Category Archives: Visa

Foreigners can now avail treatment without obtaining medical visa

The Union Home Ministry recently announced that foreign visitors coming to India can avail treatment anywhere in the country without procuring a medical visa. However, treatment of diseases requiring an organ transplant would be permitted only on submission of a medical visa. The ministry said in a statement that indoor treatment can be taken on primary (original) visa for pre-existing diseases, which the foreigner may have been suffering from even before his/her entry into India and for ailments that were in his/her knowledge. This decision has come in the wake of some foreigners already possessing valid visas but facing difficulties in getting medical treatment in the event of their falling sick during their stay in India. They were being advised by some medical centres or hospitals to get their visas converted into medical visas before getting admitted, the ministry statement added. The Home Ministry further stated that a foreigner who is suffering from a minor medical condition, which required only OPD consultation or treatment, would be allowed to undergo treatment at any treatment centre or hospital on his/her primary visa. “In case of indoor medical treatment of less than 180 days or up to the stay stipulation period, if any, stipulated on primary visa of a foreigner or the duration of his or her primary visa, whichever is earlier, a foreigner is permitted to take such indoor medical treatment subject to certain conditions,” the statement said. In 2018 the procedure had been revised with the central government exempting foreigners from converting their primary visa into medical visa for obtaining indoor treatment of up to 180 days for seeking admission in a hospital wing owing to illness.

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e-Conference Visa soon to be made available for private sector: Suman Billa

Suman Billa (IAS), Joint Secretary, MOT and Chairman ICPB, recently revealed at a meeting that they are taking steps to facilitate easier MICE movement. He adds, “We had already opened the e-Conference visa earlier but that was only open for events that were organised by the government and for the PSUs, so now the door has been opened for the private sector as well. It is open to all private conferences. However, if there are some listed countries, and if you have delegates from those countries you need to take special permission for them. Also, we understand that GST is high, especially if you are dealing with a price sensitive and cost competitive industry like the MICE segment.  We are also trying to get the GST reduced, hopefully we will be able to do away with the 28 per cent slab. We are also planning to have a bidding corpus, if there are conferences where you need  go out and bid for,  to help sweeten the deal with a certain amount of money we will put on the table to better the opportunity. We are thinking this should be done with a collaboration with the states on a matching basis. In the next four to five months, we should be having this ready. ” On ICPB he said, “We have been working on the idea to restructure ICPB for some time. We had commissioned this study a while ago, but we are also picking up from there. We have already changed the constitution and are bringing it in line with the recommendations of this report.”  On the same Chander Mansharamani – Vice Chairman, ICPB added , “The marketing role of …

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‘Multiple-entry e-visa’ to Malaysia suspended for Indian nationals

Multiple entry e-Visa for Malaysia will no longer be available for all Indian National applicants until further notice. As an alternative, applicants would still be able to choose Single Entry Visa (SEV) for 30 days. However, multiple entry e-Visa can  be obtained from VFS. Confirming this, an official at The High Commission of Malaysia said, “The multiple e-Visa facility has been suspended currently for the Indians. This facility will remain discontinued until further notice.”

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Free visa on arrival to Sri Lanka from August for 6 months

Sri Lanka has now included India and China in the free visa on arrival scheme to revive the country’s tourism sector which slowed down following the Easter Sunday bombings. However, visitors still have to obtain visa on arrival but the government has waived fee from 1 August. In April, Sri Lanka suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival to citizens of 39 countries after Easter bombings. The visas on arrival pilot programme was part of a larger initiative to increase tourist arrivals to the country during the six month off-season period from May to October. Originally the scheme was to come into force on May 1 but the security fears after the bombings forced it to be put on hold. Source: PTI

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VFS Global to open UK visa section in India on Saturdays for students

VFS Global is extending its business hours to include Saturdays, with an aim to provide more flexibility to student visa applicants to the United Kingdom. The new ‘Student Saturdays’ initiative is one of three special packages being rolled out for Indian students heading to the UK for further education, each featuring various additional services to provide convenient visa application process at a discounted price.  Furthermore, for the first time ever, VFS Global will offer UK student visa applicants the option of availing the popular On Demand Mobile Visa (ODMV) service for applications and biometric enrolments from home or campus.  The United Kingdom has long been one of the top choices for Indian students wanting to go overseas for higher education, with close to 20,000 students applying to universities from South Asia every year. In 2018, VFS Global processed over 19,900 student visa applications in South Asia, of which over 17,600 were from India.   With the UK academic year starting in September, the months of July and August become the peak season for student visa applications, and VFS Global aims to provide this year’s students a further enhanced visa application experience through a slew of special offers.   To provide flexibility, VFS Global will keep its UK Visa Application Centres across all 17 cities open on Saturdays throughout the season, to accept student visa applications via the ‘Student Saturdays’ package. In all, VFS Global has three carefully curated packages to choose from – Standard, Premium and Student Saturdays, each featuring a range of additional services to provide a seamless visa application experience, at a reduced price. Applicants opting for any of the packages can complete their applications from designated counters …

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Georgia to introduce e-Visa solutions for Indians

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and VFS Global has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 July with the common objective of providing easier access to Georgia for travellers who intend to visit for tourism and business while improving the integrity of the visa and admission process. The MoU also ensures that foreign students travelling to Georgia on study visas have the right credentials, academic ability, financial capability and intent. The MoU also intend to help Georgian Educational Institutions improve the quality of their foreign students and to make Georgia an attractive study destination besides increasing the flow of travellers to experience the heritage of Georgia and have the opportunity to explore what Georgia has to offer.

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Russia & India to mutually abolish visas for tourist groups & e-Visas to Russia from 2021

Russia has offered India to mutually abolish visas for tourist groups & E-visas to Russia slated to start in 2021. Tourism professionals of the two countries discussed the expansion of air connectivity between Russia and India, the mutual promotion of tourism between the two countries, as well as the facilitation of the visa regime between the countries, including preparations for the introduction of an electronic visa in Russia since 2021 and the possibility of introducing group visa-free travel between the countries.This proposal was made by the head of the Federal tourism Agency Zarina Doguzova during the Second Russian-Indian strategic economic dialogue in Delhi. The Indian side expressed interest in the joint development of a draft government agreement on visa-free group travel for up to 21 days. According to the press service of the Federal Tourism Agency, the Second Russian-Indian strategic economic dialogue is taking place in India, within the framework of which a round table “Tourism and inter-territorial communication” was held on July 10, 2019. The moderator of this event, dedicated to the development of tourism between Russia and India, was the head of the Federal Agency for tourism Zarina Doguzova. The round table was also attended by Maya Lomidze, Executive Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR). As a result of the round table, it was decided to establish a joint working group between representatives of the tourism authorities of the two countries, representatives of business and the expert community to develop a joint action plan to increase tourism exchanges. According to forecasts, in the future, mutual tourist flows may exceed 1 million people annually. Mutual steps to increase tourism exchanges between the countries Zarina Doguzova …

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UK Visa applicants to complete application form before scheduling an appointment

All UK Visa applicants would now be required to complete the application form on the website www.gov.uk in order to schedule an appointment to visit the UK Visa Application Center. It will be mandatory for every applicant to fill the Visa Application Form, pay the visa fee and then book the appointment. All applicants who have initiated the request through VFS website prior to June 15 would be able to track their application by using the valid email id and application reference number. This has been done to simplify the customer journey while completing the online process.

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India now extends e-visa facility to Saudi Arabian citizens

The Government of India has made e-visas available for Saudi nationals to make travel easier and boost the number of Saudi visitors to the country. Once the visa has been applied and payment has been made, the registration confirmation will be sent to the registered email within 24 hours. The applicant can just show print of this confirmation email and visa will be given by the emigration officials. Earlier, Saudi Arabian citizens had been giving their biometric details at the embassy and consulate. From now on, these details will be collected at airports in India.

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Sri Lanka continues visa-on-arrival for Indian nationals

Chamari Rodrigo, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, has said that the visa-on-arrival scheme for visitors of Indian nationality continues undisturbed. Sri Lanka had suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries after the devastating Easter suicide bombings. But it was unclear whether India was one of them. The country had started offering free visa on arrival to Indian travellers as part of the its efforts to promote tourism starting May 1, 2019 for six months in its initial run. This scheme was aimed at a total of 36 countries that include India as well as Pakistan. The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India along with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) have started taking measures to ensure that tourists return to the island nation soon. They have already met two travel trade associations – Travel Agents Association Of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) – and will soon be meeting the travel trade as well. Rodrigo said, “The country’s security situation now is normal, stability reigns across the country and children are back to school. However, it has had a direct impact to tourism and we have taken some measures to help revive the industry.” In 2017, Sri Lanka saw 3,83,000 Indian nations visiting the country. In 2018, this number jumped to 426,000 but still falling short of their targeted 450,000. Sri Lanka is looking to promote the destination for weddings and film shoots as well apart from FIT leisure.

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