NEW DELHI, 5 April 2017: India has liberalised and extended the scope of its eVisa scheme effective 1 April in a move to boost tourism to the country.
The popular eVisa, is now available in three distinct categories specifically for leisure, business and medical travel, India’s Press Information Bureau announced last week.
The e-Tourist, e-Business visa and e-Medical visas have also been extended to 161 countries for entry through 24 gateway airports, up from 16 airports earlier and three Indian sea ports; Cochin, Goa and Mangalore to tap cruise tourism potential.
Under the new rules e-visa scheme will be valid for up to 120 days instead of 30 days from the time of approval The actual stay in the country has been increased from 30 to 60 days with the facility of a double entry on e-Tourist and e-Business visas and triple entry on the e-Medical visa for visitors who need to leave and re enter the country within the eVisa’s validity window of 120 days.
Separate immigration counters and facilitation desks to assist medical tourist have been provided at Indian airports namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The multiple entry tourist and business visas valid for a period of five years will now be available to nationals of most countries.
Upon urgent requests, business visa and medical visa will be granted within 48 hours of application.
94 Missions that have bio-metric enrollment facilities have started giving five-year tourist and business visa since 1 March. The rest are due to come online by the end of the year.
The liberalisation of the visa regime will encourage more foreigners to visit India for tourism, business and medical purposes. Consequently, the arrival of foreigners in India is expected to go up substantially in the coming years.