Encouraged by the response to the visa-on-arrival scheme offered to citizens of five countries,the government has decided to extend the facility to nationals of four more countries from the beginning of 2011.
Citizens of Cambodia,Laos,Vietnam and Philippines will henceforth be able to obtain tourist visas on arrival at any of the four designated international airports New Delhi,Mumbai,Kolkata and Chennai on payment of a fees of $60 or its equivalent in Indian rupees,a government statement said.
After much deliberations,the government had offered tourist visa-on-arrival facility to nationals of Japan,Singapore,Finland,Luxembourg and New Zealand from January 1,2010 on an experimental basis.
The scheme has received an encouraging response and in the one year of its operation,5,664 citizens from the five countries availed of this facility.
While introducing this facility,the government had taken into account the fact that none of the citizens of any of these five countries had ever been found to be involved in an act of terror anywhere in the world.
The visa-on-arrival is granted for a maximum period of 30 days with a single-entry facility. One person can avail of this facility not more than two times in a year provided there is at least a two-month gap between the two visits.
Apart from travel and tourism,the citizens of all nine countries can obtain visa-on-arrival,for up to 30 days,for medical treatment,casual business or for visiting friends or family,the statement said.
People holding official or diplomatic passports are not eligible for the scheme.