Visa Policy: India and the World (Part II)

Anupam Hazarika 8th October 2018


India’s visa policy has only seen significant reform in recent years. From making the application process completely online and to reducing the visa fee and time, India’s visa policy has become much easier which is already showing dividends.   

The Indian tourist visa on arrival (TVoA), now called “e-tourist visa,” has undergone a lot of changes. Introduced in 2010, the TVoA was introduced and limited to nationals from five countries Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand to boost tourism in the country and attract more international tourists. Instead of going to an Indian embassy, travellers will have to apply and pay online then present a print-out at a point of entry in India. Applications must be made at least 72 hours to 30 days in advance of travel and once submitted would then be processed and an electronic travel authorization, or simply e-visa, via e-mail would be sent within 72 hours.At the end of November 2014, the central government reformed the visaon arrival scheme by introducing Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for all the 44 countries eligible for TVoAs. ETA meant that tourists had to apply for a visa online a few days in advance and carry a copy of that visa with them when they travel to India. (Since this is not technically the same concept as “visa on arrival”, the government finally changed the name of the scheme to e-tourist visa in April 2015). The change in policy did draw more takers among tourists, particularly from countries like the US and Russia.

The India e-Visa allows double entries for a stay of up to 60 days from date of first entry in India. A maximum of two e-Visas can be issued within one year whereas traditional Indian visa allows multiple visits to India and is generally valid for a stay of up to 90 days. Furthermore, since April 2017, E-Visa scheme for Tourist, Business and Medical purposes ha...

Note: Views expressed in this blog are those of the author.