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India Restores E-Visa for 156 Countries

  • 16 Apr 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has restored electronic visa (e-visa) facility for foreigners from 156 countries, who intend to visit India for the purposes of business, conferences, and for medical reasons, including in the case of medical attendants.

  • E-visa for tourists is yet to be restored.

Key Points

  • E-Visa:
    • Launch: The e-visa system is an innovation introduced by the government in 2014. The facility was expanded in 2017-2018.
      • The process has its roots in the 2010 Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme for Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand.
      • The government merged the TVOA with Electronic Travel Authorisation, thereby creating the e-visa.
    • Five Categories: An e-visa also called Electronic Visa is provided in five categories—tourist, business, conference, medical, and medical attendant.
    • Process:
      • Under the arrangement, a foreigner can apply online four days prior to travel.
      • After the details are verified, an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is generated, which has to be presented at the immigration check post on arrival.
      • Entry through e-visas is allowed only at 28 designated international airports and 5 major seaports in India.
    • Nodal Ministry: The Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal ministry that issues visas to foreigners.
    • The facility is not available for the citizens of Pakistan and they are expected to apply for regular visas from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
    • E-visas are not valid for foreign diplomats which are dealt separately.
  • Current Status:
    • Though the facility is available to 171 countries, after restrictions were announced in 2020, it has been restored only for 156 countries.
    • China, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are excluded from the current restoration.

Source TH

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