3rd November 2017
To, All Members,
Sub: Immigration at IGI Airport - Government to set up 55 additional immigration counters at IGI airport
Dear Friends,
As you are aware IATO has been constantly writing to the Ministry of Tourism and also to the Bureau of Immigration about the problems being faced by the foreign tourists at the Immigration Counter for clearance and also for the E –Tourist Visa applicants to complete the formalities for bio-metric process.
On 30th of October, it appeared in the newspaper that all first and business class counters will be shut and there will be common counter for all. We understood from the news appeared that this decision has been taken by the Bureau of Immigration keeping in view the long queues at the counters for those flying on economy class and these counters would be available as common pool for all passengers.
IATO immediately took up the matter with Mrs. Rashmi Verma, Secretary Tourism and sent the below letter (copy enclosed) followed by meeting with her on 1st of October 2017 where she also called Mr. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Mrs. Ashima Mehrotra, Director (Tourism), Mr. Anil Oraw, Dy. Director General, Mr. Kalyan Sengupta. An immediate action was taken by our Ministry and a letter was drafted in the presence of the undersigned and Mr. Rajiv Mehra and was immediately sent to Secretary, Home Affairs. At the same time, all this information along with proof was sent to NDTV Hindi News with interview/bites of the undersigned, which was being shown repeatedly on the channel on 1st November 2017.
Our efforts yielded fruitful results, when I got a message from our Secretary Tourism office that Secretary Home Affairs has acceded to our following requests i.e. :-
- First/Business Class counters restored
- Additional Counters being opened
- Additional bio-metric machines are being installed.
- Additional staff is being posted especially for the peak hours.
- Instructions given to address the issues of long queues at the immigration counters.
This news has also appeared in the Daily National News Papers today and news appeared in The Times of India is placed below, which is self-explanatory.
Thanks to Mrs. Rashmi Verma, Secretary (Tourism) and the entire team in the Ministry for taking up our case with Ministry of Home Affairs strongly.
All our members are requested to monitor the situation and delays to be reported to IATO for updating the Ministry accordingly.
With best regards,
Pronab Sarkar

30th October 2017

Mrs. Rashmi Verma

Secretary (Tourism)

Ministry of Tourism

Government of India

Transport Bhawan

New Delhi

Respected Madam,

Sub: No special business class immigration queue at T3

Greetings from IATO !

Placed below is the news that has appeared in The Times of India on 28th October 2017 regarding passengers travelling in First or Business class to queue up with economy class passengers for immigration at Delhi Airport. As per the report, the separate immigration counters for such passengers at the departure lounge have been shut.

You may kindly recall that a few days ago written a letter to your good-self and also to the Commissioner – Bureau of Immigration that it is taking 3 to 4 hours for the E-Tourist Visa holders to get immigration clearance and complete the biometric process.

We understand from the news appeared that this decision has been taken by the Bureau of Immigration keeping in view the long queues at the counters for those flying on economy class and now, these counters would be available as common pool for all passengers.

Madam, while we appreciate the action being taken by the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, we would like to mention that instead of having common immigration clearance counters, more immigration counters with bio-metric facilities need to be set up urgently. Also it is seen, most of the time there is no staff at the immigration counters and 30% counters remain un-serviced.

It is a worldwide practice to have separate immigration counters for the First and Business class passengers and this should continue to attract high end tourists from the source markets to avoid negative impact on Niche Tourism. However, it is also a worldwide practice that these counters provide facility to other economy class passengers when there are no first or business class passengers at such dedicated counters to ensure quick clearance at immigration counters.

It will not be out of place to mention that all big body aircrafts have 25% to 30% seats for First and Business class passengers. They save approximately one hour their precious time to report at the airport as all the airlines offer them separate check in counters. Therefore, withdrawing such facility at the airport will be very detrimental to high end travellers.

We would be grateful, if this can be taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Immigration urgently. This is being the peak season, the big movements take place and thus tourists and investors/corporate clients should not suffer.

Thanking you in anticipation.

With best regards,



Pronab Sarkar

President - IATO 

The Times of India

Government to set up 55 additional immigration counters at IGI airport

TNN | Nov 2, 2017, 05.16 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The home ministry, initiating a time-bound exercise to cut the long queues at Delhi International Airport during peak hours, has decided to set up 55 additional immigration counters, including 20 that will be functional by the end of this month.

Sources said the initiative to improve immigration services will not be limited to the Delhi airport alone. "More immigration counters and manpower will be added in the coming days and months at other international airports with high traffic. The entire immigration process is likely to be reviewed to make it smoother and quicker. The effort is to make the immigration desk at our airports a friendlier place for international travellers. This will create a good "first impression" of India as a tourist destination," said a senior home ministry officer.

Of the new counters cleared for Delhi airport, 20 will be in the departure area while 35 shall serve foreigners arriving on electronic visa. They are scheduled to be all in place by January 2018, taking the total number of immigration kiosks at the Delhi airport to 130. Around 1,800 personnel will be brought in to man the additional counters.

A meeting chaired by Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba on Wednesday and attended by senior officers of Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and Bureau of Immigration (BOI), etc decided that 10 new immigration counters will be set up by November 20 and an equal number added by January 2018.

To facilitate foreigners arriving on electronic visas, 10 e-visa counters will be made functional by November 30, 2017. Another 25 e-visa counters will come up by January next year. "This will facilitate foreigners availing (of) electronic visa which is becoming increasingly popular," said a home ministry official.

The measures to expedite immigration at Delhi international airport are being initiated after recent media reports pointed to long queues and waiting time during peak hours. Taking cognisance of the reports as well as passengers' grievances aired on social media, senior officers of the home ministry and BOI had visited the airport for an on-the-spot assessment.

Based on feedback from the officers, the home secretary met officers of BOI, DIAL and National Informatics Centre on Wednesday to discuss capacity addition through measures such as technology upgradation, provision of modern equipment, creation of additional space for immigration counters, increasing manpower, etc.

"A bigger meeting will be held in the near future to discuss replication of these measures for the country's other international airports. Home minister Rajnath Singh in particularly keen on overhaul of the entire gamut of immigration services," said an official.

While DIAL will provide additional space for the immigration counters at Delhi airport, bureau of immigration (BOI) will provide the manpower, computers, passport reading machines, web cameras etc to make them functional.

BOI will also be providing additional 1,800 personnel to improve immigration services at Delhi IGI Airport by filling up vacant posts and inducting personnel from the central armed police forces and also some ex-servicemen.