The UK is among 36 new countries to be added to India’s electronic visa system from Independence Day, taking the number of nations on the list to 113.
The e-visa route will allow British nationals flying to India for tourism and recreational purposes to apply and pay for their visa online and carry a printout as proof.
“With this addition, the total count of countries under the scheme will go up to 113. Simultaneously, we are going to add seven more Indian airports as designated airports for entry on e-Tourist Visa from 15th August 2015,” an Indian government statement said.
Besides some of the main hubs of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, additional airports offering the e-visa facility will include Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Gaya, Jaipur, Lucknow, Trichy and Varanasi.
“With this total number of designated airports will become 16. Since the launch of the scheme on 27/11/2014 more than 200,000 e-Tourist Visas have been issued till now. It is expected that this substantial addition of countries and airports will give big boost to tourism industry in the country,” the government statement added.
According to UK Foreign Office estimates, over 800,000 British nationals visit India every year. The new electronic visa option will be welcomed by tourists, many of whom had expressed concerns over a new online application process introduced earlier this year as part of a renewed contract with the visa outsourcing company VFS in the UK.
Other European countries to be added on to the list of an easier visa experience from next week include Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Monaco, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
E-visa applicants will be expected to apply online a minimum of four days before the date of travel and the cost of the visa is around 60 dollars with a validity of 30 days from the date of arrival in India.