Govt earns 1400 crore from e-tourist visa

Govt earns 1400 crore from e tourist visaNEW DELHI: The government has earned Rs 1,400 crore as revenue from the highly successful e-Visa scheme, offered to citizens of 163 countries visiting India as tourists, since its launch in 2014.

Union Home Ministry officials said the popular e-Visa scheme was availed by 19 lakh tourists in 2017 and it is expected that more than 25 lakh tourists will avail the facility in 2018.

Since its launch in 2014, the e-Visa scheme has earned revenue of more than Rs 1,400 crore, a senior home ministry official said.

The e-Visa fees are divided into four slabs of zero, USD 25, USD 50 and USD 75 which were fixed on reciprocity and depending on nationality.

The e-Visa scheme has been implemented by the foreigners division of the home ministry with a view to improve the efficiency and transparency of various services being provided to foreign nationals.

The facility is now available for nationals of 163 countries for entry into India through 25 international airports and five sea ports.

Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant, when an online application is submitted, receives an e-mail authorizing him or she to travel to India after it has been approved.

The tourist can travel with a print-out of this authorization, another official said.

On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorization to the immigration authorities who would then allow the entry into the country.

The e-Visa scheme also covers business and medical categories, apart from tourism.

Visitors on e-Visa could stay in India for two months.

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.

With a view to promote cruise tourism, cruise tourists with e-Visas has been exempted from the requirement of biometric enrolment till December 31, 2020 as many of the cruise ships coming to India are mega ships with 2,000 -4,000 passengers on board. PTI

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