The government is extending e-tourist visa facility for 31 more countries including France and Canada, the two nations that recently hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Citizens of these countries can avail the facility from May 1 onwards.
The e-tourist visa, which was earlier known as tourist visa on arrival enabled by electronic travel authorization, was launched by the government on November 27, 2014 for 45 countries from nine designated Indian airports.
Under the facility, the prospective visitor can apply for an Indian visa from his or her home country online without visiting the Indian mission and also pay the visa fee online.
Once approved, the applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India and print out of this authorization needs to be presented to the immigration authorities by the visitor and then immigration officers stamp the entry into the country.
According to a home ministry statement, besides France and Canada, the new countries added in the facility are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Cayman Island, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominic an Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Grenada, Haiti, HolySee (Vatican), Honduras, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Paraguay, St.Kitts & Nevis and Seychelles.
Now e-tourist visa will be applicable to 76 countries. The government plans to extend the scheme to 150 countries by the end of this financial year.
The government is also deliberating extending the facility to China as well but on Wednesday, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju informed Rajya Sabha that as of now, there was no plan to introduce the scheme for the Chinese nationals as well.