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INDIA – Online Tourist Visa on Arrival Launched for 43 Nationalities

On 27 November the Indian government launched its new online tourist visa system for nationals of 43 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, UAE and USA (note that the UK is not included in the list).

The new system is expected to facilitate visa processing and increase tourism to India, and is likely to be rolled out to more countries soon.

Who Can Use The New Visa On Arrival?

The Tourist Visa on Arrival is available for holders of passports of the following countries:

Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand,
Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

Activities Permissible

The visa is available to those traveling on leisure, for short duration medical treatment, for a "casual business visit" or to meet friends and relatives. Travellers must show proof of onward travel and sufficient funds.

The definition of "casual business visit" is not clear but could realistically be interpreted as meaning business meetings of a short duration. If there is any uncertainty over whether the activities to be carried out qualify as a business visit or not (i.e. if any activities verge on "working" in India), it is unlikely that this visa would be appropriate. For more information about what activities are and are not permissible on business visa status in India, please contact us.

How Does it Work?

This visa applicant must apply online, at least four days before the intended date of arrival to India, for a Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA). The visa fee (about US$60) should be paid at this time. A digital photograph and copy the passport information page must be uploaded as part of the application.

The applicant should receive an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) within 72 hours, which they must carry at the time of travel.

On arrival to India, biometric data will be taken at the port of entry.

The TVoA is valid for 30 days from the date of arrival in India, is non-extendable, non-convertible and allowed for a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.

Action Items

  • Review upcoming trips and bear in mind that the new online application may be a worthwhile possibility for some applications.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Lexagent Services.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.