13 Feb 2014

Union Tourism Minister Dr.K.Chiranjeevi Welcomes Relaxation of Visa Norms to Promote Tourism in the Country

Union Tourism Minister Dr. K.Chiranjeevi
Union Tourism Minister Dr. K.Chiranjeevi has welcomed the decision to relax the visa regime of India to promote tourism. Dr. Chiranjeevi has thanked the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice President Mr.Rahul Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid, Union Home Minister Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Rajeev Shukla and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Mr.Montek Singh Ahluwalia. 

In the meeting held under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission on 5th February, 2014, the following decisions were taken to relax the visa stipulations to promote tourism:- 

(i) The Tourist Visa on Arrival(TVOA) and Electronic Travel Authorisation(ETA) facilities shall be extended to all the countries except 8 countries - Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. Ministry of Home Affairs will work out manpower, infrastructure and other requirements for expanding the TVOA and initiating the ETA facility. The new system of TVOA and ETA could be put into place by October, 2014. 

(ii) All categories that can be accommodated within the category “short stay”, i.e., stays of 30 days or less, should be put under the category of short term visas.

 Short term visas will not be extended to categories under a negative list which could include purposes such as those seeking paid employment, education etc. Short term visas would not be extendable beyond 30 days. 

(iii) The procedure for ETA would be as below:- 

(a) Prospective visitors will apply online; 

(b) They will send their two-page visa application to the Bureau of Immigration(BOI) online. It will be examined and within three days the applicant will be informed whether or not he/she can travel to India. BOI agreed to extend ETA to all countries except the above 8 countries. 

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