Government goes out of the way to promote Yoga, offers e-Tourist Visa
Now, tourist from overseas looking for a short Yoga retreat in India can now avail quick e-Tourist Visa.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Government has decided to include ‘attending a short-term yoga programme’ and ‘short duration medical treatment under Indian systems of medicine’ in the list of permissible activities under e-Tourist Visa.
At present, a tourist visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is for recreation, sightseeing and casual visit to meet friends or relatives etc.
“Realising the spread of Yoga the world over, the government has decided to include ‘attending a short-term yoga programme’ in the list of permissible activities under tourist visa,” confirmed an MHA spokesperson.
Reportedly, All Indian Mission Abroad and Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs)/ Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) in the country have been requested to take action as per the latest decision.
Launched in November 27, 2014, The Tourist Visa on arrival (TVoA) is enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), popularly known as e-tourist visa scheme.
Under the e-tourist visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it is approved and he or she can travel with a print-out of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorization to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.
Till date, the scheme has been extended to 150 countries at 16 Indian airports designated for providing e-tourist visa service.
However, with the launch of the e-Tourist scheme, over 9 lakh visas have been issued.
Currently, on an average, 3,500 e-tourist visas are being granted daily to foreign nationals.
Additionally, Japanese nationals are given visa-on-arrival facility, a move that is expected to boost inflow of tourists and business visitors.