Indian immigration expands tourist visa on arrival facility

Tue, 2012-01-24 12:11 PM
Indian immigration has announced that within the next year they will be expanding their visa on arrival facility to Goa, Kochi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports. Currently, the facility is only available in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai airports. Overseas visitors coming under the tourist visa on arrival facility do not have to apply for a visa at their local Indian Embassy or Consulate.

Last year only around 12,761 tourists used the visa on arrival facility. Tourism Experts had claimed the service was unsuccessful because it wasn't available to visitors from any of the major tourist source countries for Indian tourism such as the US, Germany, and the UK. Also the visa service was only offered at 4 cities, including Kolkata which is not a popular tourism hub. Experts believe that once the service is extended to popular foreign tourists hubs such as Goa and Kerala more tourists will visit India.

India's current visa on arrival facility is offered to nationals of 11 countries including Japan, Finland, Singapore, and New Zealand. Following the announcement of the extended visa on arrival facilities, it has been speculated that Indian immigration may soon extend the visa-on-arrival facility to Malaysians in order to boost tourism. Other countries that could be offered the visa facilities include Thailand, Brunei, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Brazil and South Africa.

Passport holders from countries who cannot use the visa on arrival facilities must obtain a visa before traveling to India.

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