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.