Cabinet approves liberalization, simplification and rationalization of Visa regime in India

1st December 2016

To, All Members, 

Dear Colleagues, 

Sub: Cabinet approves liberalization, simplification and rationalization of Visa regime in India
 
You will be pleased to know that our request for liberalization and simplification of e-Tourist Visa has been accorded approval by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, which were announced yesterday. All our four recommendations have been accorded approval with one amendment only. We understand that our following request have been accepted by the Government:-
 
a) Dual entries for tourism and business purposes and three for medical treatment. 
b) To extend duration of e-Tourist Visa from 30 to 60 days 
c) To allow tourists to apply for visa 120 days in advance from earlier 30 days. (We requested for 180 days advance application)
d) To add more countries in the e-Tourist Visa regime - 8 more countries have been added and with this e-Tourist Visa facility will be available to the nationals of 158 countries. 
 
A copy of press release issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India is placed below. Also news appeared in the Times of India, E-Version is also enclosed. Once we get the detailed information shall advise to you accordingly. 
 
On behalf of the members, we express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Hon’ble Dr. Mahesh Sharma - Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Vinod Zutshi – Secretary (Tourism), Govt. of India and the entire team in the Ministry of Tourism for supporting us on these issues.
 
We hope industry will be highly benefitted and international tourist arrivals to India will definitely increase.
 
We shall send you more details once official notification is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India 
 
With regards, 
 
Pronab Sarkar
President   
 


PRESS INFORMATION BUREADU
PRESS RELEASE
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
 
30TH November, 2016:  Cabinet approves liberalization, simplification and rationalization of Visa regime in India 
 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for liberalization, simplification and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India, and incremental changes in the visa policy decided by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with various stakeholders and with approval of the Home Minister. 
 
The approval will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business and medical purposes. This is expected to stimulate economic growth, increase earnings from export of services like tourism, medical value travel and travel on account of business and to make ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and other such flagship initiatives of the Government successful. 
 
This will also considerably ease the travel of foreigners to India for the above-mentioned legitimate purposes. 
 
AKT/VBA/SH 
(Release ID :154664)
 

 
TIMES OF INDIA
Govt approves new visa policy to attract foreigners, boost trade
TNN | Nov 30, 2016, 09.40 PM IST
 
NEW DELHI: Seeking to promote medical tourism and attract more business visitors, the Union cabinet on Wednesday expanded the scope of e-tourist visa to include purposes such as short-term medical treatment, business trips and conferences. With the enlarged scope, the e-tourist visa will be rechristened the e-visa and shall allow the holder dual entries for tourism and business purposes and three for medical treatment.
 
As per the Cabinet decision cleared by the Modi government, the e-visa scheme will be extended to 8 more countries, taking the total number of nations that enjoy the facility to 158.
 
E-visa will now have a validity of 60 days and can be applied for by foreign nationals up to four months ahead of the visit.
 
"The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalisation, simplification and rationalisation of the existing visa regime in India and incremental changes in the visa policy decided by the ministry of home affairs in consultation with various stakeholders," said a government release issued after the Cabinet meeting.
 
"The approval will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business and medical purposes. This is expected to stimulate economic growth, increase earnings from export of services like tourism, medical value travel and travel on account of business and to make 'Skill India', 'Digital India', 'Make in India' and other such flagship initiatives of the government successful," it added.
 
Tourists, businessmen or people coming for treatment or to attend conferences will be covered under the new category of visa, which was first mooted by the Commerce Ministry following a suggestion by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to boost services trade.
 
Medical tourism in India alone is estimated at USD 3 billion and projected to grow to $7-8 billion by 2020, according to a PTI report.
 
Foreign patients travelling to India for medical treatment in 2012, 2013 and 2014 stood at 1,71,021, 2,36,898, and 1,84,298 respectively.
 
Small countries like Thailand attract millions of people whereas tourists flow in India is far less.
 
Business and health visa to be granted within 48 hours after submitting the application in case of emergency.
 
Citizens from Pakistan will not be covered under the new liberalised visa policy.