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New ‘Visa on Arrival’ plan in effect, complaints persist

SAN FRANCISCO

Fewer travelers to India will have to use the visa outsourcing service of Cox and Kings Global Services following a new initiative launched in November that guarantees a 30-day visa on arrival to visitors from the U.S. and 42 other countries.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs announced the “Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorization” plan Nov. 27 in New Delhi, noting that the new plan was designed to positively impact India’s economy. K.J. Srinivasa, deputy consul general at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, told India-West that the new visa application process was designed to ease the bureaucratic process involved in short-term travel to India, adding: “Indian Americans are the target for this scheme, which was designed to promote tourism.”

Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of Tourism and Culture, in announcing the new initiative, said: “The implementation of TVoA enabled with ETA will send a clear and powerful message that India is serious in making travel to the country easy.” Speaking to reporters at the launch, the minister noted that India has a unique advantage in the tourism sector, owing to its geographical location. He also assured that his ministry would ensure a safe and secure environment for visiting foreign tourists.

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