The Indian government, with the aim of increasing the numbers of foreign tourists and facilitating an easy the process of e-visa decided for increasing the validity period of e-tourist and e-business visas. It will be one year with multiple entries from the 60 days period in the past.
Popularity among foreigners
The e-visa is hugely popular among foreigners. This decision will have the approval of a competent authority. The increase in the duration of e-tourist/e-business visas with multiple entries is subject to registration requirements and stipulations regarding staying. Moreover, the restriction of a foreigner to get the e-visa for three times in a calendar year is removed. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a Circular on January 22 to this effect. As per the recent statistics of the ministry of tourism, during Jan-Nov 2018, there was a growth of 41.5%. Totally 20, 61,511 tourists arrived using the e-Tourist Visa. In comparison, the figures were 14, 56,615 during Jan-Nov 2017. The Federation of Indian Tourism & Hospitality stated that this was a long standing demand and will also boost tourism.
A continuous stay in each visit should not exceed 90 days for nationals eligible to receive e-visa. The citizens of the US, Canada, Japan, and the UK, are exempt from this. For them, the continuous stay in each visit must not go beyond 180 days. Moreover, there is no requirement of registration in all cases. Furthermore, for the e-business visa, a continuous stay in each visit must not go beyond 180 days for all nationals who are eligible to get the e-visas. Furthermore, there is no requirement of registration if the duration of stay is lesser than 180 days. Experts feel that the new rule is a good move and a positive development. Also, the focus now must shift to visa fees, which is high. It must not exceed 25 dollars.
Finally, at the time of the launch, the e-visa scheme covered 43 countries but is now open to tourists belonging to 166 countries. Also, there are three other categories in it- the visa for medical purposes, for medical attendants and finally the visa for conferences.