Electronic Tourist Visa scheme fee to be slashed in India

The Government of India is about to reduce the fees of Electronic Tourist Visa (ETV) for the tourist coming to India using this facility. According to PTI sources, the Government has taken this decision as this scheme has increased the arrivals of tourists in India.

India provides ETV facility to 113 countries at USD 60. Whereas, India avail the same facility or Visa on Arrival (VoA) in many countries at much lesser fee. Indians enjoy these facilities in some countries at USD 20, USD 35 or USD 40 and in some countries they are not even charged with a visa fee.

Though the government has not made any official declaration about the reduction but according to sources, there will be four slabs. The fee for ETV will be a mutual decision. An official of Home Ministry said, “We are planning to make the visa fee in four slabs. USD 20, USD 48, USD 60 and no visa fee will be levied from some countries. We have sent the proposal to the External Affairs Ministry for final approval.”

An applicant will receive an authorization through mail under ETV scheme that he or she could travel to India. He or she can then take a print-out of this authorization to present it before the immigration authorities, to get it stamped and approval to enter the country.

India is now planning to provide the ETV facilities to 150 countries by March 31, 2016. About 16 designated airports within the country will be facilitated with the ETV scheme and will receive tourists under this scheme.

There is a growth of 892.9% in the total arrival of tourists under ETV scheme. As compared to the corresponding period, a total of 1,69,976 tourists visited India on ETV between January-August in 2015 whereas, it was 17,120 in 2014 according to an official estimate. The estimation says, 25.93 % of tourists from the US, 10% of German, 8.92 % from UAE, 8.76 % of French, 7.20 % of Australian and 6.39 % of Canadian tourists availed facility.

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