Steps announced for a liberalised visa regime will be implemented from tomorrow and cover a range of visa services including e-visa, tourist, business, medical and employment visas, the Home Ministry said on Friday.
An announcement said that new categories of visas such as Internship visa and film visa are being introduced. Decisions on the liberalised regime were taken by the Union Cabinet on 30 November last year. With effect from 1 April 2017, e-visa has been sub-divided into three categories i.e. e-tourist visa, e-Business visa and e-Medical visa. E-visa facility has been extended to nationals of 161 countries for entry through 24 airports, as against 16 airports earlier, and
three ports of Cochin, Goa and Mangalore to tap the potential of cruise tourism. This service will also be provided from Mumbai and Chennai seaports shortly.
The window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days and duration of stay on e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on e-Tourist and e-Business visa and triple entry on e-Medical visa. Separate immigration counters and facilitation desks to assist medical tourists have been provided at Indian airports namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The multiple entry tourist and business visas for a period of five years will now be available to nationals of most of the countries. Upon urgent requests, business visa and medical visa will be granted within 48 hours of application. Ninety-four missions having bio-metric enrolment facilities have stated giving five year long term tourist and business visa from 1 March 2017. The remaining Missions will be providing this facility in due course.
The internship visa to foreigners for attachment to Indian companies, educational institutions and NGOs, subject to conditions, will be restricted for the duration of internship programme or one year, whichever is less. The minimum salary limit for grant of employment visa, at present $25,000 per annum, has been modified.