India to give visa on arrival to 40 countries

UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, US, Australia among states given easier access to tourism hub

(photo for illustrative purpose only)

(photo for illustrative purpose only)

Passport holders of 40 countries and all senior citizens will soon be able to get an Indian tourist visa on arrival as part of the country’s plan to attract more visitors.

India also will simplify the online visa process for those who still need to apply in advance.

The countries that will be given access to a visa on arrival include the US, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Norway and Ireland.

About 11 countries already have this access.

Under the visa on arrival system, India has agreement with different countries, including Japan, Finland, Singapore, Indonesia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar.

On-arrival visa facilities also will be made available at more airports, including Goa, Gaya, Chandigarh and Amritsar, which have large flows of foreign tourists.

A timeline for the new processes has not been set.

An estimated 7m tourists visit the Asian nation each year, and tourism generates more than $121bn or 6.4 percent of GDP, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

However, the country has been rocked by an increase in gang rapes and its economy has plummeted in recent months.

India’s current account deficit widened to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product – up 0.9 percent – during the first quarter of 2013.

The value of the rupee against the US dollar also has fallen significantly in recent months to just 16 cents.

“All officials, including the national security adviser, were of the view that India should do this as it would help in garnering more foreign exchange when government is battling the problem of a burgeoning current account deficit, as it would help in earning foreign exchange,” planning minister Rajeev Shukla was quoted by local media as saying.

“There was broad consensus on simplifying online visa system, relaxing visa regime for all types of conferences and senior citizen foreign tourist or foreign pensioners.”

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Posted by: Henry Assumption

It is good to hear India is moving to facilitate visas for turists to visit India. Millions of us left India for various reasons but will always harbour deep cultural sentiments. Many of us have part of our family there. Just because the powers that be fought wars it does not mean that every Indian and Pakistani is an enemy.

Posted by: American in Dubai

I am a US citizen of Pakistani origin. Will India allow me hassle-free entry, or will it discriminate on the basis of my national origin rather than citizenship? A friend of mine, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin, who has some 3,000 people in India reporting to him, is hassled every time he tries to go there.

Don't get me wrong, by the way. Pakistan gives people of Indian origin, even if they are not Indian citizens, an equally hard time. A friend of mine, whose parents emigrated from India to the U.S. some 40 years ago, and who herself was born in the U.S., faced a bureaucratic nightmare getting a Pakistan visa.

It's high time that India and Pakistan kissed an made up. The savings on defense alone would propel them both to unseen heights.

Posted by: American in Dubai

Perfect comment, Jack, to keep the mindset of hatred alive. Bravo!

Posted by: Jack

And they should not. Your country of origin is a huge security risk that should be contained at all levels.

Every time India gives an olive branch to it's brother Pakistan, the tree is either uprooted or blown up to pieces, despite continuous efforts of diplomacy by India.

Posted by: Young Sur

Yeah, how about South and North Korean's visa. They can also get the entry visa on arrival at the Airport ?

Posted by: Sam Awad

India is a vey safe country. The recent gang rapes had a lot of media attention but on the whole India is safe and has some of th most friendly people in the world. Visit India and enjoy the culture and hospitality. Sam

Posted by: Jack

India has a press with freedom of speech that has highlighted it's problems to the world and has put pressure on the government to make changes.

@Suhail Afghanistan and Pakistan are way more safe than India when there is nothing to report right? Except when there is plain evidence that can't be ignored. Like women scarred for life by acid attacks. You are a buffoon and I'm glad countries like India keep idiots like you out.

Posted by: Andy

@Narendra, You don't know what corruption is in the UAE because the majority of the bad news is not published by the local media in the UAE. You do not know know how bad corruption is in the UAE until you have experienced a legal issue with a local or try collecting from the Dewan's Office. Do a Google search for Dubai Check Fraud and check out Facebook Page as well. Corruption exists in every country though it will depend on whether you will see it or not.

Posted by: Arjun

@NarendraM, no one is saying India is EXTREMELY SAFE. All countries have "huge problems that plague" but most are covered up. Do you think you really hear ALL the real issues of the GCC countries? Just because the issues are so much highlighted by the Indian media, doesn't mean India is unsafe or that other countries are very safe.
Try to read many newspapers rather than stick to one to improve your knowledge of the world happenings.

Posted by: Sunder

It clearly states here that 121 bn from Tourism is 6.4 % of GDP. That means GDP is at 1.89 Trillion USD. Where did 1 bn figure come from?

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