While visa-on-arrival can be had on landing, an e-visa can be obtained electronically by applying online without submitting a passport. A copy of the e-visa can then be shown at the airport immigration.

Officials say the Centre could soon make an announcement on visa-on-arrival for business travellers as most of the groundwork has been completed.

The move to ease visa rules was initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office with the Ministries of Home, Tourism and External Affairs driving the process.

Reciprocal facility

“The Commerce Ministry has suggested that the facility be provided on a reciprocal basis. Beneficiary countries will have to offer the same facility to business visitors from India,” the official said.

In fact, during a recent meeting with her Russian counterpart in New Delhi, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out that such visas for business travellers would soon be a reality.

“The UPA Government had started work on easing visa rules, but the process remained stuck with the Home Ministry for long. The process gathered pace after the Modi government came to power,” the official added.

The Home Ministry recently announced e-visas for tourists and business visitors from 43 countries, including Germany, the US, Israel, Palestine, Russia, Brazil, Thailand, the UAE, Ukraine, Jordan, Norway and Mauritius.

‘Safe bet’

“Offering visa-on-arrival to business visitors will be much safer than to an ordinary visitor because they are well travelled and you can look at their track record,” said Ajay Sahai, Director-General, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Sahai said the facility will be a boon for the business community as it will offer the flexibility to visit India whenever needed.

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com

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