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Home Ministry steps up efforts to ensure e-tourist visas to Chinese

PTI 24 Jun 2015, 22:11:46 PM IST

New Delhi:  In order to ensure hassle free e-tourist visas for Chinese nationals, the Home Ministry has started the work of server connectivity for smooth data transfer.

The Ministry intends to ensure early roll out of the scheme for Chinese, official sources said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month announced that India will grant e-visas to Chinese tourists.

The work for server connectivity has been started and it will be over soon. The connectivity of server is important for real-time data sharing and fast processing of applications, they said.

Intelligence agencies have raised concerns over extending the visa-on-arrival facility to Chinese tourists as they apprehend its misuse for various purposes including spying. Frequent issuance of stapled visa by China to people from Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmirwas also one of the key reasons for their objections, the sources said.

The Ministry is taking measures to address security concerns raised by the agencies, they said.

India had last year launched e-tourist visa facility (which was earlier called 'tourist visa on arrival enabled by electronic travel authorisation') for more than 40 countries, including the US. The scheme was later extended to 36 more countries with effect from last month.

During January and May this year, a total of 1,10,657 people arrived on e-tourist visa as compared to 9,841 during the same period last year, registering a growth of 1024.4 per cent.

Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it is approved and he or she can travel with a print-out of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.