This year the ministry of external affairs has considered extending the visa on arrival to over 16 countries adding to the current 11 countries it has offered the VOA. Here are the top ten countries with the maximum number of VOAs availed this year. A visa on arrival is a tourist visa which can be obtained after landing at the airport and seaports. It gives a permit of 30 days since the day of arrival, but can be extended if required. The VOA number is estimated from Jan to July. The nations are listed as per yahoo.com are:
Japan has 1872 visas granted this year on arrival. The fee to process the visa on arrival is $60 which is high compared to the Indian visa acquired from the Embassy in Tokyo which is just $18. The visa is valid only for a single entry and it is available at all International airports. The Japanese did show the discontent they felt about the fee charged for this visa.
New Zealand is at the second number with 1588 visas on arrival granted this year. It is the only other non-Asian country to obtain this grant. The idea was to promote tourism and 55 percent of the tourists from New Zealand are men. A visa on arrival cannot be changed into any other sort of visa during the stay in India.
Indonesia has 1,514 hits on visa on arrival this year. Last year Indonesia had the maximum number of tourists who got the visa on arrival issued on their visit to India as per Economic times. The visa is issued for the purpose of recreation, sightseeing and for casual visits to visit friends or relatives.
Philippines got the visa on arrival granted in 2011 January by the Government of India. In a year the Filipino tourists have availed 1,442 visas on their visit to India. The visa is strictly for visit, it can’t be used as a work visa.
Singapore is another Asian country which has the permit to get visa on arrival. As many as 1,178 tourists used this facility last year. This year, 1014 number of Singaporeans visited India, where males and females visited were in equal number, which is 23 percent.
Finland tourists were issued a total of 653 visas on arrival in 2011, which took a dip in 2012 to 576. Finland was issued this grant in 2010 when the country was fastening its visa terms. Yet it was done to increase the inbound investments that came from Finland, mostly prompted by Nokia and companies. Finland sees India as a large market for trade and commerce, also a destination for its high end technological industry.
Cambodia was issued the visa on arrival to draw the Buddhism connected tourists and travelers. Last year 73 visas on arrival were issued which decreased to 52 this year. The visa on arrival offer is reciprocated by Cambodia for the same reason to promote the Buddhism travelers as India does.
Vietnam was granted the visa on arrival for economic and trade development purpose and so was added to the countries on the ASEAN group. It showed a number of 66 visas on arrival issued in 2011 which has increased to 97 VOAs this year.
Other then Finland, Luxembourg is another country from Europe which has the permit to get visa on arrival. In 2011 there were 34 of them issued and this year it has hiked to 48. The idea for the Ministry of External Affairs was to double the international tourism by 2016.
After the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Myanmar, the decision was taken by India to grant visa on arrival to Indian businessmen and women at $50 for 70days of granted stay. The country has also issued Visa on arrival for tourists and 43 of them were granted last year which spiked to 54 this year.
Laos is the 11th country making it the last country with the permit for visa on arrival list. Among the 16 countries there are three new European countries, which are France, Germany and Russia. The others are Malaysia, Thailand, Sweden, Brunei, Spain, Ukraine, Korea, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Belgium, Chile, Argentina, and the Netherlands. The VOA is issued to enhance countries travel sector, making it a target for larger number of tourists and to promote the growth of FTAs into the country. And with the proposed plan the GDP is said to increase by 7.3 percent. And we shall say ‘Hail tourist hail!’