At a Glance
- Based on unofficial reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs in India will be further liberalizing and streamlining immigration policies.
- The changes are expected to include fewer visa categories and an expansion of the activities that can be performed under a tourist or e-tourist visa, among other changes.
- The government is expected to announce the changes and related details shortly.
According to unofficial reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs will be further liberalizing and streamlining immigration policies to encourage tourism and business in India.
A closer look
The new changes are expected to include:
- Fewer visa categories. The main visa categories are expected to be combined into 21 visa types, down from 26. It has been indicated that the Project Visa will be combined with the Employment Visa and the Intern and Research Visas would be combined with the Student Visa category. Additionally, sub-visa categories are expected to be reduced from 104 to 65.
- Expansion of tourist and e-tourist visas. Foreign nationals will likely be able to take part in newly-permitted activities under the tourist and e-tourist visas.
- Other relaxed requirements. Additionally, persons of Indian origin and spouses or children of Indian nationals will likely be able to undertake employment, business, study, or research opportunities without converting their visa to the appropriate visa category.
The introduction of streamlined visa requirements is in line with other efforts by the Indian government to streamline immigration processes in the country. For example, the e-visa program was recently expanded and relaxed to encourage tourism and business visits and there is currently a transition to the use of machine-readable travel documents.
Immigration rules are likely to continue to be relaxed to further boost tourism and encourage investment in and travel to India. Fragomen will publish an update and more information on the impact when the government publishes official information on the new policies, which is expected to happen soon.
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