See the update on Tourist Visa on arrival (TVoA), enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) post of 28th Nov, 2014. http://wp.me/poNG9-1sG
Ministry of External Affairs [MEA], Govt of India has decided to offer Visa on Arrival in India for citizens of 3 more countries-France, Russia and Germany. It already had a policy like this for 11 countries-New Zealand, Finland, Luxembourg, Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Vietnam, The Philippines and Myanmar.
It is a good step as it should hopefully make it easier for tourists to go to India. India wants to double the tourist numbers in next 2-3 yrs. There is much work in progress on infrastructure involving tourism as well. India has so many attractions for people to visit it. It is not called “Incredible India” for no reason!
A lot of work has been done in Indian airports and facilities have improved significantly. Indian diaspora will keep visiting India for family and business reasons.
What is missing from the list is the names of countries like USA, Canada, UK, Scandinavia and Australia. India considers the risk of inimical actions by visitors from any country before that country is included in the Visa on Arrival list. It is a well-known fact that there are people in USA, Canada and UK, who have been involved, and are still involved in anti-India activities. US citizen, David Headley was in the news only recently. They will obviously be not welcome in India.
Australia is, I think, not in that category. There have been increasing numbers of Australians visiting India. It should be encouraged. While people of Indian heritage in Australia can apply for OCI [Overseas Citizen of India] cards which entitle them to travel to India without Visa for many years, but not every PIO [person of Indian Origin] has yet gone for an OCI card. My understanding is that a significant proportion of Indians do not have OCI cards. Visa on Arrival, if allowed for Australian citizens, will help such people, and of course non-Indian Australians.
If NZ can be in this list, I would have thought Australia can easily be in that list too.
India has clarified that they are not looking for reciprocal Visa on arrival facilities for Indian citizens in any country before including such country for Visa on arrival facility.
Australia qualifies for inclusion in the list also because both countries have good relations, which have become even better, after Australia’s ruling party decided to sell Uranium to India in Dec 2011.
My suggestion to Indian diplomats in Australia-High Commissioner of India and Consul Generals, is to lobby with MEA to include Australia for the Visa on Arrival facility. I also think that leaders from Indian Australian community should also lobby with Indian diplomats and Indian Govt to include Australia in this list.
Yadu Singh/Sydney/11th May, 2011