The innovative e-Tourist Visa scheme will be extended to 113 countries, and will further include more countries in a phased manner. The Government is aiming to extend this scheme to 150 countries to encourage and promote tourism in India.
International Travelers, whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation; sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment and even business visit can apply for the visa.
The issued Visa will be valid for a single entry with a maximum stay of 30 days from the date of arrival and can be obtained twice in a calendar year and cannot be extended. The e-Visa fees are divided in four slabs of zero, US$25, US$48 and US$60, depending on nationality (which is based on reciprocity principle), plus a bank fee of 2.5% of the visa fee. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.
However, there have been certain reservations over India taking biometrics details from each of the tourist while arriving in India, from the leading nations like the United States and the United Kingdom. "Biometrics details are taken as per our security requirement. Both the countries take biometrics details of each foreign visitors as per their security requirements but we have never opposed to it," informed an Indian Tourism Ministry official said, making it clear that anyone who wishes to visit India, availing the e-tourist visa, will have to give biometrics details.
Importantly, the Indian Tourism Ministry has taken various steps, including introduction of e-Tourist Visa, to promote tourism and enhance earnings from the sector. E-visa has certainly sped up the process and made it easier for the tourists to visit Incredible India!