With an aim to increase the foreign tourist influx in India, a proposal for e-visa fee cut is under consideration by the Government of India (GoI). By Kumar Shree
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In 2017, the foreign tourist arrivals in India counted at a whooping 10 million. Identifying the potential of increasing this statistics, the GoI in 2018 declared that they are planning to double the numbers at 20 million by 2020. Taking steps towards the same, a proposal for cutting e-visa fee, and introducing both short-term and long-term e-visa for tourists is under discussions now.
The Ministry of Tourism has proposed a short-duration e-visa with a one-month validity at a fee of $25 (INR 1,788). This fee will be applicable through July to March, which is the peak season for foreign tourist visiting India. The same fee for April through June, the lean phase for foreign tourist arrival in India is proposed to be kept at a lower bracket of around $10 (INR 715). This will hopefully attract travellers even in the lean season.
Like the short-term e-visa, the long-term e-visa also has two brackets to it. A one-year e-visa will now come at $40 (INR 2,861), and the validity for regular e-visa that currently comes at $80 (INR 5,722) will now be increased to five years allowing multiple entries. As of now, the visa fee reduction proposal has received a green light from the Ministry of Home Affairs and is currently being considered by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). An official announcement about the same will be made, once it is cleared by the MEA.
Furthermore, a short duration (30 day) visa for Japan, Singapore, and Sri Lanka during the lean phase is suggested to be charged at $10 (INR 715) and a 30-day, one year, and five-year visa for peak season is proposed at a charge of $25 (INR 1,788).