India`s new visa regime: Travel agents complain problems
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 18:12
Singapore: Singaporean travel agents have complained to Indian officials here that the new visa restrictions that require multiple journey visa holders to return to India only after two months of leaving its shores, is hindering the travel plans of many visitors.

Speaking at a Tourism Ministry's Singapore roadshow for promoting the Delhi Commonwealth Games and visa on arrival last night, the agents said travelers were no longer comfortable to make a return trip to India, having landed at one of its airports and then travelling to neighbouring countries.

The Ministry and the Indian High Commission officials, led by Assistant Director Neela Lad, explained that the New Delhi had liberalised the visa restrictions by giving authority to immigration officials at entry points to allow a person of Indian origin to revisit within the two months.

The agents were not satisfies by the clarification given by the officials and said there were no certainty that Indian immigration officials would allow re-entry to a traveler who had landed in India, and then went on to visit places such as Kathmandu or elsewhere in Pakistan or Bangladesh.

The agents, invited to the roadshow to promote tourism to India, were not convinced, said a business development manager at a major travel agency, preferring anonymity.

"We need to get full clarification on the visa restriction," he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Singapore roadshow, Lad said she expected the visa issue to be resolved by October.

She also said the Commonwealth Games were expected to see some 100,000 tourists and sporting enthusiasts visiting Delhi during the two weeks, in addition to the 7,000 sportsmen/women and delegates.

The Indian Home Ministry had put in place a revised set of visa norms following revelations that Pakistani American LeT operative David Coleman Headley visited India several times to carry out recce operations of sensitive locations using his multiple entry visa.


First Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 18:12

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