Government draws Rs 1,400 revenue from e-visas
According to a senior home ministry official, the government has received Rs 1,400 crore as revenue from the e-visa scheme. Since its inception of e-visa in 2014, the tourists from 163 countries are benefited from the scheme. The e-visa has been instrumental in boosting the tourism sector of India. It is evident from the fact that 19 lakh tourists used the e-visa facility to visit India last year. The government expects that the tourist arrivals will be more than 25 lakh this year.
The e-Visa scheme was implemented by the foreigners division of the home ministry as to improve the effectiveness and transparency of various services being provided to foreign tourists. The e-visa fees are set based on the nationality and reciprocity and are divided into four slabs i.e zero, USD 25, USD 50 and USD 75. Tourists from 163 countries ca avail the e-visa facility to enter India through 25 international airports and 5 seaports. The e-visa scheme is also availed to medical and business categories. The tourists coming on e-visa can stay in India for a maximum of two months.
When a tourist applies e-visa online, he/she will get an e-mail authorizing to travel to India once the application is approved. The tourists can travel with the printout of the authorization. On arrival, the tourists have to produce the authorization to the immigration authorities, who would grant entry to the country. The window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days and duration of stay increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on e-tourist and e-business visa and triple entry on e-medical visa. In a step to promote cruise tourism, cruise tourists with e-visas has been removed from the condition of biometric enrollment till December 31, 2020 as many of the cruise ships coming to India are mega ships with 2,000-4,000 passengers on board.