World – India introduces tourist visa-on-arrival for five countries
The ministry of external affairs said that the visa on arrival plan for Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore would be implemented from Friday and would continue for a year on an “experimental basis.”
The visa is aimed at foreign tourists from these countries who plan their trips on a short notice, the MEA said. “Tourists can also procure their visas from the Missions/Posts in the normal course,” the ministry added.
The visas given on arrival for the nationals of these five countries will have a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility which will be given initially by the immigration officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata airports.
While announcing the new visa on arrival policy, the government also attempted to clarify the way the new visa guidelines would be implemented. Foreign missions here have sought clarification on the new visa guidelines complaining that tourists were being inconvenienced.
The official spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs clarified that the gap of two months between two visas would apply to all tourist visa holders,.
But the spokesperson said that the restriction of a two-month gap between visas will not apply to Persons of Indian origin or Overseas Citizen of India card-holders or foreigners holding business, employment, student and other categories of visa.
“The intention behind the stipulation of a gap of two months between two visits on a tourist visa is to curb the abuse/misuse of the tourist visa,’’ said a “Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Tourist Visa” posted on the home ministry website.
The FAQs further clarified that if there was a real emergency including non availability of connecting flight to the tourist’s country or any other “exigent’’ situation, re entry within a period of two months would be allowed. But the tourist would have to get special permission from the mission.
The guidelines further said that if a foreign national applies for a tourist visa within one month of the expiry of the previous one, then the case would be referred to the ministry of home affairs for clearance. Similarly, any tourist who is allowed to come in before the two month cooling off period will have to register with the FRRO within 14 days of arrival.
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