India Renames Visa-on-Arrival to E-Tourist Visa

VOA to E-Tourist Visa - India

Contrary to the earlier reports related to renaming of Visa-on-Arrival to Visa Online, with effect from Wednesday, the service will be renamed to ‘E-tourist Visa’ instead.

India introduced Visa-on-Arrival Electronic Travel Authorization (VoA ETA) service for nationals of 43 nations in November 2014, later it added few more countries taking the count to 50 nations.

Since the service was introduced last year till today, India has witnessed a jump in tourist arrivals by more than 200%. The home ministry of India reported that there is surge in Indian tourism after the VoA ETA service was introduced. However, the name caused some misconceptions among foreign tourists. They considered it as a visa-on-arrival at an Indian airport, though it is not the case. Therefore, the change in name with effect from 15th April, 2015.

It will remove the confusion among tourists as it means that they will get an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) delivered to their inbox. Earlier this week, NDTV reported Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma saying, “We declared it as Visa on Arrival. (But) Basically it is Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)”.

The home ministry said in a Press Release on Tuesday, as published in The Times of India, “It has been observed that the name of the scheme is creating confusion among tourists. Tourist presumed as if the visa is being granted on arrival..however in present system the pre-authorisation of visa to foreigners is being given prior to travel.”

Many people landed in India expecting a visa-on-arrival and the officials had to issue them visa at the airport. “There were several instances of tourists flying into India, only to be asked by the immigration authorities for their e-visa. Of late, the home ministry had even directed the authorities to grant visas to such tourists on the spot and save them unnecessary inconvenience,” reported The Times of India.

The government is making every possible effort to make India one of the most preferred tourist destinations. Because Indian tourism industry has a potential to create millions of direct and indirect jobs for youth in the country.

Renaming the service will give more clarity on the Indian visa to foreign tourists willing to come to India for holiday, business events, seminars or for healthcare purposes.

Source: The Times of India | NDTV

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