The enduring strength of the India-US relations is pivoted on robust people-to-people contacts. With this big picture on the mind, the Indian government is working on a proposal to extend the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) scheme to nationals of the United States. The announcement is expected to be made during India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US starting September 26.
Under the scheme the US citizens, who do not have a residence or occupation in India, will be given a visa on arrival allowing them to stay in India for up to 30 days.
India’s Home Ministry is reported to be working in close coordination with the Tourism Ministry to finalise the modalities of TVoA for those US citizens who do not have a residence or an occupation in India, and whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, meeting friends and relatives, short-term medical treatment, casual business, etc. It is still being worked out.
The scheme will be welcomed by the tourism industry and the over 3 million-strong Indian community in America.
India launched the “Visa on Arrival” (VoA) scheme in January 2010, and it currently extends to the nationals of 12 countries — Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and South Korea.
According to a study by the Ministry of Tourism, the TVoA greatly influences the decision of tourists to travel to India. During January-August 2014, 17,120 TVoAs were issued as compared to 12,176 TVoA during same period in 2013, registering a growth of 40.6 percent.
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