Category Archives: Visa

Thailand extends visa fee waiver till April end

The Government of Thailand has decided to extend the waiver on the 2000-baht visa-on-arrival fee for Indian nationals till April end to boost tourism in the country. The waiver was set to end early January, but the cabinet decided to extend it to allow foreign tourists to Thailand during the Chinese New Year in February and the Songkran festival in the middle of April.

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Malaysia exempts Indian tourists from visa from January 1 to December 31, 2019

Incumbent Minister of Home Affairs, Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin has exempted Indian tourists from the requirement of visa under subsection 2(1) of the Passports Act 1966. The order, which may be cited as Passports (Exemption of Visa to Tourist Who is Citizen of India) Order 2019, has effect for the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. However, the order is subject to some conditions mentioned below: (a) The tourist shall be registered in the electronic travel registration and information system provided by the Director General. (b) The tourist shall travel to Malaysia within three months after he is registered in the electronic travel registration. (c) The period of visit of the tourist is limited to fifteen days only and shall not be extended. (d) The tourist shall enter and exit from Malaysia only through the authorised airports as gazetted under subsection 5(1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 [Act 155] or through immigration control posts. (e) The tourist is not allowed to apply for any other passes under the Immigration Regulations 1963. (f) The tourist shall have a travel air ticket back direct to India or a travel air ticket to any country if he/she travels by air. (g) The tourist shall, on arrival, produce proof of sufficient pocket-money, credit card or bank card and produce his itinerary in Malaysia. (h) The tourist is allowed to re-register to enter Malaysia after the period of three months from the date he/she leaves.

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Tourist arrivals in India through visa on arrival increases at 120.99%

The tourist arrivals through visa on arrival increased at a CAGR of 120.99 per cent during 2010-17 to reach 1,697,175 tourists in 2017, as per a Tourism and Hospitality by IBEF. Indian government has also released a fresh category of visa – the medical visa or M visa, to encourage medical tourism in India. Foreign tourist arrivals for medical purpose increased from 427,014 in 2016 to 495,056 in 2017(P). In June 2016, the Indian government approved 150 countries under the visa on arrival scheme to attract additional foreign tourists.

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India extends e-visa facility for conference and medical attendants from China

India has further liberalised visa regime for Chinese nationals by extending e-visa facility for the conference and medical attendants as part of its efforts to attract more tourists from China. Previously those attending conferences in India needed to get clearances from New Delhi to get visas. The Conference Visa will be issued for those who intend to travel to India to attend conference/seminar/workshop organised by Ministry or Department of Government of India, State Departments or Union Territories, Administration and their subordinate/attached organizations and PSUs, the Indian embassy said in a statement. The documents required included scanned bio-page of passport showing the photograph and details, invitation from organisation. It also needs political clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs, the statement said. The e-Medical Attendant Visa will be issued for those who wish to travel as attendant to e-Medical visa holder. The e-visa facility is now available for Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, e-Medical Visa, e-Medical Attendant Visa and e-Conference Visa, it added. Despite special measures like e-visas, only 2.4 lakh Chinese tourists visited India last year against 14 lakh Indians visiting China. Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons, accompanied by about 20 Indian tour operators, conducted special campaigns in Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai in August as part of India’s efforts to attract more Chinese tourists to the country. Source: PTI

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Bangladesh constitutes 45% of total FTAs to India on medical visa

Bangladesh alone constituted about 45 per cent of total foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) to India on medical visa in 2017, according to a FICCI study on ‘India: Innovating Transforming and Defining Medical Value Travel’. Bangladesh holds the eighth place among largest population countries in the world. The major destination countries include India, China, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan and Germany for treatments including cardiology, oncology, neurology and orthopaedic. Majority of deaths in Bangladesh are due to non-communicable diseases out of which cancer has a share of 10 per cent. However, the existing infrastructure caters to approximately 10 per cent of cancer patients with 16 cancer treatment centres in Bangladesh. High costs, poor services, long waiting lists, lack of technology in Bangladesh are the major reasons for medical value travel from Bangladesh.

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Niti Aayog proposes increase in e-visa validity to 10 years

To attract more tourists in India, Niti Aayog has proposed increasing the validity period of e-Visas to 10 years and the number of annual visits for those on e-medical visa be enhanced. Currently, the validity of e-Visa (except e-Conference visa) is 60 days from the date of arrival in India. In case of e-Conference visa, the validity is 30 days. Double entry is permitted on e-Tourist visa and e-Business visa. Triple entry is permitted on e-Medical visa and e-Medical Attendant visa. Only single entry is permitted on e-Conference visa. e-Visa can be availed for a maximum of three times in a calendar year between January to December. In its report ‘The Strategy for New India @ 75’, Niti Aayog has said that despite the introduction of an e-Visa facility, visitors find the process of applying for a visa cumbersome. Niti Aayog has also suggested that the number of annual visits allowed under an e-Medical visa be enhanced. Currently, e-Medical visa holders are allowed three repeat visits during their one-year visa period. According to the report, “This may not be sufficient for patients who require follow-up/post-operative care.” The report also said that India should increase the number of persons accompanying those with e-medical visa from the current two to four under the same visa, as has been done in countries like Malaysia. Source: PTI

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Russia visa available through VFS Global in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai

Residents of India can now apply for visas to Russia at VFS Global Visa Application Centres (VACs) opened for the Embassy of the Russian Federation. The new centres will cater to the growing needs of outbound travellers to Russia, and increase accessibility to, and convenience of, visa services. With approximately 55,000 travellers visiting Russia from India each year, the application process through the new centres will prove to be more streamlined. The centre in New Delhi was inaugurated by H E Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India. He said, “The new Russian Visa Application Centre looks very impressive, very advanced and it perfectly fits into the new substance of our bilateral ties as well as our global co-operation. As you would surely know our relationship is a relationship of Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. It carries political, economic, cultural and humanitarian content, but after all and finally, it is all about people; it is all about people to people connection, making this enormous relationship going. And this person to person connection will not be possible without such a simple thing as visa. I hope this visa application centre will make a real contribution to the growing strategic connection between our countries and our people.” Speaking about the development, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – Middle East, South Asia & China, said, “The network of Russia Visa Application Centres serves the needs of the ever-increasing numbers of travellers to Russia from this region and we are confident it will deliver services that exceed the expectations of the applicants.”

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Ukraine discontinues visa on arrival facility for Indians from January 1, 2019

The visa on arrival facility for foreign citizens including Indians will no longer be available with effect from January 1, 2019 as Ukraine has recently modified its legislation on visa regulations. According to the new Decree no 954 of the Cabinet of Minister of Ukraine, the rules of visa issuance of entering Ukraine and the transit have been modified.

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Myanmar offers visa on arrival for Indian nationals

The Myanmar government has introduced new regulations to facilitate easier access for tourists to visit the country. Indian nationals can now enter Myanmar with visa-on-arrival (VOA) at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw International Airports . This means that for these passport holders, no pre-arranged approval is required and on arrival they can apply for a visa which will be granted instantly. The fee for the visa on arrival is 50 USD. The timing of granting visa on arrival to Indian nationals could not have been better as President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, recently visited the country. In early October, Japanese, South Korean, Macau and Hong Kong tourists were granted visa-free entry while Chinese nationals from the mainland were also granted VOA into Myanmar in a move to attract more Asian tourism into the country.

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India offers visa on arrival for South Korean nationals

India has decided to offer visa on arrival to South Korean nationals, a home ministry official said. Like the Japanese nationals (who have been getting the privilege since March 2016), the facility to South Korean citizens include double entry visit for a period not exceeding 60 days for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes for entry through six designated international airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. According to an estimate, around 2 lakh Indian visas are issued to South Korean nationals every year, of which 80 per cent are tourists. On an average, 600 South Korean nationals arrive in Delhi daily. Though visa-on-arrival facility was earlier offered to citizens of 12 countries — Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea — it was discontinued in November 2014 after the launch of e-Tourist Visa scheme. The e-visa facility now covers practically all the countries of the world, 166 as of now, and foreigners can arrive at any of the designated 26 airports and five seaports in India without interacting with any official before checking in at the immigration counter. Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a printout of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then allow entry into the country. Source: PTI

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