India adds 36 countries to e-Tourist visa program

10 Aug 15

INDIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? India has expanded its e-Tourist visa program to nationals of 36 additional countries.

What does the change mean? The program primarily benefits tourists from designated countries. Business travelers are advised to obtain visas from an Indian consulate before travel, except for urgent and very narrowly tailored business trips.

  • Implementation time frame: The 36 countries will be added Aug. 15.
  • Visas/permits affected: e-Tourist visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of the countries listed below.
  • Impact on processing times: E-Tourist visas are issued online before travel  to eligible nationals, who are limited to two per year.
  • Business impact: Although the Indian government allows travelers on “casual business visits” to use e-Tourist visas, the definition is extremely limited and business travelers should not attempt to use e-Tourist visas unless they are unable to obtain a visa from a consulate.

Background: Nationals of the following countries will be eligible for e-Tourist visas as of Aug. 15.

Andorra Colombia Jamaica Netherlands Slovenia Taiwan
Argentina Cuba Malta Panama Spain Tanzania
Armenia East Timor Malaysia Peru Saint Lucia Turks and Caicos Islands
Aruba Guatemala Mongolia Poland St. Vincent and the Grenadines United Kingdom
Belgium Hungary Monaco Portugal Suriname Uruguay
Bolivia Ireland Mozambique Seychelles Sweden Venezuela

The complete list of eligible nationals can be found on the Indian government’s website.

BAL Analysis: Individuals traveling to India on business are reminded that because of the narrow definition of business travel, the wide discretion that border officials exercise and the high risk of being turned away at a point of entry, BAL does not recommend that business travelers use e-Tourist visas.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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