New Delhi: Five seaports - Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai, Goa and Mangalore - will receive tourists coming with e-Visa in addition to 16 airports where the facility is available.
As part of a new liberalised visa policy, government has also decided that business visitors and those coming for medical emergency will be issued visa within 48-hours of application. Separate immigration counters will be set up in all 16 major airports and the five seaports to facilitate medical tourists coming to India on e-Visa, a Home Ministry official said.
Government will issue employment visa to foreigners who earn a minimum of Rs 16.25 lakh per annum as salary. In academic field, the minimum annual salary qualification is fixed at Rs 9.10 lakh for employment visa.
Tourists, businessmen or people coming for treatment or to attend conferences or even for film shoots 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.
India will also allow tourists coming under the e-Visa to stay up to 60 days instead of 30 days now. Tourists also can apply for the e-Visa four months in advance instead of the 30 days now. The new policy 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.
TVoA (tourist visa on arrival), enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), popularly known as e-Visa scheme, was launched on November 27, 2014. Under the e-Visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a print-out of this authorisation.
On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country. With inclusion of eight more countries, the e-Visa scheme has now been extended to 150 countries. On an average, 3500 e-Visa are being granted every day.
(With inputs from agencies)