E-visa scheme extended by govt
Facility extended to nationals of 166 countries at 26 airports and 5 ports.
New Delhi: The Foreigners Division of home ministry has now extended the e-visa facility to foreign nationals of 166 countries at 26 airports and 5 seaports. In addition, now the Bureau of Immigration (BoI) now decides within 24-48 hours whether or not to grant an e-visa to a foreigner. The scheme has led to a sharp increase in number of foreigners who visited India on e-visa which has gone up from 4.47 lakhs in 2015 to 17 lakhs in 2017. The figure for 2018 is 18.78 lakhs upto 30th October, 2018.
Two new categories of e-visa have now been added to the scheme which are e-Conference and e-Medical Attendant visa have also been introduced recently. E-visa is now available for five categories which include tourist, business, medical, conference and medical attendant.
The home ministry has also empowered the local FRRO to extend duration of e- visas beyond 60 days upto 90 days. Moreover, these e-visas can now be availed three times in one year against twice in a year earlier. For foreigners who are already in India and who require any consular or visa services like extension of visa, conversion of visa, exit permission or any of the total 27 visa-related services, an online e-FRRO facility has now been launched throughout the country. The foreigners do not have to physically visit the offices of FRROs/FROs. They can apply as well as receive consular/visa services online after making online payment. Those foreign nationals who fall sick during their stay in India can now avail medical treatment without converting their visa into a medical visa. This would take care of sudden medical emergencies. Allowing conversion of any category of visa of a foreign national who is married to an Indian citizen or Person of Indian Origin or OCI Cardholder into an Entry Visa at any point of time by the FRRO himself. FRROs have been delegated powers for various visa related services like visa extension and visa conversion.