India`s new visa regime: Travel agents complain problems

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

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.


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

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