The government of India has made important changes in the original Tourist Visa on Arrival (‘TVoA’) scheme by extending this facility to 31 additional countries. The United States, Brazil, Russia, and Australia are among the countries whose citizens are eligible for the expanded program. While the details on what this means for business travelers still need to be made clear, overall the changes to the rules should ease administrative burdens and facilitate the movement of persons into India.
India’s Tourist Visa on Arrival (‘TVoA’) scheme was introduced in 2010 and the facility has, until now, been available to the nationals of 12 countries.1 To boost tourism in India, the government of India has made important changes in the original TVoA scheme and extended this facility to 31 additional countries. The United States, Brazil, Russia, and Australia are among the countries whose citizens are eligible for the expanded program.
Immigration professionals and global mobility managers dealing with employees (and their family members) travelling to India for business should be aware of the new rules. While the details on what this means for business travelers still need to be made clear, overall the changes to the rules should ease administrative burdens and facilitate the movement of persons into India.
Eligible foreign nationals will need to obtain an “Electronic Travel Authorization” (ETA) as per the procedure laid down under the TVoA scheme before coming to India.
The TVoA will be valid for a period of 30 days from the date of arrival in India. Once issued upon arrival, the visa cannot be extended in India.
A fee of USD 60 per applicant is required to be paid online. Once paid, the fee is non-refundable.
The TVoA is not valid for travelling to protected/restricted and cantonment areas.4 For such purposes, a separate permit is required to be obtained from the prescribed immigration authority in India.
This is a positive step by the Indian government and may help make travel simpler to India.
However, clarification on the definition of “casual” business visits is now awaited; furthermore, clarification is expected with respect to how eligible business travellers may make use of the TVoA scheme.
For related coverage of the Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme, see the following issues of Flash International Executive Alert: 2012-088 (27 April 2012) and 2010-107 (27 May 2010).
1 See the news release “Tourist Visa-on-Arrival Facility to Nationals of Select Countries“ on the Web site for the Consulate General of India in New York at: http://www.indiacgny.org/pages.php?id=2.
2 Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.
3 Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Goa, and Trivandrum.
4 Cantonment areas are military installations, army encampments, etc.
This article is excerpted, with permission, from ”Tourist Visa on Arrival to India Extended to 43 Countries,” in KPMG Flash News (17 December 2014), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in India.
For additional information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional or one of the following professionals with the KPMG International member firm in India:
tel. +91 124 307 4340
tel. +91 124 307 4338
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in India.
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