What is the change? India is offering visa-on-arrival services for nationals of more than 40 countries, including nationals of Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Russia and the U.S.

What does the change mean? Nationals of more than 40 countries will be able to visit India without obtaining a visa prior to travel.

  • Implementation timeframe: The new visa-on-arrival services were launched Nov. 27.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of more than 40 countries.
  • Impact on processing times: Nationals of more than 40 countries traveling to India will no longer be required to obtain visas prior to their departure.
  • Business impact: The change will make travel easier for some who make casual business trips to India.
  • Next steps: India is planning on eventually extending visa-on-arrival services to 180 countries.

Background: Prior to Nov. 27, visas on arrival were available to nationals of 11 countries. At the beginning of this year, India announced plans to expand visas on arrival to 180 countries. As of Nov. 27, the countries and territories now eligible for visas on arrival are:

Australia Jordan New Zealand Singapore
Brazil Kenya Niue Solomon Islands
Cambodia Kiribati Norway Thailand
Cook Islands Laos Oman Tonga
Djibouti Luxembourg Palau Tuvalu
Fiji Marshall Islands Palestinian territories Ukraine
Finland Mauritius Papua New Guinea United Arab Emirates
Germany Mexico Philippines U.S.
Indonesia Micronesia South Korea Vanuatu
Israel Myanmar Russia Vietnam
Japan Nauru Samoa

Nationals of the countries and territories listed above can obtain a visa by applying online and uploading a copy of their passport and a photo and paying a visa fee of US$60. Travelers then receive an Electronic Travel Authorization by email, which they must print out and bring with them on their flight to India. The authorizations are accepted at international airports in Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Trivandrum. Once visas on arrival are issued, they are non-extendable, nonconvertible and valid for 30 days.

Travelers may apply no more than twice in a year. Business visas are not covered in the scheme.

BAL Analysis: The change will make traveling to India easier for nationals of more than 40 countries. It is important to note that the Indian government only makes the visas available for travelers whose objectives are recreation, sight-seeing, visiting friends or relatives, short-duration medical treatment or casual business visits.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in India. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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