India Earns Rs 1,400 Crore Revenue From E-Visa Scheme

About 19 lakh tourists to India availed the e-visa scheme in 2017.


The Indian government has earned a revenue of over Rs 1,400 crore from the e-visa scheme since its launch in 2014. The scheme is offered by India to citizens of 163 nations arriving in the country as tourists, a senior Home Ministry official said, PTI reported.

As many as 19 lakh tourists to India availed the e-visa scheme in 2017. Over 25 lakh tourists are estimated to benefit from the scheme in 2018, the report cited officials as saying.

The e-visa services are offered online, including online application, and require no facilitation by any intermediary. The scheme is available for many countries, including Canada, Belgium, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, and United Arab Emirates.

Under the e-visa scheme, after an online application is submitted by an applicant, the traveler then receives an e-mail authorizing the travel to India after necessary approvals have been made. The tourist then has to carry a print-out of this authorization while travelling to India.

Implemented by the Foreigners’ Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the scheme is meant for international travelers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sight-seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit. Other eligibility criteria that have to be fulfilled are having a return ticket or onward journey ticket with sufficient money to spend during the stay in India. An e-visa allows a visitor to stay in India for a period of two months.

The fee for the scheme is divided into four categories of zero, $25, $50 and $75 — depending on the nationality and reciprocity, the report added.

In case of urgent travels, the applicant can opt for the Fast Track service, for which “Urgent Processing” has to be chosen during the process of application, and additional charges have to be paid.

The  Foreigners Division recently announced several successful initiatives which are paperless and fast to ease travel to India. The Indian government is planning to install special automated kiosks at airports to enable foreign travelers who are included in the low risk category to undergo quicker immigration checks, officials said earlier, PTI reported. These kiosks, expected to be set up by January 2019, will help the foreign travelers to complete the identity verification process in seconds, the report quoted officials as saying.

The Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this month also launched an online Event Clearance System for granting security clearance to foreigners who want to attend conferences, seminars or workshops organized in the country.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh also launched the e-FRRO scheme on April 13, under which foreigners visiting India will no longer be required to visit the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) for services associated with visa.

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