Tourists from 40 countries may get Indian e-visa from Dec

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New Delhi, July 2: Tourists from as many as 40 nations are likely to apply for a visa to India from their home from the next year. The prime minister's office (PMO) has given nod for electronic visa for tourists from about 40 countries by December as part of the visa reforms.

These countries include the USA, the UK, Russia, Canada, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, France and others. The authorities are planning to include 109 nations once the first phase is successfully implemented.

The electronic travel authorization (ETA) enables foreign travelers to apply for a visa and receive online confirmation within five working days. The ETA will be available for a 30-day period from the day the tourists arrive in India.

The e-visa is a part of the first phase of visa reforms

According to a report published in TTG Asia, director of New Delhi-based Vietrade Tours & Travels Jyoti Kapur said: "Ease of acquiring visas is a crucial factor in increasing inbound tourism. Electronic visas will ensure a 20 per cent jump in visitor numbers from 2015 onwards. More importantly, both FITs and MICE businesses will get a boost as visa approvals prior to departure will make it easier for tour operators and DMCs."

The report also added that India is in the process of opening its doors for the Afghan nationals and will allow them to stay for up to two years on humanitarian grounds. Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said that steps will be taken to ensure that the facilities are not misused.

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