‘VOA & ETA’ Facilities to be extended to travelers to India from 180 Countries

18th Feb, 2014, 4:00 IST, New Delhi: If you are an international traveler and planning a trip to India, there is good news. Indian government has taken an important step to extend its ‘Visa on Arrival’ (VOA) to 180 countries. This step means that if you are intending to travel to India from 180 countries will be able to apply for an Indian visa and receive electronic authorization at a number of international airports in India.

The Government of India (GOA) has explained two proposals- VOA (Visa on Arrival) and ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) for all countries except for 8 ‘prior reference’ countries which includes Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia and Nigeria. Recently, a meeting took place among the senior officials of Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and intelligence officials at the Planning Commission on Wednesday to put forth this initiative.

“We have decided to extend Visa-on-Arrival to tourists from 180 nations. It will take five to six months to put the infrastructure in place. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October, said Rajiv Shukla, India’s Planning Minister”

Initially, the VOA and ETA for 180 nations will be implemented at 9 airports- Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Trivandrum and Goa- all services are likely to be enforced by the end of 2014.

As per official sources, the reforms entail simplifying online visa system and visa regime liberalization for conferences & senior citizen foreign tourists. Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) certifies for a 30 day period from the arrival date of tourists in India.

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