Indian Prime Minister promises visas on arrival for Australian nationals soon

21 Nov 14

INDIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Speaking in Australia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a visa-on-arrival facility for Australian tourists. He also said the merger of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) status would be complete within two months.

What does the change mean? Australians will be able to visit India without obtaining a visa prior to travel.

  • Implementation timeframe: Modi promised visas on arrival would be available soon, while the OCI-PIO merger would be complete within two months.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist visas, OCI cards, PIO cards.
  • Who is affected: Australian nationals traveling to India; overseas nationals of Indian origin.
  • Impact on processing times: Australian nationals traveling to India will no longer be required to obtain visas prior to their departure once visas on arrival are implemented. The merger of PIO and OCI cards will streamline processing for overseas nationals of Indian origin.
  • Business impact: The changes will make travel easier for Australian nationals making casual business trips to India.

Background: Modi spoke before 16,000 people in Allphones Arena in Sydney’s Olympic Park, in a scene reminiscent of his speech before 20,000 at New York’s Madison Square Garden in September where he promised Americans would receive visas on arrival when traveling to India. Since then, the Indian government made PIO cards valid for life, essentially giving lifelong visas to the Indian diaspora who hold the cards and eliminating registration requirements for cardholders who visit India. The merger of PIO and OCI cards would further streamline processing.

BAL Analysis: The changes will reduce red tape for Australian visitors and overseas nationals of Indian origin.

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