Visa-on-arrival for tourists of five countries

Scheme covers Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Luxemburg and Finland

The tourists from Finland, Japan, Luxemburg, New Zealand and Singapore can now get single-entry visas with maximum validity of 30 days after landing at the airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

 The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement said that the visa-on-arrival scheme for the five countries had been introduced for a year “on an experimental basis”.

It stated that the scheme had been launched to facilitate the bona fide foreign tourists, who plan their tours on short notices. The tourists from these five countries could also procure their visas from the Indian Embassies and Consulates in normal course, it added.
“The grant of a Tourist Visa-on-Arrival shall be regulated as per the guidelines prescribed in the Visa Manual,” the MEA spokesman and Joint Secretary Vishnu Prakash said. Home Minister P Chidambaram had on December 18 last announced the Government’s plan to introduce visa-on-arrival scheme initially for five countries to give a boost to the tourism sector.

The visa-on-arrival scheme has been introduced at a time when India’s new regulations related to multi-entry long-term tourist visas have drawn flak from countries like US and UK.

The new visa rules have made it mandatory for the foreign tourists with multi-entry tourist visas to have a gap of two months between two entries into India.

However, New Delhi announced that the Indian Missions abroad as well as the immigration authorities had been authorised to relax the rule and permit the bona fide tourists to enter India twice or thrice, as the case may be, if they submit detailed itinerary and supporting documentation like ticket bookings.

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