E-Tourist Visa to be Extended to 150 Countries by March 31 Next Year

Representational Image

New Delhi:

E-tourist visa facility, which allows foreigners to get easy travel documents to visit India on the click of a button, will be extended to 150 countries and some more airports within this fiscal.

A Home Ministry official said that plans are afoot to offer the service to a total 150 countries by March 31 next year.

From today, the e-tourist visa facility will be extended to 36 more countries, taking the total number of countries under the scheme upto 113.

Seven more airports, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi and Ahmedabad in his home state, will add to the existing nine airports where tourists with e-tourist visa can land.

Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it is approved and he or she can travel with a print-out of this authorisation.

On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.

The official said the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed their reservations over India taking biometrics details from each of the tourist while arriving in India.

“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,” he said, making it clear that anyone who wishes to visit India, availing the e-tourist visa, will have to give biometrics details.

The official said some countries have requested India to reduce the e-tourist visa fee of USD 60 as some of them do not charge any visa fee from Indian tourists.

“However, we have not taken any decision on it,” he said.