Indian Government liberalises e-visa regime to make it tourist friendly

• The Union Tourism Ministry recently made a series of amendments in India’s e-visa regime, liberalising it further and making it more tourist friendly.

• The e-tourist Visa, which was introduced in September 2014 with 46 countries has now been made applicable for 166 countries.

• The Ministry of Tourism had been working very closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs for easing of the visa Regime in the country over a period of time.

Key highlights

• The duration of stay in India of e-tourist and e-business visas has been made maximum up to one year with multiple entry subject to the stay stipulations.

• The existing restriction of allowing foreigner for a maximum of three times has also been removed.

• Further, e-visa will be valid for entry through 2 two more designated airports such as Bhubaneswar and Port Blair, raising the total number of such airports to 28.

• There would be no separate category of destination wedding visa. Those attending a destination wedding in India can do so under normal e-tourist visa or tourist visa.

• Further, foreign nationals who fall sick during their stay in India can now avail medical treatment without converting their visa into medical visa. This would take care of sudden medical emergencies.

• Besides, visa-on-arrival facility has been extended to the nationals of the Republic of Korea.

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Mains Paper 2: International Relations

Prelims level: e-Visa

Mains level: Details about the e-visa facility

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