Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Indian tourist visa rules

India has modified its tourist visa regime to plug a loophole because of which tourists were staying in India for multiple years. As per the earlier process, toursists with multiple entry visa could stay in India for upto 180 days. However, they could visit any other country and come back to India within a day and then were allowed to stay upto 180 days or till expiration of visa, whichever is earlier.

As per new tourist visa rules, visitors with multiple entry visa will have to wait for a period of 2 months before they can visit India again.

The move apparently is made in light of revelation that terrorists involved in 26/11 attack travelled between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; and could carry out elaborate planning before executing the attacks.

The change in rules affects holders of multi-entry visas. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has decreed that anyone who intends to enter the country twice in less than two months must seek additional permission from the High Commission of India or the Indian Consulates in various countries.

To get permission to visit more than once in two months, travelers must take a full itinerary with hotel and flight bookings and submit the same to Indian consulates.

The approval of second visit can take 3-4 days, but in straight forward cases permission is normally granted within a couple of hours, with a "Miscellaneous Charge" of about $10 for the privilege.

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