Tourists to India from the UK, US and 40 other countries could soon obtain visas on arrival after the government announced plans to discuss the move this week.
A vast majority of Indian ministries, including Tourism and Foreign Affairs are said to be in favour of lifting restrictions on issuing visas on arrival. Representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which has opposed the move, will meet with officials from other ministries to discuss an agreement on the restrictions.
The Indian Planning Minister Rajeev Shukla said last month that the proposal to lift restrictions would be passed “soon” as only the Home Ministry’s approval was required.
“Home Ministry’s clearance would be last and final approval required for this proposal as it has already been approved by other ministries and departments like External Affairs, Tourism and Prime Minister’s Office,” Mr Shukla said.
Under current bilateral agreements, only visitors from Japan, Finland, Singapore, Indonesia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar can obtain visas on arrival in India.
The tourism ministry has proposed the extension of that facility to 40 other countries, including the UK, US, Canada, the UAE, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Norway and Ireland.