Cruise tourists with e-visa exempted from biometric enrolment

In order to promote cruise tourism in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has, on request of the Ministry of Shipping, exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till December 31, 2020. This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore.  The shipping ministry has been working towards simplifying the immigration clearance procedure and providing passengers a customer-friendly and hassle-free logistics process at Indian ports. E-visa has been in the place in five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai.
Till now biometrics of passengers were required at port of first arrival for immigration clearance. However, with the existing facilities at the cruise terminals at these ports, the immigration procedure was taking more than the internationally accepted norm of clearing immigration for all cruise passengers in a maximum of 90 minutes. This is especially significant because, as per the schedule of arrivals of cruise ships for the current cruise season 2017-18 and 2019-20, many of the cruise ships coming to India are mega ships with 2000-4000 passengers on board. Most of these cruise passengers are expected to arrive on E-Visa, and biometric enrolment of all these passengers would slow down immigration clearance. Hence the need for the exemption.