Here’s some good news for those flying to Chandigarh from abroad as the Chandigarh International Airport is likely to offer e-Visa services to flyers from next month, airport authority officials have told Chandigarh Newsline.
Airport authorities believe that introduction of this service will largely benefit foreigners who arrive on short duration visas.
The e-Tourist Visa enables the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian visa from the home country online without visiting the Indian embassy and pay the visa fee online.
“Once approved, the applicant receives an email authorising him/her to travel to India and he/she can travel with a print out of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry,” said the officials. This facility is available to foreigners whose objective of visiting India is recreation, sight-seeing, short duration medical treatment and casual business visit.
Authorities at the Chandigarh Airport said on Saturday that the facility is expected to start from next month at the airport. “We are hopeful that our airport will have the e-visa services from next month. It has to be done by Bureau of Immigration (BoI) which is under the Union Home Ministry,” Chandigarh Airport CEO Sunil Dutt told Chandigarh Newsline.
According to sources, the Chandigarh airport authorities have already kept two separate counters for e-visa services. In September 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Chandigarh International Airport in Mohali constructed at a cost of Rs 1,400 crore. Two International flights are currently operating from the airport.
With the unavailability of e-visa facility the local immigration authorities were forced to return passengers on their arrival at the airport. In this region, only Delhi and Amritsar airports have this facility.
In February, a chartered flight from the USA was sent to Delhi after one of the passengers had arrived with an e-Visa. In another case, a foreign national who arrived at the Chandigarh airport was sent back as she carried an e-Visa.
Airlines operating at the Chandigarh airport blame the local BoI authorities for the delay in starting the e-Visa facility at the airport. “It is an important facility. Nothing much has been done by the local immigration officials so that the facility is started sooner,” said an official from a private airline.
When contacted, Sanjeev Kumar, head, Immigration at Chandigarh International airport refused to provide any information about the matter and instead disconnected the call.