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Visa-on-arrival to be extended to tourists from 180 countries

‘We have decided to extend the visa-on-arrival facility to tourists from 180 nations. It will take 5-6 months for the respective departments to put the required infrastructure in place. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October,’ he said here. India currently offers visa-on-arrival to tourists from 11 countries like Finland, the Philippines, Singapore and Japan. This facility is now being extended to 180 countries. The only exception to this rule will be nationals from Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia, he said without giving reasons. Following a high-level meeting with representatives from various ministries, he said the electronic visa would be valid for 30 days from the date of the tourist’s arrival in India. The move, aimed at boosting country’s tourism sector, would not need Cabinet’s nod, Shukla said, adding that Home Ministry would notify the same at an appropriate time.

‘The facility will provide a major boost to the country’s tourism sector. This is historic,’ Shukla said. A separate website would be set up for extending the facility to foreigners intending to visit India as tourists. To get visa, they would need to apply in the designated website along the required fees. They would be granted an electronic version of the visa within three days.
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