US

Feb 22 2019

Electronic Visa Rules for Tourists and Business Visitors to be Relaxed

India

The situation

The Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Home Affairs have released updated relaxed policies to the e-Visa program in order to encourage tourism and business visits to India. The changes have not yet been implemented in the application portal and it is not yet clear when they will be implemented.

A closer look

Key guidelines include the following:

  • New E-Tourist Visa policies. E-Tourist Visas will be granted for up to one year (up from 60 days) and multiple entries will be allowed under the visa (up from two allowable entries). Travelers will still not be able to exceed their consecutive stay limit on each visit (180 days for U.S. citizens, UK, Japanese and Canadian nationals and 90 days for nationals of all other eligible countries).
    • Impact. Tourists under the E-Tourist Visa will save time, costs and resources currently associated with renewing an E-Tourist Visa.
  • New E-Business Visa policies. The e-Business visa’s consecutive stay period will be expanded to 180 days (up from 60 days) and the visa will be available for use multiple times in a calendar year (up from three times in a calendar year).
    • Impact. Eligible Business visitors under the E-Business Visa (such as those traveling to attend technical or business meetings) will save time, costs and resources currently associated with obtaining their visa.

       

Background

E-Tourist and E-Business Visas are popular options for tourists and business travelers since they are processed within 24 to 72 hours and travelers can apply for an either visa online at least four days prior to travel to India based on the purpose of their travel.

The ports of entry under the e-visa program have been recently expanded and other programs in India have also been further digitized in the last year.

Looking ahead

The government is simplifying immigration processes in reaction to the growing amount of travelers to India, and immigration rules will likely continue to be further relaxed to boost tourism and encourage investment in and travel to India. Fragomen will report on related developments.

Fragomen in India is Fragomen Immigration Services India (Pvt) Ltd., operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in India. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to IndiaQueries_NewPolicy@fragomen.com.