India to grant visa on arrivals to everyone

One of the biggest gripe I have heard about people wanting to visit India is the visa process, which has no end to it. Visa processes are usually agreed on a reciprocal basis, however, India just tossed that rule out of the window and is going to make sweeping changes to the way it processes visitor visas.

In a decision taken by the Government of India, which will hopefully be implemented by October (the official timeline), India will eliminate the need for a visa altogether, and move to an electronic travel authorisation scheme, where people would log in and apply for a visa online and pay for it. On arrival in India, a biometric collection will be done (fingerprints), and then you’re admitted for 30 days in the country.

India at present has visa on arrival arrangements for 11 countries, including Finland, Singapore, Japan & Luxembourg. Now, only 8 countries will have to go through the lengthy process, which include Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and two more.

The new procedure will initially be applicable at 9 airports in India by the end of this year, to be extended to a total of 26 airports where international operations take place.

This should solve a major hiccup for everyone who wants to travel to India. It would be interesting to see which countries grant India a visa on arrival in return.

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About Ajay Awtaney

Ajay is a financial services pro, working to bring order to the chaos of the financial industry on an everyday basis! Beyond that, he dons the hat of India's favourite frequent traveller, trying to help people elevate their travel experience via tips and tricks they never knew before, or introduce them to the world of miles and points. Armed with an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and graduate degree in computer science from the University of Delhi, Ajay brings a systematic and objective approach on the table for his audience in dissecting travel and loyalty programs in India and around the world, and how to benefit from them. Ajay has been quoted in various reputed traditional and online media including The Hindustan Times, Inside Flyer, Bloomberg, DNA India, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, Mumbai Mirror, Mint, MoneyLife and The USA Today.

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Comments

  1. This is certainly good news. However, as you have pointed out, it remains to be seen how many countries will reciprocate. Right now, some countries insist on a full-fledged expensive visa before hand even for a transit of an hour or two through the airport. For some of us, it could mean going to another city for a visa interview or finger printing. I know of a friend who chose a more expensive routine on a different carrier to avoid the visa problem for transiting through London.

  2. This is great news for future visits to India. The new way of doing a visa before arrival is terrible. I consider myself well educated and fairly well traveled and I had one hell of a time getting the visa before my trip.

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