India reviews tourist e-visa facilities for UK, Canada
Taking actions on similar lines regarding lack of mutual travel recognition, India has now excluded Hong Kong, China, and Macau citizens from availing e-Tourist Visa facility for travelling to the country.
According to Indian Ministry of Home Affairs updates reported by the Indian media, India will be allowing individual foreigners to visit India for tourism purposes from November 15. As per the reports, tourists from the United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia too have been excluded due to lack of reciprocity. Referring to this, officials in the know-how added that citizens of Vietnam, Taiwan, the United States, Singapore, and 152 other countries will have access to e-visa facilities for tourists.
As per the guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), regular tourist visas and existing e-visas issued prior to October 6 shall also remain suspended. Reportedly, fresh visas for single entry with a validity of 30 days can be utilised within 120 days of issuance.
Reports have it that before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, India had granted the e-Tourist Visa facility to a record number of 171 countries, which included the United Kingdom, China, and Canada as well, but lack of reciprocity, and border tension with China seems to have affected their prospect.
Moreover, standoff with the United Kingdom on recognition of vaccine certificates and mandatory quarantine for Indian travellers pushed the Indian Government to also apply similar guidelines for British travellers visiting India. While with Canada, suspension remains in place in response to the testing restrictions, which the Canadian Government continues to subject travellers from India.
However, travellers from the United States are allowed to avail the e-Tourist Visa as per the latest guidelines. Since the United States has reopened for international travellers from November, it has allowed Indian travellers to enter without any quarantine, and even recognised WHO-approved vaccines, including Covishield and Covaxin.
(Times of India)