On 25 February the Union Government announced, through a statement issued by the Home Ministry, the expansion of its e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) facility, to 37 more countries. With this the total number of countries covered under e-Tourist Visa scheme has reached to 150 countries.
The 37 more countries added in the e-TV scheme are Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Short History of e-Tourist Visa Scheme
The scheme was first launched bearing the name, the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) facility, On 27 November 2014 for citizens of around 40 eligible countries, comprising those who were eligible for Visa on arrival.
August 2015, the list was extended to 113 countries. ETA is issued for short term medical treatment, visiting friends and family, and business visits. On 15th April 2015, the ETV facility was re-named as e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) scheme.
India’s Visa Policy
According to the Visa Policy of India a visitor to India would have to secure a visa from an India diplomat mission. However, this condition is not applied to citizens of the visa-exempt countries or a country whose citizens may procure a visa online.
Citizens of Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives do not need visa to enter India – unless they are seeking entrance from mainline China – and are permitted to stay without any time limit (unless the Government decides otherwise). However, for the citizens of Maldives on their stay there is a time limit of 90 days.
Travelers who have got a document of Overseas Citizens of India or possess a Persons of India Origin Card(PIO) also do not need that citizens of Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China (mainland) do not have right to hold PIO card or Overseas India Citizenship.
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Conditions for issuance of an e-Tourist Visa
- An applicant of an e-TV has to apply for it at least four days in advance of the date of his/her arrival.
- This visa is valid for single person who can stay in India maximum for 30 days from the date of her/his arrival.
- This e-TV can be sought twice in a calendar year; however, it cannot be extended.
Fees for e-Tourist Visa
The fees for the issuance of an e-TV are divided into four slabs: Zero, US $25, US $48 and US $60, plus a bank fee of 2.5 % the Visa fee. The fees depend on the reciprocal (at the International level) in nature.
Citizens belonging to the following countries do not need, at present, to pay a visa fee – Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Seychelles (up to 3 months), South Africa and Uruguay.