New Delhi: US nationals intending to visit
India will not have to produce their birth certificates
while applying for an Indian visa any more.
According to a Tourism Ministry official, the External
Affairs Ministry has issued a direction to the Indian Missions
in the US to this effect.
With 8,27,140 US tourists visiting the country in 2009,
USA has become the number one tourist generating market for
India. In 2008 also, India drew as many as 8,04,933 tourists
from the country.
However, service providers in the travel trade sector
have been requesting for quite some time, for waiving off the
provision related to submission of birth certificates for the
US nationals at the time of applying for the Indian visa.
This requirement of the Indian Missions in the US
affected the tourism sector.
The matter was taken up by the Ministry of Tourism with
the Ministry of External Affairs which agreed to the request
and issued the necessary orders.
India has extended the visa-on-arrival scheme for
tourists from Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos from
January this year. The scheme was launched last year for the
tourists from Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and
Singapore as a measure to attract more foreign tourists.