India will provide e-Tourist Visa to 31 more countries, including France and Canada, enabling citizens of these countries easy entry to the country.
The e-Tourist Visa facility is being extended to 31 more countries from May 1, a Home Ministry statement said. The new countries included Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominic an Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Grenada, Haiti, HolySee (Vatican), Honduras, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Paraguay, St Kitts & Nevis and Seychelles.
India had launched e-Tourist Visa on November 27 last for 45 countries from nine designated Indian airports. With latest addition, the total number of countries under the scheme will go upto 76. "The scheme will be extended to more countries in a phased manner.
The Government is committed to extend the scheme to 150 countries by the end of this financial year," the statement said. The eTV enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation would enable the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian visa from his or her home country online without visiting the Indian Mission and also pay the visa fee online.
Once approved, the applicant will receive an email authorising him or her to travel to India and he or she can travel with a print out of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.
Since the launch of the scheme, a total of 1,10,000 visas have been issued by the government under it. During December last, a total of 14,083 tourist visa-on- arrival (TVoA) were issued as compared to 2,700 during December 2013, registering a growth of 421.6 per cent.
The percentage share of top 10 source countries for TVoA in India during December last included US (24.26 per cent), Russian Federation (15.06 per cent), Republic of Korea (11.01 per cent), Ukraine (8.16 per cent), Australia (7.98 per cent), New Zealand (5.08 per cent), Japan (4.30 per cent), Singapore (4.27 per cent), Germany (4.05 per cent) and the Philippines (3.10 per cent).