In April 2015 the union home ministry announced the renaming of the “tourist visa on arrival scheme (VoA)” as “e-tourist visa” aiming to avoid inconvenience to foreign tourists who, misled by scheme’s nomenclature, would fly into India presuming that they would be granted visa on arrival upon landing.
To boost tourism, the union finance minister Arun Jaitley in his annual union budget announced visa on arrival to 150 countries from the current 43 countries in stages. The most populous nation China was certainly one of the targets and during the visit of PM Narendra Modi to China the announcement was officially done.
As promised by our PM, the union government has declared to roll out e-tourist visa facility to Chinese nationals from July 30, 2015. Beside Chinese nationals Hong Kong and Macao citizens will also be provided the facility.
Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorizing him or her to travel to India after it is approved and he or she can travel with a hard-copy i.e. a print-out of this authorization. On arrival, the visitor has to present the print out to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.
In earlier the e-tourist visa scheme was launched for more than 40 countries including the US and later it was extended to 36 more countries with effect from May, 2015. As a result the number of foreign tourists availing themselves of the e-tourist visa facility has increased by over 700 per cent in May as compared to the same of the previous year. So starting from tomorrow, within months or even weeks a humongous growth in the tourism sector is absolutely inevitable.