Dec. 15, 2012
-- 15th December, 2012: In the wake to attract more and more foreign tourist in the country, India has offered a relaxation on tourist visa norms by raising the imposed restrictions on the foreign tourists who were earlier required to have a cooling-off period of two months between two continuous visits and tours to India.
Nevertheless, citizens of countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, China, Sudan, Afghanistan, or people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin and stateless people too will face the same 60-day gap restriction. This rule had come into being in the year 2009 after there were terrorist attacks in Mumbai after which a revelation was made that one of the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba, David Headley, had misused his multiple entry visa. He had got this visa at the time of coming to India on 9 trips and preparing a video recording of the targets of those attacks for the terrorist attack.
The Home Ministry has already cleared the air that anyone who applies for a visa in India having any kind of a Pakistan lineage, no matter even if it is two generations back too, then he must be direct to Delhi first by the Indian missions in order to seek prior clearance for travel to India.
In its order on 23rd November, the Home Ministry said, “The provision relating to the two-month gap between two visits of a foreign national to India on a tourist visa has been reviewed by the government. It has now been decided to lift the restriction of two-month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India”.
The main cause behind this move of reviewing the restrictions on visa restriction that was first through off by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) (January 2012) was that there was a fear of the Tourism Ministry that the influx of tourists was getting negatively affected due to such norms.
The ministries of Home and External affairs were told by the PMO to re-think about these restrictions, which was also inclusive of the chances of putting in more countries under the scheme of visa-on-arrival and making better the conditions of the major airports of the country.
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