With the recent launch of electronic visa (e-visa) facility enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), tourists from various countries can now apply for an Indian visa in four simple steps. The decision has been touted as being revolutionary for the travel industry as it supports making travel in India hassle-free for especially foreign tourists and hence facilitates in boosting the sector overall. A dedicated website was further launched for this purpose :https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html by Rajnath Singh, Minister for Home Affairs, Government of India in the presence of Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India.
Those travelling to India can now avail ETA through nine airports in the country by an easy-to-understand digitised method from the comforts of their own homes. The application received will be processed at the various counters of the airports set up by the Immigration Department in real time and ETA will be issued for eligible applicants within 3 days of the request being received. Currently visitors from 43 countries have access to this facility although several more countries will be added in a phased process.
The visa will allow entry of the tourists into India within 30 days from the date of approval of ETA and will be valid for 30 days stay in India from the date of arrival in the country. Over the course of this period, visitors can travel for the purpose of sightseeing, visiting friends and family, recreation, short-duration medical treatments, casual business trips among others.
Dr Sharma added that as the country has now opened its tourist hot-spots for global travellers, it has become all the more important to be able to ensure a clean, safe and hospitable environment for the incoming tourists. The Minister stated that it is necessary to visit the destinations and interact with local stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the real scenarios so that the industry can design appropriate policies and reap further benefits.