1,800 foreigners use Indian visa on arrival in three months


New Delhi : Nearly 1,800 foreigners visited India under the visa on arrival scheme in the first three months after its implementation in January on a pilot basis to boost tourism, an official statement said Thursday.

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As many as 1,793 visas were issued from January to March this year for the five countries to which the scheme is applicable, it said.

The five countries to which the visa on arrival scheme is applicable are Singapore, Finland, New Zealand, Japan and Luxembourg.

Singapore, with 642 visas, saw the highest number of visas issued during this period. Finland was second with 466 visas, New Zealand came next with 378 visas, Japan saw 298 visas issued and Luxembourg saw nine visas, the statement said.

Month-wise, the highest number of visas were issued in Singapore in February (281), Finland in March (259), New Zealand in February (181), Luxembourg in March (6) and Japan in March (119).

The ministry launched the visa on arrival scheme on a pilot basis for a year to see its impact.

Tourism officials said the five countries were chosen on the basis of their being a potential source market for India and also as people from these countries don’t pose a security threat that needs verification by the home ministry.

“During the three months’ period, the maximum number of visas – 957 – were issued at the Delhi airport, followed by Mumbai (418), Chennai (342) and Kolkata (76),” the statement said.