Visa on Arrival, Modi’s Gift To US Tourists!

Tourist family at airport

 Visa on Arrival for US tourists visiting India could boost Indian tourism 

Indian PM Modi’s visit to USwill make things easier for US citizens intending to visit India as tourists. India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is working overtime to complete the work on the VoA (Visa on Arrival) proposal, as early as possible. This is likely to be one of the ‘big-ticket announcements’ that the PM is likely to make during his visit commencing from Sept 26th.

The MHA in consultation with the tourism ministry is likely to announce the following reprieves to US citizens:

  • VoA could be granted to those intending to visit as tourists or whose sole objective could be to visit friends and relatives, for recreational purpose or sightseeing
  • VoA could be granted to those who do not have a residence or are not occupied in India
  • The stay limit for this visa is for 30 days

The Indian Govt., has already issued VoA’s to 12 countries in the month of August 2014 to South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Finland, Phillipines, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.  However despite being strategic partners in many areas, India and Americado not have TVoA scheme in each other’s country. The diplomatic ties between the two had thawed with the infamous strip search of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on December 12, 2013. Modi’s visit is likely soothe frayed nerves on both the sides.

The Indian tourism industry is invoking plans to entice tourists into India in a big way. According to industry estimates, the annual inflow of US tourists to India stands at 10 lakh. With the introduction of VoA to US, and with 4 Indian cities (Agra, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Panaji) being listed in the top ten Asian tourist destinations, India should see a greater influx of tourists and forex into the country.

Source: Times of India

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