As promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, e-tourist visa facility will be rolled out to Chinese nationals beginning July 30. Along with the citizens of China, the e-tourist visa facility will also be offered to the nationals of Hong Kong and Macao. Brushing aside concerns raised by intelligence agencies, the Prime Minister had announced during his visit to China in May that the e-tourist visa facility will be offered to Chinese nationals. Modi had made the announcement notwithstanding frequent issuance of stapled visa by China to people from Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
India had last year launched e-tourist visa facility (which was earlier called ‘tourist visa on arrival enabled by electronic travel authorisation’) for more than 40 countries, including the US. The scheme was later extended to 36 more countries with effect from May. Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it is approved and he or she can travel with a print-out of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country. The number of foreign tourists availing e-tourist visa facility has increased by over 700 per cent in May as compared to the same period last year.