All but eight countries to get visa-on-arrival

The government hopes to have these resources in place by September so that the new system can be rolled out in time for the tourist season.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 6, 2014 2:58 am
Implementation of Wednesday’s decision hinges on boosting infrastructure and staff at immigration counters across airports, officials said. Implementation of Wednesday’s decision hinges on boosting infrastructure and staff at immigration counters across airports, officials said.

The Government   Wednesday approved an ambitious plan to extend visa-on-arrival facility to almost all countries barring a handful categorised as “sensitive” due to the security risk they pose.

The move aims to make it easier for tourists to visit India and has been extended to 180 countries. Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia are eight countries that have been kept out of the list. The Sunday Express had reported on February 2 that the government was set to take up this proposal after intelligence agencies had finally given their consent.

Implementation of Wednesday’s decision hinges on boosting infrastructure and staff at immigration counters across airports, officials said. The government hopes to have these resources in place by September so that the new system can be rolled out in time for the tourist season. At present, India extends visa-on-arrival facility to 11 countries including  New Zealand, Japan and Vietnam.

Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs, Rajiv Shukla, said the proposal had been cleared at a Planning Commission meeting attended by Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh and top PMO officials.  “It is a major move and we hope it will boost tourism in a big way. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October,” Shukla said.

While Indian intelligence agencies had been resisting the relaxed visa regime due to security concerns, they have now agreed to the proposal.
The move is expected to usher in a major revamp of India’s tourist visa system. The model likely to be put in place will do away with the need to visit an Indian mission but will require tourists to make an online application before their departure.  The Bureau of Immigration will set up a website for this and upon submission of an application, it will email an electronic visa/travel authorisation within 2-3 days, allowing the tourist to enter India and also facilitate easier verification at airports.

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  1. K
    Krutish
    Nov 20, 2014 at 7:08 am
    Yes Mr.Modi announces on arrival visa for Australian tourists.You are welcome to Mumbai-city of dreams
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      Concerned citizen
      Apr 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm
      Really !!! so when people from countries like Sudan, Ethiopia etc, gets free reign to visit and never leave given the lucrative condition, how does our goverment plan to deal with the situation. On arrival visa regime should be granted only to those countries which have bilateral ties strong enough to prevent illegal immegration. Do you think those 180 countries will reciprocate back granting on-arrival visa for indian citizens as well ? s. !!
      Reply
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        Amit Sood
        Feb 6, 2014 at 3:56 am
        Good move by Indian govt to liberalise tourism, but could have been better if we also received the same treatment in these 180 countries.
        Reply
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          Amit Sood
          Feb 6, 2014 at 3:56 am
          Good move by Indian govt to liberalise tourism, but could have been better if we also received the same treatment in these 180 countries.
          Reply
          1. E
            Erjan Aisabay
            Dec 4, 2014 at 4:14 am
            I am curious if this system is already in place? I searched on the internet and found possibly outdated (?) data that only a few countries are included in the visa on arrival scheme. Thank you.
            Reply
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              Ayyappa
              Feb 6, 2014 at 4:05 am
              I support this move but have questions. Is the infrastructure ready for this move? Does the public know how to treat these guests, dont want another report of rape. Does the police have the means to track the few trouble makers who will sneak in. What about Bangla Desh they are in or out of this scheme? There are many from there and Mayanmar roaming freely in India thanks to vota bank politics.
              Reply
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                Ayyappa
                Feb 6, 2014 at 4:05 am
                I support this move but have questions. Is the infrastructure ready for this move? Does the public know how to treat these guests, dont want another report of rape. Does the police have the means to track the few trouble makers who will sneak in. What about Bangla Desh they are in or out of this scheme? There are many from there and Mayanmar roaming freely in India thanks to vota bank politics.
                Reply
                1. H
                  hell freezes
                  Feb 6, 2014 at 3:41 am
                  our govt has completely lost it. Visa on arrival for even the chinese and USA???
                  Reply
                  1. H
                    hell freezes
                    Feb 6, 2014 at 3:41 am
                    our govt has completely lost it. Visa on arrival for even the chinese and USA???
                    Reply
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                      Chocolate dropper
                      Feb 6, 2014 at 5:48 am
                      Go India and get rape with your family. On special package wife gang rape in front of husband tide to the tree.
                      Reply
                      1. C
                        Chocolate dropper
                        Feb 6, 2014 at 5:48 am
                        Go India and get rape with your family. On special package wife gang rape in front of husband tide to the tree.
                        Reply
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                          Sibu Kurian
                          Feb 6, 2014 at 5:51 am
                          This is a great move. A late arrived wisdom but better late than never :)
                          Reply
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                            theshedbutton
                            Nov 12, 2014 at 8:03 am
                            Is Australia included in the 180 countries that can allow its citizens to apply on arrival? Can an Australian who has visited Mumbai ist if you have gone through this process?
                            Reply
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