India is gearing up to offer visas on arrival for national from 180 countries including the UAE and other GCC nations like Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar.
India is now offering visas on arrival to passport holders from 180 countries including GCC nationals from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. From October onward, visitors to India will no longer have to experience the drawn out process of submitting their passport to Indian embassies and waiting for visas.
As a step forward in loosening tight restrictions on attaining entry to India, New Delhi released a list of 180 countries that allows tourists to plan their visit by applying for visas through an online application. The new process requires an online application as well as 5 days for approval and review, at which point the visa will be made available for pickup on arrival at the Indian airport. Once in India, a biometric identification scan is required in order to finalize the process and receive the 30-day visa. The initial rollout will be implemented over the summer in time for tourist season and will begin with 9 Indian airports including Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Trivandrum and Goa.
Till now, the visa application process has often meant long lineups, extensive paperwork and back and forth between embassy offices. These new regulations will mean added convenience for the large number of business travelers and tourists visiting the country, which the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi says amounts to around 50,000 visas for expats and Emiratis. Indian officials expect this new plan to add a big boost to tourism, which the World Travel and Tourism council says already rakes in 6.4 percent of the country’s GDP and around 7 million tourists.
Visa on arrival is already available to 11 countries including Japan, Singapore, Finland, New Zealand and the Phillipines. Eight countries have not been included in the list due to being categorized as “sensitive,” including Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Somalia.
To apply for an Indian Visa Online, head over to the official government website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/