India is mulling introducing a long-term multiple entry visa, which would let foreign tourists use it for business, tourism, medical or conference purposes, in an attempt to draw more foreigners and enhance trade prospects of the country.
The Press Trust of India is quoted as saying that this category of visitors come for business, leisure, medical treatments and conferences, among others. This proposal was put forward by the commerce ministry after the Prime Minister’s Office’s suggestion.
India will be following the example of the US by offering these 10-year visas, which would not allow the visitors to work or reside permanently in India. If they do, they would be allowed to stay only for up to 60 days. In addition, full biometric information and complete security commitments would have to be met, according to a government official.
The groundwork on the proposal is being carried out by the Home Ministry, and in all likelihood, will be put in place soon. This would let the government of India exploit opportunities worth $80 billion by attracting foreign tourists and forex. It is estimated that medical tourism would alone fetch $3 billion worth of revenue.
India compares dismally in tourism with small nations such as Thailand or Mauritius, which lure millions of tourists. In the month of April, around 599,000 foreign nationals arrived on Indian shores, indicating a growth of 10.97 percent over 542,000 in the same month in 2015, as per the data released by the Indian Tourism Ministry.