India issued 25 lakh e-Visas in 2018 which is a tremendous increase from 2015. It also reduced the main category visa to 21 from 26 after clubbing several categories.
The officials of the Home Ministry stated regarding reducing sub-categories of visa to 65, from 104 as a measure to rationalize and simplify the visa administration.
25.15 lakh e-Visas were issued last year, by the Bureau of Immigration, of the Home Ministry. Additionally, during 2015 the figures were 5.29 lakh.
Furthermore, the volume of paper visas issued by the missions of India abroad was 35 lakh from the figures of 45 lakh during the same period. The e-Visa facility presently covers 166 countries and foreign persons can get the online visa in just 72 hours for pursuing any travel with the purpose of tourism, attending a conference, business growth, health-related matters, and for medical attendants. Moreover, there is an increase in the film visa scope. It now includes web shows and series and seeing locations.
A foreigner’s stay on film visa for 180 days in India, does not require registration. The aim of such measures is removing the obstacles in implementing film visa for promoting India as a preferred destination to shoot films and shows.
There is an expansion in the scope of the tourist visa. It now includes short-term, unstructured courses on local languages, courses on arts, music, dance, crafts, medicine, and cooking.
It is also allowing Voluntary work for one month under a tourist visa.
There is also the liberalization of the Provisions of Internship Visa. Previously, the authorities gave it after graduation or on completing the study.
Now, a foreigner can come for an internship in India at any time during his studies. It is now allowing Visa for an internship to pursue in the Indian companies for a minimum annual salary of Rs. 3.6 lakh instead of the limit of Rs.7.8 lakh in the past.
Presently, there is an overhauling of the Visa regime in the last two years. It is simple to understand as well as administer it. Additionally, it has a liberal approach in matters of staying, allowing a number of visits and is flexible to undertake many activities. The regime also promotes tourism, business contact, and people-to-people, closeness.
There is an increase in the period of e-Tourist and e-Business visas (60 days in the past to one year now).
There are no Restrictions on making two entries within a year. It allows multiple entries on e-Business/e-Tourist visas. A foreigner can apply for them online at any time. There are no Restrictions on 120 days of submitting the advance application before the date of arrival in India.