India starts visa on arrival to South Korean nationals

Vastavam web: India has started granting visa on arrival to South Korean nationals, a move that is expected to boost inflow of tourists and business visitors, officials said Sunday. South Korea is the second country whose nationals are now given visa on arrival by India after Japan, whose citizens have been getting the privilege since March 2016. India has decided to offer visa on arrival to South Korean nationals with effect from October 1, 2018, a home ministry official said.

Like the Japanese nationals, the facility to South Korean citizens include double entry visit for a period not exceeding 60 days for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes for entry through six designated international airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The facility of e-Tourist Visa now covers 166 countries and foreigners can obtain online visa within 72 hours for travel related to tourism, business, health, medical and conference purposes. The number of visas issued through e-Visa system is now approximately 40 per cent of the total number of visas and the figure is soon expected to cross the 50 per cent mark, which is an indication of its popularity.

The number of foreigners who visited India with e-visa has gone up from 447,000 in 2015 to 1.7 million in 2017. The figure for 2018 is 1.87 million till October 31 this year and it may touch two million mark by the end of the year, a Home Ministry official said. Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved.