Vastavam web: India had issued over 25 lakh e-Visa last year, a five-fold jump from 2015, and reduced the main category visa from 26 to 21, an official said Sunday. The Home Ministry officials also said sub-categories of visa has been reduced from 104 to 65, thus rationalising and simplifying the visa regime and removing confusion.
The number of e-Visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration, under the Home Ministry, has risen from 5.29 lakh in 2015 to 25.15 lakh last year, the official said. On the other hand, the number of regular or paper visas issued by Indian missions abroad has come down from 45 lakh to around 35 lakh in the same period.
The e-Visa facility now covers 166 countries and foreigners can obtain online visa within 72 hours for travel related to tourism, business, health, medical attendant and conference purposes. The scope of film visa has been increased to include web shows and series and recce of locations. No registration is now required if stay of a foreigner with film visa is up to 180 days in India, the official said.
These measures will remove the present obstacles in implementation of film visa regime and is expected to promote India as a favourite destination for shooting of various kinds of films and shows.
The scope of tourist visa has been expanded by including activities like short-term, unstructured courses (up to six months duration) on local languages, music, dance, arts and crafts, cooking, medicine. Voluntary work up to one month has also now been allowed under tourist visa.