India has extended the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme to nationals of Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos from January this year, taking the number of countries on the TVOA list to 15.
The visa on arrival scheme, originally introduced for the nationals of five countries, namely, Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand from 1 January 2010, has since been extended to tourists from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines with effect from 1 January 2011.
The number of visas issued under this scheme, during January 2011 for nationals of the eight out of nine countries were New Zealand (242), Finland (156), Japan (155), Singapore (125), Philippines (98), Luxembourg (6), Cambodia (4), and Vietnam (4). The maximum number of visas on arrival were issued at Delhi airport (406), followed by Mumbai (214), Chennai (137) and Kolkata (33).
India had, earlier this year, extended the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme to nationals of Myanmar and Indonesia, taking the number of countries on the TVOA list to 11.
The scheme has been found to be useful by the foreign nationals and as per tourism ministry data 6,569 nationals have availed the facility of TVOA up to December 2010.
The TVOA is allowed for a maximum 30 days with single entry facility by the immigration officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata airports on payment of a fee of $60 or equivalent amount in Indian rupees per passenger (including children).