What is the change? India has opened visa-on-arrival facilities at six international airports to nationals of the United Arab Emirates.

What does the change mean? UAE nationals who have previously obtained an Indian e-Visa or regular/paper visa will be able to use visa-on-arrival facilities at airports in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. The visas will be valid for up to 60 days and a maximum of two entries. They can be used for business, tourism, conference or medical purposes.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The change took effect on November 16, 2019.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas on arrival.
  • Who is affected: UAE nationals who have previously obtained an Indian e-visa or regular/paper visa and who are intending to enter traveling through one of the six airports for business, tourism, conference or medical purposes. The program is not available to UAE nationals of Pakistani origin or Pakistani permanent residents.
  • Impact on processing: The change will save eligible travelers the time it takes to get a visa.

Background: Up until now, India’s visa-on-arrival program has only been available to nationals of Japan and South Korea. With this change, UAE nationals will be able to use the program if they have previously been issued an Indian visa. Travelers who use the visa-on-arrival program must complete the required application (Annexure I), and are advised to download it, print it and fill it out before travel. Travelers should then take their completed form on their flight and give it to the officer at the visa-on-arrival counter at the airport. Travelers must meet other conditions to obtain a visa on arrival, including having a passport valid for at least six months, assured financial standing and no residence or occupation in India. Visas issued on arrival cannot be extended or converted.

Analysis & Comments: The change will ease travel procedures for UAE nationals who have obtained an Indian visa in the past. UAE nationals who have not previously obtained an Indian visa must obtain an e-visa or regular/paper visa prior to departing. Travelers are advised to carry the previously issued visa to substantiate eligibility.

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