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India to grant visa-on-arrival to US citizens
September 21, 2014, 9:12 am

File photo of T2, the new integrated terminal at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, during its inauguration in Mumbai, India [AP]

File photo of T2, the new integrated terminal at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, during its inauguration in Mumbai, India [AP]

The Indian government is working on a proposal for Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility for US tourists in continuance with its liberalized visa regime.

Earlier in February this year, India announced it sought to extend its visa-on-arrival program to tourists from 180 countries, including China, US and UK, aimed to boost tourism, earnings from which could help deflate India’s growing fiscal deficit.

On Sunday, Indian news agency Press Trust of India quoted government sources as saying the Ministry of Home Affairs is finalizing the arrangements to coincide with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high-profile visit to the US beginning September 26.

Under the new proposal, which is expected to accelerate slow growth in Indian tourism, the stay limit for US tourists is expected to be 30 days. The visas can be collected on landing at one of the 26 international airports across the country.

India, currently, has arranged for Visa on Arrival for citizens of 11 countries -Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and South Korea.

As per some current estimates, the annual flow of US tourists to India stand around 1 million.

India is among the top 25 largest international tourism earners, but lag behind considerably in comparison with neighbours like China and Singapore in the list of the world’s most visited places.

International tourist arrivals grew by 5 per cent in 2013, reaching a record number of arrivals of just over 1 billion, according to the latest World Tourism Barometer published by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in January this year.

Russia and China clearly lead the list of most visited countries, UNWTO noted. China, which became the largest outbound market in 2012 with an expenditure of $102 billion, saw an increase in expenditure of 28 per cent in the first three quarters of 2013. Russia, the fifth largest outbound market, reported 26 per cent growth through September.

Demand for international tourism in 2013 was strongest for destinations in Asia and the Pacific (up 6 per cent), Africa (up 6 per cent) and Europe (up 5 per cent), says the UN.

The Indian Prime Minister will be on a five-day visit to the US during which he will address the UN General Assembly in New York and then travel to Washington where he would hold bilateral talks with US President Barack Obama.

 

 TBP and Agencies

One Response to India to grant visa-on-arrival to US citizens

  1. Louella Martins Reply

    October 31, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Is visa on arrival available to Australian citizens?

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