New Delhi: In a boost to the tourism industry, India has relaxed its tourist visa rules by lifting restrictions imposed on foreign visitors to have a two-month cooling off period between subsequent visits. However, citizens of Pakistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sudan and people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin and "stateless persons" will continue to come under the 60-day gap rule.
The restriction was imposed in 2009 after the Mumbai terror attack when it was found that Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley had "grossly misused" his multiple-entry visa with which he made nine trips to India and prepared footage of 26/11 targets for the Pakistan-based terror group. The Home Ministry, however, made it clear that any applicant for an Indian visa who has any sort of Pakistan lineage, even if it is two generations back, must be referred to Delhi by the Indian missions for prior clearance.
In its November 23 order, 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 move to review the visa restriction was initiated by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in January 2012 after concerns were raised by the Tourism Ministry that the negative perception following the move had affected flow of tourists. The PMO had asked the ministries
01:48 PM, Dec 04, 2012
Dhaka: India on Monday said it has decided to adopt a liberal visa policy for people of Bangladesh to promote economic engagement, people-to-people contact and tourism between the two neighbouring nations. "There is no formal agreement between India and Bangladesh on the visa regime. As a step towards showing India's commitment to joining hands with Dhaka in giving a boost to the economic prosperity of Bangladesh and its people, we...
10:52 AM, Dec 04, 2012