India has rolled out the much awaited visa on arrival for 43 countries from end of November. The scheme will be applicable for travelling to India for 30 days or less—and only for “recreation, sightseeing, short duration medical treatment, casual business visit, casual visit to meet friends or relatives.”
To avail this, applications must be made online at least four days before arrival, complete with a photograph, a scan of a passport’s photo page and a $60 fee. Subsequently, an Electronic Travel Authorisation will be issued, which is valid for entry through only nine airports in India. Only two such visas will be granted in a calendar year.
US, Australia and Fiji are among the countries whose citizens are eligible for the expanded program. UK is likely to be included in a later phase. The full list of countries covered by the expansion is not yet available.
Until now, the program, which was launched in 2010, has only been available to citizens of 12 countries, including Finland, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. These visas are valid for 30 days. Citizens from other countries could get multi-entry tourist visas valid for six months but have to apply to an Indian embassy to do so.