Learning its lessons from the David Coleman Headley case, foreign nationals of Pakistani origin will not be eligible for India’s newly announced visa-on-arrival facility for citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxemburg, New Zealand, or Singapore.
The rules for the facility — that came into force on Friday — said “this facility shall not be available to the citizens of above-named countries if the person or either of his/ her parents or grand parents (paternal or maternal) was born in, and was permanently resident in Pakistan.”
Moreover, those who do get visas on arrival will be allowed only two such visits, each calendar year. The newly announced restrictions, requiring a two-month gap between visits will be applicable to those who avail the visa-on-arrival facility. The visa will cost US$ 60 (approximately Rs 2,797).
The home ministry had cleared the visa-on-arrival for tourists on an experimental basis for a year. These countries don’t offer a reciprocal visa-on-arrival to Indian tourists so far.
There are, however, 29 countries including Maldives, Egypt, Uganda, Bolivia, and Kenya where Indians are issued visas on arrival.
In another 30 countries, Indians have either visa-free access or visa-free access subject to their holding valid visas for specified other nations.
China, for example grants visa-on-arrival for a 30-day stay to Indians who hold valid visas for Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Schengen countries, the United Kingdom or the United States.
What India is offering will be a single entry visa for a maximum validity of 30 days to nationals of the five countries who arrive at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata airports. The facility will not be allowed at any other Immigration Check Post such as the Attari, Wagah or Hyderabad, or Amritsar.
The facility is not open to those who hold diplomatic or official passports.