Foreigners will be able to enter India through five seaports — Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai, Goa and Mangalore — with electronic visa (e-visa), in addition of 16 airports where the facility is available, a senior Home Ministry official said on Thursday.
As part of the new liberalised visa policy, the government has also decided that business visitors and those coming on medical emergency will be issued visa within 48 hours of application.
Separate immigration counters will be set up in all 16 major airports and the five seaports for medical tourists coming to India on e-visa, a Home Ministry official said.
The government will issue employment visa to foreigners who earn a minimum of Rs. 16.25 lakh per annum as salary. For those in the academic field, the minimum annual salary qualification is fixed at Rs. 9.10 lakh for employment visa.
India will also allow tourists coming on e-visa to stay up to 60 days instead of the 30 days now. Tourists can also apply for the e-visa four months in advance instead of the 30 days now.
On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet gave its approval to merge the conference, tourist, business and medical visas into one. A go-ahead was also given for an ‘internship visa’ for foreigners who want to gain professional experience in India.
It was also decided that the electronic tourist visa (eTV) will now be known as electronic visa and visitors could apply through the existing online portal.
This is expected to stimulate economic growth, increase earnings from export of services like tourism, medical value travel and travel on account of business and to make Skill India, Digital India, Make in India and other such flagship initiatives of the government successful.