Earlier today I posted about Turkey’s new electronic visa process. In the comments section, reader StargoldUA shared some really exciting news from India.
On Wednesday the Indian government cleared two initiatives which will make visiting India much easier.
Via The Times of India:
In a significant step towards liberalization of the visa regime, the government on Wednesday cleared two initiatives: visa on arrival and electronic travel authorization for all countries barring eight “prior reference” countries including Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka and China.
ETA will allow foreign travelers to apply for a visa from home and receive an online confirmation in five working days.
“We have decided to extend visa-on-arrival to tourists from 180 nations. It will take 5-6 months to put the infrastructure in place. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October,” planning minister Rajiv Shukla said.
This new program will initially be available at nine Indian airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Goa and Trivandrum.
Electronic travel authorization and visa-on-arrival will be available for a 30-day period from the date of the tourist’s arrival in India.
Anyway, I’m very excited about this. I was in India a couple of years back and absolutely loved it, and can’t help but encourage others to visit as well. That being said I hate getting traditional visas. Either you have to queue at a consulate or use a passport service to get it done. While I don’t like queuing at a consulate, I also don’t like being without my passport for upwards of a week, so frankly countries with “traditional” visa policies have generally slipped to the bottom of my list of places to visit.
Electronic travel authorizations and visa-on-arrival are the way of the future, so I’m very excited to see India adopt this. It won’t benefit me personally all that much since I have a 10 year visa for India good through 2021, but I’m certainly happy that this will make it easier for others to visit India as well (especially so y’all can come visit me when I move to India). 😉