Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tourist Visa-on-Arrival (TVOA) scheme - India

28th Jan. 2011: NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday extended the Tourist Visa-on-Arrival (TVOA) scheme to citizens of two more countries -- Myanmar and Indonesia.

Currently, nationals of nine countries -- Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Philippines -- can avail this facility in India.

The TVOA is allowed for a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility by immigration officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata airports on payment of a fee of US $ 60 or equivalent amount in Indian rupees per passenger (including children). Such visa is allowed for a maximum of two times in a calendar year to a foreigner with a minimum gap of two months between each visit.

"The TVOA is non-extendable and non-convertible. The foreigners of these countries may also avail of such visa for up to 30 days for medical treatment, for casual business or to visit friends/relatives," said the home ministry.

The TVOA facility is, however, not applicable to holders of diplomatic/official passports. Similarly, such visa will also not be granted to foreigners who have permanent residence or occupation in India. Such persons can visit India on normal visa, as applicable.

In order to promote tourism, the TVOA scheme was first introduced for nationals of five countries -- Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand -- on January 1, 2010. The government had later extended the scheme for nationals of four more countries -- Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Philippines -- on January 1 this year.

The ministry said: "The scheme has been found to be useful by the foreign nationals. Total 6,569 nationals availed the facility of TVOA till December last year."

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