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  India   All India  06 May 2019  5-fold hike in issuance of e-visas by India

5-fold hike in issuance of e-visas by India

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 6, 2019, 2:26 am IST
Updated : May 6, 2019, 2:26 am IST

The provision for internship visa has also been liberalised as earlier, it was given only after graduation or completion of study.

 The new more liberal visa regime provides for increased length of stay, number of visits allowed and flexibility in undertaking various activities.  (Representational image: File)
  The new more liberal visa regime provides for increased length of stay, number of visits allowed and flexibility in undertaking various activities. (Representational image: File)

New Delhi: There has been a five-fold increase in the number of e-visas issued by India in the last five years as 25 lakh such visas have been issued since 2015. According to the officials of the home ministry, the number of sub-categories of visa has been reduced from 104 to 65 in a bid to rationalise and simplify the visa process.

According to the bureau of immigration data, the number of e-visas issued increased from 5.29 lakh in 2015 to 25.15 lakh last year while at the same time the regular or paper visas issued by the Indian missions abroad dropped from 45 lakh to nearly 35 lakh during the same time. Also the number of main categories of visa has been reduced from 26 to 21 by clubbing some categories.

Now the e-visa facility covers 166 countries where foreigners can get online visa within 72 hours for travel activities like tourism, business, health, medical attendant and conference purposes. Even film visa has been increased to include web shows and series and recce of locations. Now no registration is required if stay of a foreigner with film visa is up to 180 days in India.

Even the scope of a tourist visa has been expanded by including activities like short-term, unstructured courses with six months duration on local languages, music, dance, arts and crafts, cooking, medicine. Similarly, voluntary work up to one month has also now been allowed under tourist visa.

The provision for internship  visa has also been liberalised as earlier, it was given only after graduation or completion of study. But now a foreigner can come for internship in India at any time during his studies. The visa for internship in the Indian companies can now be given for a lower salary minimum of ~ 3.6 lakh per annum instead of the earlier minimum limit of ~.7.8 lakh. This would facilitate grant of more internship visas to foreigners.

The new more liberal visa regime provides for increased length of stay, number of visits allowed and flexibility in undertaking various activities. This, officials feel, will help promote tourism, business and people-topeople contact.

The duration of e-Tourist and e-Business visas has been increased from 60 days to one year. The earlier restrictions on the two entries in one year has now been removed allowing multiple entries on these e-business and e-tourist visas.

A foreigner can now apply online for e-business and e-tourist visas any time. Restriction of maximum 120 days of advance application prior to expected date of arrival in India dispensed with, officials claimed.

Tags: home ministry, e-visas