Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, launched the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) enabled with Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Scheme in New Delhi.
Launching the scheme, the Union Home Minister said that India has been the centre of attraction for people around the world since times immemorial. He said that travelers since ancient times have been drawn to India to experience its philosophy and spiritualism. Rajnath Singh said that India also has a unique advantage in tourism sector owing to its geographical location and that no other country offers such abundance of diversity in weather conditions. On the occasion, the Union Home Minister assured the tourism industry representatives that he will ensure a safe and secure environment for visiting foreign tourists.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma said the government’s objective is to boost tourism to our country and the implementation of the TVoA enabled with ETA scheme will send out a clear message that India is serious in making travel to the country easy.
This facility is available to Foreigners whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, short duration medical treatment, casual business visit, casual visit to meet friends or relatives etc. and not valid for any other purpose/activities. This will allow entry into India within 30 days from the date of approval of ETA and will be valid for 30 days stay in India from the date of arrival in India. The TVoA enabled with ETA cannot be availed more than twice in a calendar year. The facility will be available at nine International airports in the country namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Goa.
The TVoA enabled with ETA would enable the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country online without visiting the Indian Mission and also pay the visa fee online. Once approved, the applicant will receive an email authorising him/her to travel to India and he/she can travel with a print out of this authorization. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country
The facility will encourage people to travel with short-term planning, take via routes while travelling to other countries and bring family members while on business visits.