India, Japan sign MoU to simplify visa procedures for citizens

India, Japan sign MoU to simplify visa procedures for citizens

The two sides signed a Memorandum on Simplifying Visa Procedures to facilitate increased presence of business persons from the two countries in the other country, besides making it more convenient for students, tourists and workers to obtain visas.

Under the Memorandum, any Japanese coming to India for business or work will be straightway granted three-year visa and similar procedures will be followed by Japan. Each side may issue multiple entry visas valid for up to 5 years to each other's businessmen who travel to the other country on a temporary visit for business purposes, with a limit on the number of days of stay.

The memorandum would also pave way for more exchanges in the education community with the visas procedures being simplified for students seeking to pursue courses in the other country.

The MoU was signed after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan held bilateral talks and agreed on the importance of increasing people to people exchanges.

The agreement also relaxes entry procedures for tourists. India has also relaxed for tourists from Japan its tough entry norm that requires a two-month interval between two visits to ensure that genuine tourists are not adversely affected.

"Nationals of Japan with tourist visas, after initial entry into India, may visit another country largely on account of neighbourhood tourism and need to re-enter India within 60 days, before finally exiting," the MoU says.