Oman exempts 103 nations from entry visa requirement- India included
Recently, Oman had announced that nationals of 103 nations, including India, do not have to have entry visas. These visits without visas will be allowed for up to 10 days of stay. This move was made for encouraging tourism in the country and also bolstering the revival of its economical state.
A tweet that had been shared by the Royal Oman Police had said that all travellers will have to submit their return tickets and confirmed hotel reservations. They also have to submit health insurance documents. On 1 October, Oman had restarted international flight operations.
Biden’s H1B visa, green card plans likely to benefit thousands of Indians
The election of Joe Biden as the next President of United States of America is going to serve good news for thousands of Indians. The Biden administration is likely to reverse the H-1B rule which will allow tens of thousands of Indian professionals to enter USA for work purposes.
In June, Trump had suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers from unemployment aggravated by Covid-19 pandemic on a temporary basis. The Biden administration plans to create a new visa category which will allow cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrants to support their growth.
Spending on Visa cards on the rise despite the expiry of unemployment benefits
Visa Inc. Stated that the overall spending on their cards by the consumers in the United States of America has increased in July and August. This has occurred despite the expiry of unemployment benefits.
The spending on debit cards has increased by 26% in July and 24% in August compared to the spending I the previous year. This rise in debit card spends has made up for the decline of 8% in credit card spends during the two months. The $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits offered by the U.S. government has helped many households. However, the cross-border volume in the fourth quarter has dipped by 31% and will end on 30 September. Overseas spending is more for Visa compared to domestic transactions made.
Extension of business visa for up to 15 years allowed
The Indian government has decided to allow the extension of business visa for up to 15 years and the conversion of a regular visa into a medical one for a foreigner in case of an emergency. The development was informed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday when he was addressing a conference titled ‘Streamlining of India’s Visa Regime’. Gauba while informing of the development stated that the number of e-Visas issued by the authorities has seen tremendous growth in the last four years. It needs to be mentioned here that till November 30, as many as 21 lakh e-Visas has been issued by the authorities.
Gauba said that the government’s objective was to create a simple and hassle-free visa regime and facilitate the arrival and stay of foreign travellers. He also highlighted various policy initiatives taken by the government in that regard.
It is noteworthy to mention here that the e-visa facility covers 166 countries and foreigners can avail the online visa within 72 hours. The number of e-visas issued through the e-visa system is approximately 40% of the total number of visa issued by the authorities and is expected to soon cross the 50% mark.
India’s data regulations hurting Visa Inc’s ability to compete with local rivals
Visa Inc has said that the Indian government’s rules to store data locally has negatively affected the business of the corporation and and also its ability to compete with local companies in the country. The new policy by the government is a trend towards nationalisation, a move which the company says will impact its ability of doing business using the globalisation factor. Visa Inc’s rival Mastercard also criticised the new policies laid down by the government but said it has no other choice than to adhere to the new rules.
In April, Reserve Bank of India had asked all payment system operators to store all transaction and other data locally so that the Reserve Bank could monitor and supervise the data for auditing and regulatory purposes. This has led to less fee being paid by the merchants to the banks but it could have a negative impact on the economy as well. Other countries such as China, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam have already implemented this and are now preferring local payment system operators over Visa and Mastercard.
India to start long term visa service
The Ministry of Tourism has decided to introduce visas that allow visitors to stay in India for longer durations following the American model. As per Tourism minister KJ Alphons, the government has set the wheels in motion for a long term visa options for visitors and talks have been initiated with the home ministry for the same. Thee Indian government has recently introduced visa on arrival for Japan and South Korea bilaterally. The government is planning to make the Indian visa much simpler, multi entry and easier to apply for. In addition to all this, the government is also planning waive the visa on arrival fees in the off season in a bid to attract to more visitors.
Currently if a visitor obtains an Indian e-visa, it is valid for a maximum period of 60 days. An Indian paper visa however is valid for a period of 6 months. Also, citizens of more than 160 countries are legally eligible to apply for an Indian visa. For most countries, the visa on arrival fees for India was increased by the government from $50 to $80. For the United Kingdom, the visa on arrival fee was increased from $75 to $100.
India and Swaziland Sign Agreements On Visa Waiver And Health
Swaziland and India have now signed 2 agreements for Visa and Health & Medicine on April 9. The first agreement deals with visa waivers for officials and diplomats holding related passports whereas the second agreement ensures cooperation in health & medicine.
Both the agreements were actually signed in Ram Nath Kovind’s (the Indian President) presence. As a part of his official tour to Africa, he paid a visit to Swaziland and it was only when the agreements were signed.
India to discuss visa restriction in the JETCO meeting in London
The upcoming Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in London will provide a platform for Indian to discuss visa restrictions, trade barriers, and other issues with the UK. The India-UK meeting will be held later this month and officials will carry out discussion of visa restrictions on many visa categories that are affecting Indian firms and professionals. Though the UK is planning to ease the visa policies for high-skill jobs, the restrictions on other categories of visa are of prime importance in the upcoming meeting. Additionally, both the nations will also discuss the trade policies pertaining to various products and services.
China is becoming a popular destination for Indians
The recent reports suggest China to be one of the most popular countries for Indians to visit. In a bid to encourage tourism and improve the nation’s economy, both India and China has taken various initiatives to ease the visa and passport application process. Considering the fact that both the neighboring countries are known for their trade and business in various industry sectors, it is one of the contributing factors which boost tourism in both nations.
The process of visa application in Northern Bangladesh made easy
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka revealed that Northern Rajshahi and Rangpur tourist visa applicants can apply at respective visa centers and IVACs between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. On a trial basis, the new system is being stretched to Rangpur and Rajshahi IVACs. The fundamental objective of this initiative is to empower people-to-people contacts between Bangladesh and India and ensure easy access to Indian visa. Senior citizens and freedom fighters can continue applying at separate counters for walk-in tourist visas. The application for other non-tourist visas can be made as earlier.
Embassy of Tunisia is planning to offer e-visas to Indian visitors
Considering the fact that the Indian visitors are contributing to the growth of the economy for other nations, the Embassy of Tunisia has also come forward in discussing the current visa policies. There are many Indian who visit Tunisia for business, education, and other reasons. The government of Tunisia has observed that by facilitating an easy visa process, they can expect an increasing number of Indians visiting their nation. Since tourism is one of the major factors that contributes to a nation’s economy significantly, it is also essential to make the visa process easy in order to attract more visitors. Currently, an Indian visiting Tunisia is required to get in touch with an agent to carry out the necessary paperwork for the visa, however, by facilitating e-visa, the Embassy of Tunisia can certainly expect to see an increase in the number of visitors. The government of both the nation will be working together to offer a smooth and hassle-free visa process through their upcoming e-visa platforms.
Medical visa rules relaxed for Bangladeshis
Bangladeshis can now enjoy relaxed medical visa rules. This makes it easier for them to come to India for availing treatment. Appointment confirmation proof and prescription/report of doctor from Bangladesh stating the ailment must be submitted along with the application for medical visa.
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka stated that all the other regulations will remain the same for visa application. This request was considered as a humanitarian need by New Delhi. There are several Bangladeshis who travel to India for medical treatment. Several Bangladesh nationals also go for pathological tests in this country.