• 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.
• 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.
Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: e-Visa
Mains level: Details about the e-visa facility