Starting later this year, tourists can get instant Visa at several airports in India
Going through the hassle of obtaining a tourist Visa from an Indian consulate has actually prevented some travellers from visiting India. I know this for a fact, as many have told me so. So it will be good news for them, and for the travel and tourism sector, when Visa on arrival becomes a reality later this year, possibly September or October 2014. The facility will be available to tourists and visitors from 180 countries arriving in India at these airports: Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Tourists will apply online and within a few days will be informed about their Visas on arrival at any of the international airports in India listed above. Visa reforms could also include conference attendees, as well as tourists, and more airports may be added to the list, such as Goa and Amritsar.
Last October, the Visa on arrival facility was extended to travellers from about 40 countries at the following international airports: Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Be honest when applying
Recently, one of my readers asked about what kind of Visa to get for yoga study in India, and other travel writers and bloggers have asked me if they need a journalism Visa. So yesterday, I interviewed the Consul General of India in Toronto and his advice was to be truthful. He said that if you are honest, they will try and do everything they can to make sure you get the right Visa. This is important because I actually know of some people who were asked to leave India because they were studying yoga on a tourist Visa.
- If you are attending a recognized educational institution in India, you need an education Visa.
- If you are writing professional travel stories about India or taking photographs for publication, you need a journalist Visa.
- If you are volunteering, you need a volunteer Visa.
- Other types of Visas include business, conference, medical, transit, and research.
The most difficult part about applying for an India Visa is getting all the details right. If you make a mistake, you could be denied. Currently, you have to apply online, print the form and bring it to your local consulate. For detailed instructions, please visit this page (USA) or this one (USA, Canada, UK). To apply from Canada, you need to visit the BLS Services page.
In 2012, India received 6.58 million foreign tourists, up 4.3 per cent over the previous year.
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