e-visa fee unlikely to be cut before general elections

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on February 27, 2019 Published on February 27, 2019

Tourism industry insiders were expecting a cut in the visa fee.   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

The government had recently announced several changes in the e-visa facility

Tourists visiting India may have to wait longer for any cut in e-visa fees charged by the Government. Any such relief is unlikely to come their way till the completion of the upcoming General elections, an official said.

Tourism industry insiders were expecting a cut in the visa fee after the government recently announced several amendments in the e-visa facility to make it more tourists friendly. Another imponderable is the fact that there is also no empirical evidence to show that any cut in fees will bring about a surge in tourists’ visits to India.

The changes

The Ministry of Tourism with the Ministry of Home Affairs had recently made several modifications for easing the visa regime. Earlier, the validity of an e-visa was for sixty days with double entry for e-tourists and e-business visas. After revision, the validity has been expanded to a year with multiple entry subject to the stay stipulations and registrations applicable for normal tourist and business visas.

Also, the earlier restriction of allowing e-visas to be issued only thrice in a calendar year has been done away with. e-visas can now be issued any number of times under the revised regime. Another change which was announced was that e-visa could be used for entry into India through two more designated airports: of Bhubaneswar and Port Blair taking the total number of such airports to 28.

According to the latest data available, during January- November 2018, a total of 20,61,511 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 14,56,615 during January- November 2017, registering a growth of 41.5 per cent over the same period.

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Published on February 27, 2019
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