India’s PM Narendra Modi visits Canada and makes announcement about India tourist Visa
LAST NIGHT India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited my hometown, Toronto. It was a great evening as he spoke at length to an adoring audience of about 10,000 people at the Ricoh Coliseum. He was introduced by Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and made two exciting announcements for Canadians who want to travel to India.
1. Canadians will be eligible for 10-year tourist Visas, upon application at an Indian mission.
2. Canadians will be added to the list of countries who can avail of the new e-Tourist Visa (eTV) facility. This means that Canadians will be able to apply via the internet (before departure) for 30-day tourist Visas to India.
There was no date mentioned in the announcement as to when these would become available.
The e-visa scheme presently covers 45 countries and can be accessed at nine airports in India: Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. With the expansion of the scheme by June 2015, the list will go up to 76 countries and 16 airports in India including Jaipur, Amritsar, Gaya, Lucknow, Trichy, Varanasi and Ahmedabad.
Be honest when applying
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, 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. When the new e-Tourist Visa scheme comes into place, you will not have to visit the consulate, but you will have to apply online before departure.
Photos courtesy Meena Chopra-Social Media Impact and StarBuzz Media.
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